The Pennsylvania State University - Administrative Information Services, a unit of Information Technology Services

Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

A New Global Environment for Learning (ANGEL)
The course management system (CMS) available for use by Penn State instructors, students, and staff.
Access Account
A user ID assigned by the Information Technology Services (ITS) Accounts Office for using Internet services on and off campus (i.e. Eudora, client/server applications, etc.)
Access and Security Representative (ASR)
ASRs are assigned to colleges and departments and are responsible for initiating and maintaining requests for user access to AIS computer systems.
Activity/Action
A specific component within a process that is generally completed by an individual with the appropriate role. An activity also specifies any electronic forms associated with the task and the personnel assigned to carry out the task.
Administrative User Guides
An AIS site that houses documentation and user guides for various AIS services. The Administrative User Guides can be found at http://guides.ais.psu.edu.
Alumni Development Information System - DCOM (ADIS)
ADIS is an application providing inquiry and update access to a database containing alumni information, including biographical data, alumni memberships, gift and pledge processing, prospect tracking, and WPSX memberships.
Automated Process Management (APM)
Project to improve the management of business processes through the use of business process software that enables integration of electronic documents with multiple data sources, a consistent Web-based interface with Penn State's core systems, and a defined, role-based routing and approval process.

Back to Top

B

Business Continuity
The ability to maintain critical University services and functions during or after an event that may cause an outage or disruption.
Business Intelligence (BI)
An environment in which business users receive information that is reliable, secure, consistent, understandable, easily manipulated, and timely. With this information, business users are able to conduct analyses that yield an overall understanding of where the business has been, where it is now, and where it will be in the near future. BI allows workers to quickly make more informed, smarter business decisions.
Business Process
A set of one or more linked procedures or activities that collectively complete a business objective or policy goal, normally within the context of an organizational structure defining functional roles and relationships.
Business Process Analyst (BPA)
Deals with the more tactical aspects of discovering, validating, documenting, and communicating business-process-related knowledge through modeling, simulating, and analyzing current and future states. Focus is on business outcomes versus technical "how to."

Back to Top

C

Central ID Repository (CIDR)
Contains biographical information used by various systems across the University, including University’s PSU IDs, and additional biographical data, such as Digital IDs (Access or Friends of Penn State (FPS) accounts), address, and date of birth that can be used for matching records.
COM-PASS Screen
Menu screen displayed when signing onto an application such as IBIS, ISIS, etc.
Condition
A decision point; the iBPM (Interstage® Business Process Manager) engine evaluates the specified condition and chooses the appropriate path.
Consulting and Support Services (CSS)
A unit of Information Technology Services (ITS) that provides an interface for the services offered throughout ITS. Its mission is to provide the highest level of service to students, faculty, and staff through individual and departmental consulting, help desks, and the development of new services. For more information about CSS, please visit http://css.its.psu.edu.

Back to Top

D

Database Administration - Enterprise Systems (DBA-ES)
Operates within Administrative Information Services (AIS) to manage the software and procedures that ensure the availability, reliability, and recoverability of all data supporting the ISIS, IBIS, and ADIS systems.
Data Mart
Data Marts are developed to support a single business function or process. Data Marts usually include a subset of the organization's data and are focused on a specific subject area or business area. The data mart is typically summarized and aggregated.
Data Steward
An administrator or designee who is responsible for Computerized Institutional Data. The data steward develops the definition and coding structure of the data, ensures the data's accuracy and completeness, authorizes access to, and establishes data use and protection requirements for the data under his/her control.
Data Warehouse
A collection of data pulled together primarily from operational systems and specifically structured and tuned for easy access and use for query, reporting, and analysis purposes. The Data Warehouse may contain historical data, as well as transformed transactional data, aggregated data, and derived/calculated data. The data is typically subjected, oriented, and time varying with changes happening in a controlled form. Provides extended reporting capabilities for student and business systems.
Digital Library Technologies (DLT)
A unit of Information Technology Services (ITS) that provides technical leadership in research and development of digital library initiatives, explores and evaluates suitability of new technologies to support the University Libraries' programs and services, and supports workstation and network services for the University Libraries. For more information about DLT, please visit http://dlt.its.psu.edu.
Disaster Recovery
A process used to restore operations after an unplanned interruption of normal business processes that is beyond the immediate ability of an organization’s normal staff and management structure to control.
Document Imaging
Penn State's initiative for using imaging technology to improve efficiency and reduce the volume of paper that is processed and stored.

