Calgary Ecommerce Services

The following are terms used in Ecommerce, Search Engine planning, and Internet Programming:

Acquirer    Financial institution that maintains the merchant card processing services and receives transactions to be distributed to the card issuers for a merchant.

Address Verification System (AVS)    Process used by a credit card processor or other party to verify that a customer's billing address matches that of their credit card statement.

Affiliate    A person, organization, or establishment that drives traffic to a merchant's web site for a percentage of successful sales transactions.

Affiliate Program    A popular website promotion tool where a website contracts with other websites for driving visitor to its site. The revenue is calculated according to the traffic brought by a particular website.

Apache    An open source web server that runs on most commonly used platforms.

Application Service Provider (ASP)    A business that provides remote access to a software application over the internet.

Asymmetric (or "Public Key") Cryptography    A cryptography technique whereby each user has both a public key and a private key. Asymmetric systems have two primary uses, encryption and digital signatures.

Authorization    The process of verifying that a credit card has sufficient funds available to cover the amount of transaction. The amount authorized is reserved against the available balance of a customer's credit card.

Bandwidth    Bandwidth refers to how fast data flows through the path that it travels to your computer; it's usually measured in kilobits, megabits or gigabits per second.

Batch Processing    To process a grouping of orders all at once. Such processing might include capturing funds and creating shipping labels.

Business to Business E-Commerce (B2B)    The buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet between two businesses. A b2b system is password protected to ensure sensitive price information is not made available to the public. A distributor might use a B2B e-commerce system to purchase goods from a manufacturer.

Business to Consumer E-Commerce (B2C)    The buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet between a merchant and a consumer.

Card Verification Value (CVV)    A three-digit number printed in the signature space on the back of most credit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards. On American Express Cards it is a four digit code. The CVV is designed to reduce credit card fraud by ensuring that the customer has the credit card in their possession.

Compilation    The process of creating an executable program from source code.

Control Panel    A graphical user interface that is provided by a web hosting company to allow a user to perform functions such as FTP, email administration, password changing and database administration.

Cookies    Information that a website puts on your hard disk storing information about you. Typically, cookies record your preferences when using a particular site. This allows the website to be tailored to your specific requirements, and may also allow the site operators to target you with direct marketing according to your interests.

Digital Certificate    An electronic document verifying the ownership of a public key. This is designed to help prevent people impersonating others.

Digital Signature    A verification process that relies on cryptography. It allows the recipient to know the sender’s identity and that there have been no alterations to the message during transit.

Directory    Topical lists of Internet resources, arranged hierarchically. Directories are meant to be browsed, but they can also be searched. Directories differ from search engines in one major way - the human element involved in collecting and updating the information. Examples of directories are Yahoo! & Open Directory.

Domain Name    The unique name given to every website. It is used to physically locate a website over the Internet. A domain name consists of three different parts with each separated by a dot. These are host server name, the unique name of the website and the third defining the purpose/type of the website.

Domain Name Registrar    A company authorized to receive domain name registration requests, approve registrations and initiate propagation of registration information throughout the Internet.

Domain Name System (DNS)    An Internet service that translates domain names in IP addresses. Used to resolve domain names to specific host computers.

Download    To transfer files from a server or host computer to one's own computer.

Drop-ship    A scenario by which a customer places an order with via a retailer only to have the purchased goods sent directly from another location.

E-Commerce    The buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet.

Encryption    The manipulation of data to prevent accurate interpretation by all but those for whom the data is intended.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)    A globally accepted set of rules used while transferring files from one computer to another computer of a network or Internet.

Firewall    A system configured to control access to or from a network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software or a combination of both. A firewall examines each network packet to determine whether to forward it toward its destination.

Fulfillment    To carry out the processing of an order including picking, packing, and shipping of product.

Gateway or Payment Gateway    A business or software that enables e-commerce systems to communicate with a merchant's Merchant Account Provider to enable online credit card processing.

GNU    GNU stands for "GNU's not Unix," and refers generally to software distributed under the GNU Public License (GPL).

GPL    GNU Public Licence - A licence applied to a program to specify it can be distributed and modified to/by anyone, but if a modified version is distributed, the source must be distributed too.

Hyperlink    A word or image on one website that leads to another website when “clicked”.

HTML    (Hypertext Markup Language)    A set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a World Wide Web browser page.

HTTP    (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) The protocol that is used to transfer and display hypertext documents.

ICANN    Formed in October 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a non-profit corporation with responsibility for management of the Internet domain name system. ICANN is comprised of a broad coalition of the Internet's business, technical, and academic communities both in the US and worldwide.

Inventory    The quantity of goods and materials on hand waiting to be sold.

Invoice    A detailed list of goods shipped with a detailed account of all costs including product prices, shipping cost, and sales tax.

IP Address    An identifier for a computer on the Internet. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, could be an IP address. A web hosting server may have one or many IP addresses.

Key    A mathematical value that determines the outcome of the encryption and decryption functions.

