Glossary

 

Active Accessibility
A COM-based mechanism that allows applications to actively cooperate with software tools running in the system, such as automation tools, testing tools, and accessibility aids used by people with disabilities.

Active Directory
Provides the ability to build applications that give a single point of access to multiple directories in a network environment, whether those directories are LDAP, NDS, or NTDS based directories.

ADM file
Administrative template file that specifies registry settings that can be modified through the Group Policy snap-in user interface. ADM files are extensible to allow ISVs and administrators to create custom Group Policy.

Advertisement
When the files for an application are shown as being available, but are not actually installed.

CSIDL
These values provide a unique system-independent way to identify special folders. Used in conjunction with SHGetFolderPath and other APIs.

Componentization
Process by which resources are grouped into Windows Installer Components.

Core Files
Also called core components. Core files are operating system DLLs and EXEs that developers depend on for the proper functionality of their applications. These files should not be uninstalled, as doing so could break other applications. The core component list exists for historical reasons and is maintained to ensure compatibility with legacy applications. Microsoft will add no new files to this list. On Windows 2000 and later, applications should rely on Windows File Protection

Degrade gracefully
Does not crash the operating system (GPF or blue screen) or application. A dialog box or other visual and audio cue appears informing the user, for example, that the functionality is not available on X version of Y operating system. User is not required to close the application, and can continue to use the other functionality.

Down-level operating system
Any combination of these three operating systems: Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT Workstation 4.0.

Extension server
Executable that is associated with a file extension.

Group Policy
Used to specify settings for groups of users and computers, including software policies, scripts, user documents and settings, application deployment, and security settings.

High Contrast support
An option set by the user indicating that they require a high degree of contrast to improve screen legibility. Some application features may be exempted, such as when the use of color is intrinsic and indispensable to the goal of the feature.

HKCU
Short for HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

HKLM
Short for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

IntelliMirror
A set of management technologies that mirror systems, data, and applications on a server. Part of the Zero Administration initiative for Windows (ZAW).

Long file name (LFN)
Any filename that exceeds 8.3 characters in length or contains any lowercase character or any character that is not valid in the 8.3 namespace.

Resources
In Windows Installer service, files (as defined by the filename and install location), registry keys, shortcuts, and anything else that needs to be installed/uninstalled to the computer.

Secure Windows Environment
A configuration that prevents unprivileged Users from intentionally or accidentally compromising the operating system. This is defined as the environment exposed to a normal (non-admin\non-power) User by default on a clean-installed NTFS system. In this environment, Users can only write to three specific locations:

  1. Their own portion of the registry: (HKEY_CURRENT_USER)

    Users can not write to the following sections of HKCU:
    \Software\Policies
    \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies

    Applications are free to modify the default security for an application-specific subdirectory of CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA provided the modification is documented in the vendor questionnaire. This may provide a fourth location for Users to write to for a given application.

  2. Their own user profile directory: (CSIDL_PROFILE)
  3. A Shared Documents location: (CSIDL_COMMON_DOCUMENTS)

    Users have Read-Only access to the rest of the system.

    By default, Users cannot write to other Users shared documents, they can only read other Users shared documents. Applications are free to modify this default security on an application-specific subdirectory of CSIDL_COMMON_DOCUMENTS provided the modification is documented in the vendor questionnaire.

Side-by-side sharing
A new form of sharing in Windows 2000 and Windows 98 Second Edition that enables multiple versions of the same DLL to run at the same time.

System caret
Normally the flashing vertical bar that indicates the insertion point in text, it can actually have a range of appearances and is used to indicate keyboard focus location to other software utilities.

Universal naming convention (UNC)
The system for indicating names of servers and computers, such as \\Servername\Sharename.

User profile
A computer-based record maintained about an authorized user of a multi-user computer system. A user profile is needed for security and other reasons; it can contain such information as the user’s access restrictions, mailbox location, type of terminal, and so on.

Windows Installer service
Provides end users with a way to install and remove applications, or components of software as needed. System administrators can more easily manage applications and support roaming users.

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