Back to Top

E

EASY
Electronic Approval System (Penn State’s current online approval system)
EASY Re-engineering
An AIS strategic initiative to improve the management of business processes by replacing the current EASY forms and approval paths with Web-based forms and streamlined role management.
eCommerce
Central site for Penn State's eCommerce initiatives.
eCommerce API
Enables processing of credit card payments for goods and services on your Web site or application.
eDocument Distribution System (eDDS)
Enables you to bring mainframe report output to your desktop workstation.
Electronic Integrated Student Information System (eISIS)
Provides Penn State faculty and staff with a Web site for applications using a Web interface. These applications contain data on students who are currently taking, or have previously taken, courses at any of the campuses. Applications from all student administrative areas may be invoked through eISIS, including Alpha Student Lookup, and Schreyer Scholars Data.
eLion
A Web-based, interactive application providing information to students, including the enrollment status of prospective, current, and former students. eLion also provides advisors and faculty with information to successfully fulfill program needs. eLion is a cooperative effort between many key University departments.
Enterprise Information Systems (EIS)
EIS provides a summary level of data subsets contained in system models for easy viewing and reporting.
ePay
A Web-based card swipe service that can be used to replace older credit card terminals.
ePay Credit Card Swipe
An optional service available to users of ePay for processing credit card transactions via an electronic "swipe." The swipe service is for departments that have a need to process "card present" credit card transactions.
eSteward
A service that provides authorized Penn State faculty and staff with a Web site tool that brings together necessary data for the effective management and stewardship of our donors' gifts and the scholarship, faculty, and program endowments/accounts that the gifts support.
eStore Hosting
A service providing the basic tools and support needed to build, manage, and deploy an eCommerce store.
Executive Information System
A concise set of customized, high-level, generally graphical views of the organization's information, enabling executive-level management to see the overall health of their business.
Extract, Transform and Load (ETL)
Technology components and processes that deal with the processing and movement of operational data to prepare it for storage in Data Warehouse and Data Mart type repositories or to share it with other analytical applications and systems.

Back to Top

F

Financial Information Tool (FIT)
FIT is a tool for budget administrators to perform account management and business functions with IBIS financial data. FIT can be used to retrieve balances, manage research grants, and contracts.
Flow
The movement of a form through the lifecycle of a process.

Back to Top

G

Generalized Interface (GI)
This interface enables information exchange between dissimilar systems, such as the AIS Databases (Mainframe) and departmental applications.

Back to Top

H

HostExplorer
A software product from Hummingbird Software that allows users to transfer files with the AIS mainframe computer.

Back to Top

I

iBusiness Process Management (iBPM)
iBusiness Process Management (software); the Fujitsu workflow engine.
Information Technology Services (ITS)
ITS ensures that faculty, students, and staff have the information technology tools and infrastructure necessary to carry out the University's mission. ITS consists of seven operating units - Administrative Information Services (AIS), Consulting and Support Services (CSS), Digital Library Technologies (DLT), Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure (RCC), Security Operations and Services (SOS), Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT), and Telecommunications and Networking Services (TNS). For more information on ITS, please visit the ITS Web site.
Integrated Business Information Systems - CCOM (IBIS)
IBIS is cmposed of many different applications and systems that provide financial and human resource information to administrative users: Budgeting, Human Resources, Financial, Electronic Approvals, Facilities, Payroll, Property Inventory, Vendors and Purchasing.
Integrated Student Information System - ACOM & BCOM (ISIS)
Online application providing access to student information. Users whose IDs begin with A-J will use ACOM and users whose IDs begin with K-Z will use BCOM. Both ACOM and BCOM offer the same capabilities.
IP (Internet Protocol) Address
The unique logical address assigned to a computer on the network. An IP (Internet Protocol) address looks like this: 128.118.230.5

Back to Top

K

KeyPlus
Data entry system.

