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1.1 Glossary

1.1 Glossary

The following terms are specific to this document:

access control list (ACL): A list of access control entries (ACEs) that collectively describe the security rules for authorizing access to some resource; for example, an object or set of objects.

application: A participant that is responsible for beginning, propagating, and completing an atomic transaction. An application communicates with a transaction manager in order to begin and complete transactions. An application communicates with a transaction manager in order to marshal transactions to and from other applications. An application also communicates in application-specific ways with a resource manager in order to submit requests for work on resources.

child object, children: An object that is not the root of its tree. The children of an object o are the set of all objects whose parent is o. See section 1 of [MS-ADTS] and section 1 of [MS-DRSR].

class identifier (CLSID): A GUID that identifies a software component; for instance, a DCOM object class or a COM class.

compound file: (1) A structure for storing a file system, similar to a simplified FAT file system inside a single file, by dividing the single file into sectors.

(2) A file that is created as defined in [MS-CFB] and that is capable of storing data that is structured as storage and streams.

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC): A high-precision atomic time standard that approximately tracks Universal Time (UT). It is the basis for legal, civil time all over the Earth. Time zones around the world are expressed as positive and negative offsets from UTC. In this role, it is also referred to as Zulu time (Z) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In these specifications, all references to UTC refer to the time at UTC-0 (or GMT).

creation time: The time, in UTC, when a storage object was created.

directory: The database that stores information about objects such as users, groups, computers, printers, and the directory service that makes this information available to users and applications.

directory entry: A structure that contains a storage object's or stream object's FileInformation.

directory stream: An array of directory entries that are grouped into sectors.

double-indirect file allocation table (DIFAT): A structure that is used to locate FAT sectors in a compound file.

file: An entity of data in the file system that a user can access and manage. A file must have a unique name in its directory. It consists of one or more streams of bytes that hold a set of related data, plus a set of attributes (also called properties) that describe the file or the data within the file. The creation time of a file is an example of a file attribute.

file allocation table (FAT): A data structure that the operating system creates when a volume is formatted by using FAT or FAT32 file systems. The operating system stores information about each file in the FAT so that it can retrieve the file later.

file system: A system that enables applications to store and retrieve files on storage devices. Files are placed in a hierarchical structure. The file system specifies naming conventions for files and the format for specifying the path to a file in the tree structure. Each file system consists of one or more drivers and DLLs that define the data formats and features of the file system. File systems can exist on the following storage devices: diskettes, hard disks, jukeboxes, removable optical disks, and tape backup units.

globally unique identifier (GUID): A term used interchangeably with universally unique identifier (UUID) in Microsoft protocol technical documents (TDs). Interchanging the usage of these terms does not imply or require a specific algorithm or mechanism to generate the value. Specifically, the use of this term does not imply or require that the algorithms described in [RFC4122] or [C706] must be used for generating the GUID. See also universally unique identifier (UUID).

header: The structure at the beginning of a compound file.

little-endian: Multiple-byte values that are byte-ordered with the least significant byte stored in the memory location with the lowest address.

mini FAT: A file allocation table (FAT) structure for the mini stream that is used to allocate space in a small sector size.

mini stream: A structure that contains all user-defined data for stream objects less than a predefined size limit.

modification time: The time, in UTC, when a storage object was last modified.

object: A set of attributes (1), each with its associated values. Two attributes of an object have special significance: an identifying attribute and a parent-identifying attribute. An identifying attribute is a designated single-valued attribute that appears on every object; the value of this attribute identifies the object. For the set of objects in a replica, the values of the identifying attribute are distinct. A parent-identifying attribute is a designated single-valued attribute that appears on every object; the value of this attribute identifies the object's parent. That is, this attribute contains the value of the parent's identifying attribute, or a reserved value identifying no object. For the set of objects in a replica, the values of this parent-identifying attribute define a tree with objects as vertices and child-parent references as directed edges with the child as an edge's tail and the parent as an edge's head. Note that an object is a value, not a variable; a replica is a variable. The process of adding, modifying, or deleting an object in a replica replaces the entire value of the replica with a new value. As the word replica suggests, it is often the case that two replicas contain "the same objects". In this usage, objects in two replicas are considered the same if they have the same value of the identifying attribute and if there is a process in place (replication) to converge the values of the remaining attributes. When the members of a set of replicas are considered to be the same, it is common to say "an object" as shorthand referring to the set of corresponding objects in the replicas.

object class: In COM, a category of objects identified by a CLSID, members of which can be obtained through activation of the CLSID.

parent object: An object is either the root of a tree of objects or has a parent. If two objects have the same parent, they must have different values in their relative distinguished names (RDNs). See also, object in section 1 of [MS-ADTS] and section 1 of [MS-DRSR].

root storage object: A storage object in a compound file that must be accessed before any other storage objects and stream objects are referenced. It is the uppermost parent object in the storage object and stream object hierarchy.

sector: The smallest addressable unit of a disk.

sector chain: A linked list of sectors, where each sector can be located in a different location inside a compound file.

sector number: A nonnegative integer identifying a particular sector that is located in a compound file.

sector size: The size, in bytes, of a sector in a compound file, typically 512 bytes.

storage: A storage object, as defined in [MS-CFB].

storage object: An object in a compound file that is analogous to a file system directory. The parent object of a storage object must be another storage object or the root storage object.

stream: An element of a compound file, as described in [MS-CFB]. A stream contains a sequence of bytes that can be read from or written to by an application, and they can exist only in storages. 

stream object: An object in a compound file that is analogous to a file system file. The parent object of a stream object must be a storage object or the root storage object.

Stream object: A Server object that is used to read and write large string and binary properties.

unallocated free sector: An empty sector that can be allocated to hold data.

Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium that represents almost all of the written languages of the world. The Unicode standard [UNICODE5.0.0/2007] provides three forms (UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32) and seven schemes (UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-16 BE, UTF-16 LE, UTF-32, UTF-32 LE, and UTF-32 BE).

user-defined data: The main stream portion of a stream object.

UTF-16: A standard for encoding Unicode characters, defined in the Unicode standard, in which the most commonly used characters are defined as double-byte characters. Unless specified otherwise, this term refers to the UTF-16 encoding form specified in [UNICODE5.0.0/2007] section 3.9.

MAY, SHOULD, MUST, SHOULD NOT, MUST NOT: These terms (in all caps) are used as defined in [RFC2119]. All statements of optional behavior use either MAY, SHOULD, or SHOULD NOT.

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