Keyword Tag    An HTML meta tag used to help define the important keywords of a page.

Linux    An open-source operating system derived from the Unix operating system. It is used most commonly to run servers.

Merchant Account    An online bank account required by a store to receive payments through electronic mediums like credit cards. It can be considered as a virtual bank account that receives electronic money.

Merchant Account Provider    A bank or other institution that provides accounts to merchants wishing to process online credit card transactions.

Metatag    A device that allows website to list related "keywords" which will be used by search engines when executing a search. They can also be used by the unscrupulous to imbed keywords 'behind' their website so that, when someone searches for these words, they find unrelated information.

MySQL    An open source relational database management system that uses Structured Query Language (SQL).

Open Source    A program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge.

Order Confirmation    An email to a customer confirming the placement of an order.

Order Management System    Software that enables online merchants to process, track, and organize orders.

Packing Slip    A document, usually included with a package, that displays the contents of the package. A packing slip does not include financial or account information.

Pay Per Click Marketing    A form of advertising by which the marketer pays an organization every time his advertisement is clicked.

PHP    A widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially well-suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.

Portal    A portal is a website with links to other sites. General portals often include search engines (such as Yahoo or Excite) and there are also niche portals which cater to specific interests.

Privacy Policy    A document that explains a merchant's policy regarding its customer's information.

Private Key    A key for both encryption and decryption. It exists with a public key, but is kept secret by the owner.

Proxy Server    Server that caches Web content in order to provide quicker access for users, when new requests are made for the same content.

Public Key    A key for both encryption and decryption that is made available to the public. It has a mathematical relationship to the private key which means that information encrypted with one key can only be decrypted with the other.

Purchase Order (PO)    A commercial document used to request someone to supply something in return for payment and providing specifications and quantities. A purchase order usually has an associated purchase order number used to identify the purchase order.

Query    A Request for Information to either a database application or search engine.

Referrer    The URL or site address from which a site visitor came from.

Return Policy    A document that explains a merchant's policy regarding the return of products by customers.

Scripting Language    A programming language in which programs are a series of commands that are interpreted and then executed one by one. The programs do not need to be compiled.

Search Engine Optimization    The process of increasing a web sites ranking in the search engine results pages. Search Engine Optimization includes modifying on page factors (content) and off page factors such as linking strategies.

Secure Servers    Web servers that use encryption technology to prevent non-authorized users from intercepting and reading sensitive messages sent via the Internet. A secure page is identified by https: in the URL.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL)    A protocol used to transmit documents over the internet in an encrypted format. An SSL connection will use the https protocol where as typical web pages are transmitted via an http protocol.

Security Certificate    Information stored on a web server that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection with another computer. Security Certificates contain information regarding ownership, issuer, a unique serial number or other unique identification, and valid dates.

Server    A central or host computer that provides access to data and services to more than one user at once.

Shipping Carrier    A company used to transport packages. Common carriers include Canada Post, FedEx, DHL, UPS and USPS.

Spider    A program used to fetch files from the internet for the purpose of indexing in search engines. Also called a web crawler, robot or bot, a spider follows links on web pages to find additional pages to index.

SQL    Structured Query Language, used for accessing and modifying data in a database. There are numerous variations of the language. In web development, it is commonly used with a scripting language such as PHP.

Stock-keeping Unit (SKU)    A unique identifier of a product. The SKU is used to track inventory and may or may not be shown to customers when shopping online.

Subtotal    The net amount of an order. The cumulative price of an order's products. The subtotal excludes discounts, sales tax, and shipping charges.

Title Tag    HTML tag used to define the title of a page. The title is displayed at the top of a Web browser and also used by many search engines as the title of a search result listing.

TLD    Top Level Domain such as .org or .com.

Upload    To transfer files from one's own computer to a server or host computer.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)    An address of a file located on the internet. A URL is composed of three parts 1) A protocol 2) A domain name and 3) a file name.

Unix    An operating system developed in the 1960's that still leads the industry as the most common operating system for web servers.

User Session     Each time a site visitor with a unique IP address enters a Web site during a specified period of time; usually 20-30 minutes, is counted as one user session. If the visitor exits the site and reenters within the specified period of time, it does not count as another user session.

W3C    World Wide Web Consortium. An international industry consortium which develops common protocols that promote WWW evolution and ensure its interoperability. Standards that have been defined by the W3C include HTML, CSS and XML.

Whois    An online service that provides publicly accessible information on the registered owner of a particular second-level ".com", ".net", and ".org" domain name.

Web Analytics    The study of user activity on a web site or web application to understand how well it fulfils its objectives.

Web Host    A business that provides web hosting services.

Web Hosting    A term used for storing and maintaining files, email or domains on a server that is connected with Internet.

Web Server    A server on the Internet that hosts websites.

Website Traffic    The number of times a website is viewed by a unique visitor within a stipulated time.

XML    A language which provides more efficient data delivery over the web. XML is similar to HTML and both are used to describe the contents of a Web page or file.