Back to Top

L

LDAP Attribute
A characteristic of an individual that provides a definition of who they are or what they can do.
LDAP Group
A “static” set of attributes that can be applied to all members of the group.
Locked
A SecurID token becomes locked when a user makes five unsuccessful attempts in entering his/her SecurID number while logging on to the system.

Back to Top

M

Metadata
Metadata includes any information that is captured and maintained with the purpose of supporting the development, administration and usage/navigation of the Business Intelligence Environment.
Mnemonic
Groups or budgets used for security and access purposes.

Back to Top

N

Net-Pass
A multi-session manager that allows you to have multiple AIS mainframe applications active at the same time through an initial logon (i.e. both ACOM and CCOM).
Net-Pass Activity Table
Individualized menu on Net-Pass to access approved applications.

Back to Top

O

Object Oriented Programming
A programming paradigm that uses "objects" and their interactions to design applications and computer programs. Programming techniques may include features such as encapsulation, modularity, polymorphism, and inheritance. Smalltalk and Java are the object-oriented programming languages used within AIS.
OCR
Optical Character Recognition
OHR
Office of Human Resources
Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
A category of applications and technologies for collecting, managing, processing, and presenting multidimensional data for analysis and management purposes.
Open Forum
Open Forum (formerly known as POPCORN) is a series of informal, weekly meetings that serve as a forum to encourage and facilitate dialogue about work-related technologies and issues. Promoted by AIS, these meetings are open to the general Penn State community.
Open Standards Development (OSD) Team
The OSD Team was formed in late February 2005. They are a dedicated resource to the Workflow Project and consist of one manager and 6 developers.
Or/And Nodes
The Or and And nodes are typically used to split and synchronize the process flow. When an Or node is reached, the node generates events on all of its outgoing arrows, splitting the process into parallel paths. When these parallel paths reach the And node, the process will not continue until all of the required events (incoming arrows) have completed successfully.

Back to Top

P

Penn State Administrative Web Suite (PAWS)
A web application that serves as a central launch point for many administrative applications across the University as well as being an environment where new applications, such as Workflow, can be created.  Visit PAWS at http://paws.psu.edu.
Penn State Information Systems Directory
An online directory of University-wide systems and data sources. This directory lists all repositories of administrative data and provides easy access to what's new, what's available, and where to go for help.
Policy
The definition of the template upon which the process is built.
Procedural Programming
Types of programming languages that break down a programming task into a collection of variables, data structures, and sub-routines. Adabas, COBOL, JCL, and Natural are examples of procedural programming languages used in AIS.
Process
A formalized view of a business process, represented as a coordinated (parallel and/or serial) set of process activities that are connected in order to achieve a common goal.
Process Design Team
Established for each Workflow process. Membership includes Process Steward, business rules experts, stakeholders, users, and Workflow application developers.
Process Steward (Owner)
The person responsible for managing the business rules associated with the process to ensure adherence to University policy. Participates on Process Design Team.
Project Management
A strategic initiative within AIS that provides professional project management services for major modifications to, or the replacement of, core enterprise-level administrative systems.
PSU ID
This number is used as the University's primary identifier; it's used for all internal processes that do not require a Social Security Number.

Back to Top

R

RedDot
Web Content Management System used by AIS. More information may be obtained at the RedDot Web site.  
Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)
RDBMS is a type of database management system (DBMS) that stores data in the form of related tables and relationships between such tables. In RDBMS, tables are collections of records, and each record in a table contains the same attributes. Records in different tables may be linked if they have the same value in one particular attribute in each table.
Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure (RCC)
A unit of Information Technology Services (ITS) that strives to meet the computing technology needs of scholars in their education and research endeavors at Penn State. For more information, please visit the Penn State's RCC Web site.
Role
Authorizations that can be applied to an individual or a group.
Role Assigner
Identifies and assigns approval roles and authority to appropriate PSU employees.
Role-based Approval
Utilizes an approval path based on roles (Dean, Budget Admin, Financial Officer, etc.) that are required by policy for the approval of financial, academic, and administrative processes.
Role Steward
Oversees and maintains central, policy-based roles and associated attributes for financial, academic, and administrative areas within their authority. Designate and authorize Role Assigners.
ROSCOE
Text editor for AdHoc programming. Limited access only.

