Developer Story Glossary



Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI)

A service model and a set of COM interfaces that abstract the capabilities of directory services from different network directory providers (including Microsoft Active Directory) to present a single set of directory service interfaces for managing network resources.

Admin Base Objects (ABO)

A distributed COM (DCOM) object that implements the IMSAdminBase interface methods that enable an application to manipulate an IIS metabase.

Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP)

A programming model that complements object-oriented or procedural programming by injecting new orthogonal capabilities into a library without physically integrating a great deal of cross-cutting code. Cross-cutting code is periodic code that deals with tangential issues outside of the main design purpose of the existing code, for example, security requirements, persistence, and contracts. Cross-cutting code is difficult to understand and maintain. Attributes in Microsoft's .NET Framework are an example of an implementation of AOP.


The process of validating security credentials.


The process of granting access to a secure resource based on the security credential provided.


A Microsoft-developed managed technology that reduces the complexity of multiple applications' deployment, launching, and updating processes.

Community Technology Preview (CTP)

Unsupported, prerelease software intended to allow developers access to the latest working builds of particular products.

DHTML (Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language)

An extended version of the HTML standard that adds dynamic capabilities via an object model and standard scripting capabilities.

Domain Naming System (DNS)

The protocol and associated Internet infrastructure that supports the ability to translate user-friendly domain names into number-based addresses a network recognizes.

eXtensible Application Markup Language (XAML)

A language based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) that enables developers to specify a hierarchy of objects with a set of properties and logic. XAML is used by multiple feature teams within Microsoft, including Windows Presentation Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation.

Function Discovery (FD)

A new Microsoft API that provides a uniform programmatic interface for enumerating system resources, such as hardware devices, whether they are local or connected through a network. Function Discovery supports an extensible discovery provider model that provides an abstraction layer over existing standards such as Plug and Play (PnP), SSDP, WS-Discovery, and the registry.

Generic Error Reporting

A custom type of error report created and reported to the Windows Quality Online Services (WinQual) portal by an application in response to a custom error event.

Global Assembly Cache (GAC)

A computer-wide code cache that stores assemblies specifically installed to be shared by many applications on the computer. Applications deployed in the global assembly cache must have a strong name.

Identity Provider (IP)

An entity that acts as an authentication service to requestors. An IP is required to implement a single sign on (SSO) service.

International Domain Name (IDN)

A naming scheme for domain/host names which use Unicode characters. (Originally DNS names were limited to ASCII characters.) Non-ASCII characters are converted to an internal ACII-compatible form.


A network layer security standard for encrypting and authenticating Internet Protocol (IP) packets. IPsec is a required part of the IPv6 standard but an optional part of IPv4.


The general name for software that fulfills the deliberately harmful intent of an attacker when run, for example, viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.

Search Folders

A Windows Vista® improvement over "special folders" that abstracts the actual physical location of a file on a specific system, enabling an application to query the system for the system's actual configuration.

Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD)

Microsoft's new Network Layer 2 protocol for discovering and mapping of network devices, consisting of a mapper service and responders for network-attached devices.

Mandatory Integrity Control (MIC)

Part of the new application security model of Windows Vista, whose primary function is to ensure that processes and operating system objects with a higher level of trustworthiness (integrity) cannot be modified by ones with relatively lower levels of integrity.

Message [Web services]

A message is a complete unit of data available to be sent or received by Web services, representing a self-contained unit of information exchange. A message always contains a SOAP envelope, and may include additional MIME parts as specified in MTOM, and/or transport protocol headers.

Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM)

An optimization encoding scheme for SOAP messages that retains the message infoset characteristics. Used to transfer large datasets, MTOM includes the information as a mail (MIME) attachment.


Descriptive information about an entity, such as a software component, hardware device, or Web service. Metadata is often represented in XML format.


The smallest minidump files, which include very little information. For example, they might only contain information about a single thread, or information about modules that are actually referenced in the stack, or they might even include a truncated version of the stack.


