WorkXpress Glossary

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Becoming a cloud master requires you to build a basic vocabulary of important WorkXpress and cloud computing terms. We've listed and defined many of those terms for you here.


Account, Cloud Management Portal - A group of users with full permission to use the Cloud Management Portal for a specific organization.

Action - Anything you want the computer to do for you automatically. There are two types of Actions in WorkXpress: Control and Execution. Control Actions exist to group or manipulate the flow of Execution Actions. Execution Actions create automation. Please visit WorkXpress 103 to learn more.

Action Manager - One of the five fundamental WorkXpress tools. The Action Manager allows to you view, add, and edit Actions in WorkXpress. Please study WorkXpress 305 for more information.

Application Programming Interface (API) - An interface description that allows for a dialog between an application and third-party software to enable an application builder to integrate that third-party software into the application.

Application - Any unique piece of software designed to perform a particular task or tasks.

Application lifecycle - Describes the period between a piece of software's conception and its realization as a fully functional application. In WorkXpress, there are three phases to an application's lifecycle:

  • development - When you've decided that you need an application to perform a task or set of tasks, develop that application as a project during this phase.
  • testing - This phase of the application lifecycle begins when your development application matures to the point where you're ready for your users to test it.
  • production - After you've developed and tested your application, you'll deploy it to production. This is the final phase of the application lifecycle.

Application workspace - Your workspace is, quite simply, your application with its build tools enabled. The application workspace is available only for development applications.

Automation - The practice in which a computer, not a human, performs an activity to manage a process or system.


Block Creator - One of the five fundamantal WorkXpress tools, the Block Creator allows you create new Building Blocks in your application. Please see WorkXpress 301 to learn more.

Block Editor - One of the five fundamental WorkXpress tools, the Block Editor exposes each setting of a particular Building Block for editing. Please see WorkXpress 302 to learn more.

Branch - The point in a procedure where a choice about the path the procedure should take is made.

Building Block - Often referred to simply as “Block.” In WorkXpress, there are five fundamental Building Blocks you'll use to construct your application. They are Items, Relationships, Fields, Layouts, and Actions.


Child Layout - A Layout Block nested inside another Layout Block in your application's interface. Please visit WorkXpress 102 for detailed information about Layouts.

Cloud - Traditionally, the Internet is represented in network diagrams using a cloud symbol; thus, the term cloud generally refers to the Internet or any private computing infrastructure that provides communication and control of resources on a network.

Cloud computing - A utility model for using computing resources across the Internet, cloud computing provides three distinct services: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas).

Clustering - The process of leveraging a number of computers (a cluster) to perform a single computing function. Essentially, a cluster acts as a single computer to get a job done. In WorkXpress terms, a cluster is one or many Virtual Appliances working together to serve the same application or set of applications.

Collaborator - A user, who isn't a member of your Cloud Portal account, to whom you've given permission to make changes to an application.

Context - The knowledge held by the Presentation and Logic layers of an application about that application's data layer. Context answers the question, “What am I about?” for any Layout, Field, or Action in an application. For a full discussion of Context, please visit WorkXpress 401.


Data - Individual pieces of information about a person, place, or thing.

Data layer - The part of an application that controls data. In WorkXpress, you represent and relate data using Items, Relationships, and Fields.

Database - An application, generally server-based, that allows for the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of data.

DNA - An easily portable XML file that contains descriptions of the Building Blocks for an application that may be released to your testing or production environments or imported into another application. Please see WorkXpress 202 for more information about application DNA.

Domain - Also referred to as a domain name. A domain is a human-readable, text based name for the numeric address of a networked computing resource. URLs for World Wide Web addresses are managed by DNS (Domain Name System) using a hierarchical naming convention starting with a top-level domain (.com, net, org, etc) and progressing through a series of subdomains prepended to that top level domain name that ends with a definitive name for the web-based resource you're accessing. For example, to reach this website, you pointed your browser to Your browser resolved that name using DNS by learning that our site is in the .com top level domain, it is served by a set of resources in the workxpress subdomain, and it is definitively referred to by the name, www.