Back to Top

S

Second Factor Authentication Token
A second form of authentication required by AIS to access centralized administrative systems, such as IBIS, ISIS, WebADIS, ADIS, ROSCOE, TESTAIS, and various eLion functions that require faculty input. This token generates a six-digit number that must be entered in addition to your user ID and password.
Security Operations and Services (SOS)
A unit of Information Technology Services (ITS) that is assigned the task of addressing Penn State's system-wide information technology security issues. SOS continually examines and implements ways to protect the Penn State community against hackers and other electronic dangers. For more information on SOS, please visit the SOS Web site.
Star Schema
A relational database schema for representing multidimensional data. A star schema is a set of tables comprised of a central fact table surrounded by de-normalized dimensions.
Structured Query Language (SQL)
The query language standardized in 1986 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and used to request information from tables in a relational database and to manipulate table structure and data.
Sub-process
A whole process within a process. Allow the hierarchical decomposition and construction of nested processes, dramatically simplifying the construction of templates. Sub-process nodes enable users to specify which data items should be passed to the sub-process and what data the sub-process is expected to return to its parent process.
Suspended/Revoked
When an AIS user ID has the maximum number of violations (5) without a successful log on. The user is given a message stating that their user ID has been suspended.

Back to Top

T

Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT)
A unit of Information Technology Services (ITS) that enhances teach and learning by helping faculty and students use technology effectively. For more information, please visit the TLT Web site.
Telecommunications and Networking Services (TNS)
A unit of Information Technology Services (ITS) that provides networking and communications infrastructure at Penn State. For more information, please visit the TNS Web site.
Template
A component of iBPM that models the real-world process flow within the computer world. The template is the component that defines the flow of the process.
TESTAIS
A practice or testing environment with access granted to all users. This software environment also provides the communications and database facilities for AIS developers to test their applications prior to migrating them into production. The records that are contained in the TESTAIS database are dummy records, in order to ensure the confidentiality of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators during the testing process.
TextPad
A file editor with enhanced edit and print capabilities. TextPad is recommended for use with Electronic Document Distribution System output.
Time Sharing Option (TSO)
Command line interface to the mainframe.

Back to Top

U

User Form
Provides the Enterprise Server-user community with an electronic means of requesting various mainframe services.
User ID
A name assigned to users of AIS services that allows them to access those systems.

Back to Top

V

Virtual Private Network (VPN)
The standard mode for communicating with AIS mainframe systems from untrusted networks. VPN provides an encrypted telnet session when connecting from home or off-campus.
Voting Activity
Used when the process has a task that is to be performed by every member of a group. Responses are recorded and tallied. The process continues when a condition on the outgoing arrows is met or when a pre-set time limit is reached.

Back to Top

W

WebAccess
Penn State’s Single Sign-On (SSO) solution for Web-based services that require authentication with a Penn State Access Account user ID and password.
WebADIS
A Web-based application providing access to Alumni Development Information Systems, including biographical data, alumni memberships, gift and pledge data, prospect tracking, and a query tool.
Web Application Turnover
A process that occurs when developing or making major revisions to a Web application that will be managed by AIS. This process will ensure the successful turnover and ongoing management of the application
WebIBIS
A Web-based application involves the conversion of the Integrated Business Information System to the Web.
Workflow
The automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information, or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules.
Workflow Application
A general term for a software program that interacts with a workflow enactment service, handling part of the processing required to support a particular activity or activities.
Worklist
A list of work items associated with a Workflow user who serves in an approval role. The worklist is displayed upon login to the Workflow system via a Web browser.

Back to Top