User-mode dump files that include only selected parts of the memory associated with a process. The size and contents of a minidump file varies depending on the application being dumped and the application doing the dumping. Sometimes, a minidump file is fairly large and includes the full memory and handle table. Other times, it is much smaller.

Network Address Translation (NAT)

Allows a network of computers to share a single internet address, typically used for increased security and to conserve scarce IPv4 address space.

Network Connected Device (NCD)

A device that connects over the local area network or Internet to a computer, typically using TCP/IP communication protocols for base communication.

Network Connected Device (NCD) Technologies

A Microsoft set of technologies — PnP-X, Function Discovery, Publication Services, and Web Services for Devices (WSD) — that enables devices to connect to a computer over the local area network or the Internet.

Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS)

A Microsoft specification that allows for multiple network adapters and enables a single network adapter to support multiple protocols and, conversely, also enables a single protocol to work with network adapters from different vendors.

Network Location Awareness (NLA)

A feature of Microsoft Windows operating systems, built upon version 2 of Windows Sockets that enables applications to identify the logical network to which a Windows computer is attached. In addition, NLA enables Windows Sockets applications to identify to which physical network interface a given application has saved specific information. The NLA service is vital for computers or devices that might move between different networks, and for selecting optimal configurations when more than one is available.

Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML)

An XML dialect that provides a mechanism to represent outlined information (hierarchical, ordered list of arbitrary elements). A common application of OPML is to represent lists of RSS feeds.

Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP)

This protocol is a server-less DNS technology that enables peer-to-peer nodes to discover each other. PNRP uses the Winsock 2 Namespace Provider API.


A set of related assertions, each of which represent a domain-specific individual requirement, capability, property, or behavior. Policies are often set through one or more associated configuration files.

Principal [security]

Any system entity that can be granted security rights or that makes assertions about security or identity.

[Microsoft] Professional Developers Conference (PDC)

An annual Microsoft educational conference for developers, MIS managers and administrators, planners, ISVs, consultants and trainers, solution providers, and systems integrators.

Protocol composition

The ability to combine protocols while maintaining technical coherence and absent any unintended functional side effects.

Publication Services

Publication Services is a new Windows service that enables client applications to publish resources so they can be discovered by other computers on the same subnet as the publishing computer. See also Network Connected Device (NCD) Technologies.

Quality of Service (QOS)

A general networking and multimedia application concept that describes the ability to deliver content reliably and at a guaranteed rate (bandwidth).

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

An application of XML that allows sharing of Web content between publishers and users through "feeds" that syndicate and distribute web content broken down into discrete items.

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

A Microsoft protocol that supports terminal services across heterogeneous network environments.

Restart Manager

A Windows Vista technology whose primary function is to reduce the need for system restarts that are required to complete an installation or update. The resource manager provides a well-defined mechanism for determining if a resource (file) is currently locked, which applications are locking it, and whether these applications can be stopped and restarted without rebooting.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

An open internet protocol for the private transmission of TCP/IP-based information, including authentication and encryption. For example, SSL-enabled Web pages use the URL protocol identifier https.


The process of converting information to a form that is suitable to transmission and storage.

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Software modeled as discrete units of reusable, distributed application logic made available to clients through standards-based, published, and discoverable interfaces. The communication between client and server is based on messages and contracts. A typical modern SOA is built around XML, SOAP, and WSDL.

Simple Error Reporting

The standard type of error report created and reported to the Windows Quality Online Services (WinQual) portal by the operating system upon obtaining an unhandled exception from an application.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

An open XML-based protocol for exchanging structured information on the Web. Although SOAP contains no application or transport semantics, it forms the foundation of a Web services stack, so that more abstract layers can be built on it, and it can run on top of many transports (although HTTP has become the preferred transport for most services).

Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP)

A simple protocol for broadcasting and discovering small messages on a local subnet implemented as part of UPNP.

state separation

The general computer systems design and development principle that seeks to eliminate unnecessary linkages between application logic from the current application state. This generally allows cleaner design, easier application maintenance, and more straightforward persistence.

