Glossary

This glossary covers common definitions of IT terms and acronyms to help you demystify IT!

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A

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Terms/Acronyms Description 
 Access Lab Student computing spaces situated on campus.  
 AV  Audio Visual

B

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Browser Short for web browser, a software application used to locate and display web pages. Examples include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.  

C

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Term/Acronym Description 
 Client A client is an application or system that accesses a remote service on another computer system, known as a server, by way of a network. For example Microsoft Outlook is an email client that communicates with servers to send and receive your mail.
 Client-server A system in which software is split between server tasks and client tasks. A client sends requests to a server, asking for information or action, and the server responds.
 CMS The Content Management System (CMS) is a software application that supports the creation, management and publishing of content on the University's website.

D

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Domain name The name of a server connected to the internet comprising the name of the host, followed by the domain, such as commercial, academic, news, etc., followed by the country of origin with the exception of the USA. 

E

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Term/Acronym Description 
Echo360 Echo360 is the lecture recording and uploading tool used at the University of Sydney. It has been installed in over 100 University venues and is designed to record lectures up to three hours long.
Exchange  Exchange, also known as Microsoft Exchange, is a collaborative software product whose main features include a mail server and email client.

F

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Firewall  A device or set of devices configured to permit or deny all computer traffic between different domains based upon a set of rules and other criteria. 
FlexSIS  The University’s student administration system, soon to be replaced by Sydney Student.

G

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Term/Acronym  Description 
GAL The Global Address List (GAL) is a university wide address book. It can be used to search for the email addresses, phone numbers, titles and locations of all staff members of the University. 

I

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Term/Acronym  Description 
ICT  Information and Communications Technology (ICT), a professional services department who provides IT services to the University.
Incident An unplanned disruption or degradation of service.
Intranet  Private computer network that can only be accessed within the University through your internal network or LAN, or from outside the University using your UniKey credentials.
IT Manager ICT account manager who is responsible for liasing with University faculty/units about IT requirements.   
ITSM  Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is the job management system used by ICT to track jobs logged through the Self Service Portal. In 2012, ITSM was replaced by a different system called TrackIt.

J

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Java A general purpose programming language, developed by Sun Microsystems. It is particularly suited for web-based applications.  

L

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Term/Acronym  Description 
LAN  A Local Area Network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area such as campus.
Lectopia  A lecture recording and streaming tool that was replaced by Echo360 in 2012.

M

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Memory  Computer data storage- computer components, devices, and recording media- that retains digital data used for computing for some interval of time. 
Multimedia  The use of different media to convey information; text together with audio, graphics and animation, often packaged on CD-ROM with links to the Internet. 

N

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Network drive  A storage device that is connected to a server and shared by multiple users.  

O

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Term/Acronym  Description 
OS  Operating System (OS) such as Microsoft Windows 7 or Apple OS X.

P

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Term/Acronym  Description 
P2P  Procure to pay, also called eProcurement: a part of PeopleSoft Financials for purchasing goods and services on behalf of the University.
PABX  Private Automatic Branch Exchange phone network.
Platform  Underlying hardware or software for a computer, for example Microsoft Windows for PC.  
Proxy  A setup that provides security, monitors usage and allows faster access to commonly viewed internet content.

R

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Response Time  The measure of time taken for the ICT Helpdesk team to start incident diagnosis or initiate actions, e.g. reply to a request or fault by contacting the customer. 

S

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Second level support  A team or group other than the Helpdesk that specialises in a specific ICT support area. 
Self Service Portal  An application where you can log and review ICT help requests online. You can update and view the status of your existing service requests or incidents.
Service request  A request for information or advice; or for the addition, modification or removal of an IT component; or for access to an IT service. 
Shared drive  See Network drive.
SLA  Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a formal agreement between an IT provider and the service recipient, outlining the services to be provided and the minimum performance levels according to which they will be delivered.  
Specialist support hours  The times or hours when second level support is available to users for a specific ICT service. 
SSL  Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a protocol for securing data communications across computer networks.  

T

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Term/Acronym  Description 
Turning Point  An audience response kit used to enhance presentation by engaging students and promoting activities. It works within PowerPoint, allowing you to make interactive slides for question and answer, feedback etc. 
TrackIt The University's ticket management system, where staff can log requests by browsing through the ICT service catalogue, and where they can submit work tasks and incidents.

U

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Term/Acronym  Description 
UniKey  Login name and password that grants you access to online services and facilities such as email and internet access. A unique UniKey is provided to each staff member and student of the University of Sydney. 
UNIX  An operating system, written in the C programming language and favoured by technical experts.  

V

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Term/Acronym  Description 
VoIP  Voice over Internet Protocol- used for internet telephony.
VPN  Virtual Private Network, a method of connecting to private networks, such as the University computer network, over a public network.

W

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Term/Acronym  Description 
WASM  Web Authentication and Session Manager, used for University web pages or online resources that require UniKey authentication.