Symmetric key algorithm

An encryption algorithm where the same key is used for both encrypting and decrypting a message.


An IPv6 transition technology that enables IPv6 connectivity through network intermediaries – such as network address translation (NAT) and Web servers – by tunneling using IPv4-based User Datagram Protocol (UDP) messages, aided by Teredo servers.


A network adjustment technique where digital formats (including codecs) are dynamically adjusted to adapt to bandwidth conditions. See also transrating.

Transport Driver Interfaces (TDI)

An API that defines a kernel-mode network interface that is exposed at the upper edge of all transport protocol stacks.


A network adjustment technique where data resolution is dynamically adjusted to adapt to bandwidth conditions. See also transcoding.


In networking, to wrap one message protocol session within another in order to transport the message across a network segment or to provide a feature like security. Some protocols, such as PPTP and IPSec, are explicitly designed to accommodate tunneling.

Universal Discovery, Description and Integration (UDDI)

A platform-independent, XML-based registry for listing WDSL-based Internet services.

User Account Control

Part of the new user account model of Windows Vista, whose primary function is to reduce the exposure and attack surface of the operating system by requiring that all users run in standard user mode and by limiting administrator-level access to authorized processes.

User Account Protection (UAP)

An earlier name for User Account Control, q.v.


A format specification for creating electronic business cards. Designed to be exchanged through applications such as e-mail and teleconferencing, a vCard includes information such as name, address, telephone number, and other contact information.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Set of associated nodes on a public network such as the Internet that communicate among themselves using encryption technology so that their messages are as safe from being intercepted and understood by unauthorized users as if the nodes were connected by private lines.

Web service

A reusable business process or function that interacts with clients by exchanging messages over the network using XML, SOAP, or other industry communications standards.

Web Services Description Language (WSDL)

An XML-based format for describing Web services and their published interfaces. WSDL enables Web service providers and users of such services to work together easily by providing a high-level description of these services without encumbering the parties with implementation details.

Web Services on Devices (WSD)

A new Microsoft technology that enables peripheral devices and to connect to a PC using standard Web communication protocols. Client and host applications are built using Microsoft's Web Services on Devices API (WSDAPI).

Web Single Sign-On (WebSSO)

A specification for identity management and authentication that integrates standard Web communication with LAN-based authentication.

Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)

An industry-backed, wireless networking security standard for client authentication, secure encryption and data integrity. It replaces the older Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) standard.

Windows Connect Now (WCN)

A Microsoft architecture, first introduced with Windows XP SP2, designed to be a simple yet secure method of configuring and bootstrapping wireless networking hardware (access points) and wireless clients, including PCs and other devices.

Windows Feedback

The Windows Vista programming model which allows developers to obtain error reports from remote users, manage data recovery, and provide automatic application restarting. Includes the Microsoft Windows Error Reporting Services (WER) and the Windows Quality Online Services (WinQual).

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

The Microsoft implementation of the Web Based Enterprise Management industry initiative that establishes management infrastructure standards and provides a way to combine information from various hardware and software management systems.

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

A Microsoft Windows Vista managed technology that enhances visual effects and display of application user interface and multimedia contents. It has two primary parts: an engine and the programming framework.

Windows Resource Protection (WRP)

Part of the new application security model of Windows Vista, whose primary function is to protect both system and application resources (files, folders registry keys and values) from changes made by other applications. WRP accomplished this through locking resources, virtualizing resources to isolate application changes, and recording changes in a system journal.


A server-supported, high-level interface to the HTTP/1.1 Internet protocol. WinHTTP provides developers with an HTTP client API to send requests through the HTTP protocol to other HTTP servers. WinHTTP provides both a C/C++ API and a COM automation component interfaces for Win32 platforms.


See "Extensible Application Markup Language".

XML (eXtensible Markup Language)

A data format and document markup language designed for Web documents. Its flexible design enables the creation of customized tags and domain-specific dialects.

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