Drop point - In the application workspace, a drop point refers to any valid location where a Block may be placed.


Evaluation - A conditional expression in the form of an “if-then-else” statement.

Expression - A formula that allows your application to manipulate information from its data layer.

Expression Builder - One of the five fundamental WorkXpress tools, the Expression Builder is used to visual create complex expressions that manipulate the display of data in an application's interface.


Field - One of the five fundamental WorkXpress Building Blocks, Fields exist as parts of both the data and presentation layers of an application. In the role as part of the data layer, Fields store information about Items and Relationships. As part of the presentation layer, Fields display data in your application's interface. Please study WorkXpress 101 and WorkXpress 102 to learn more about the roles of Fields in your application.

Field Type - Any of the many different kinds of Fields available in WorkXpress. Examples of Field Types include Addresses, Phone Numbers, Date and Time Fields, Item Pickers, etc. A discussion that includes Field Types may be found in WorkXpress 102.

Filter - A logical function that enables an application builder to limit the type and quantity of information displayed as the result of a query.

Five tools - The Block Creator, Block Editor, Query Builder, Expression Builder, and Action Manager are the five fundamental WorkXpress tools.

For each - An expression that loops through a set of Items and performs Actions on them.

Function - A discrete piece of an application's logic layer that performs a specfic task.


Groups(s) - A set of users to which attributes that control access to resources may be assigned.


Hypervisor - Software that manages virtual machines on a hardware resource.


IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service. One of the three distinct services provided by cloud computing, IaaS allows access to computing infrastructure - processing, storage, communication, and control resources - in the cloud. With Infrastructure as a Service, you pay for only the computing resources you use and may scale those resources as your needs change.

Interface, User - The part of your application with which your users interact. Please see WorkXpress 102 for an introduction to interface concepts.

Item - A specific person, place, or thing you'd like to track in an application. Please see WorkXpress 101 for a thorough discussion of Items.

Item Type - In order to represent people, places, and things in WorkXpress, you must define them as Item Types. An Item Type is the unique name for a single collection of people, places, or things in an application.




LAMP - Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. LAMP provides the extremely solid but flexible foundation upon which WorkXpress is built and is composed of the free and open source Linux operating system, Apache web server, MySQL relational database, and PHP development language.

Layout - One of the five fundamental WorkXpress Building Blocks, Layouts organize the presentation of Fields by your application.

Layout Type - Any of the variety of different kinds of Layouts available for use in WorkXpress. Examples of Layout Types include Field Grids, Lists, Menus, Calendars, Trees, Pages, etc. For a discussion about Layout Types, please read WorkXpress 102.

Logic - The choices made by a computer in order to perform a task.

Logic layer - An abstraction that refers to the part of a WorkXpress application tasked with making choices that control and manipulate information via Actions.


Map node - Individual Items, Relationships as well as the paths between them that you may select as discrete loci for queries.

Menu - A list of shortcuts to frequently-used commands conveniently presented to a user of an application. WorkXpress frequently provides flyout menus that allow access tools and options.

Multitenancy - In WorkXpress, when multiple applications are installed onto the same Virtual Appliance or Cluster of Virtual Appliances, they are automatically assigned to share database servers, web servers and other critical components of the WorkXpress application stack. Because they are sharing these components across each application, they are considered to be multi-tenant applications.


Nested Layout - A Layout Block created inside another Layout Block. Layout nesting is the process of adding child Layouts inside parent Layouts and is the foundation for effectively displaying Fields in your interface. For a full discussion about using nested Layouts to build an interface for your application, please visit WorkXpress 102.


OVF - Open Virtualization Format. A specification for packaging and distributing virtual machines to any hypervisor that supports the standard.


PaaS - Platform as a Service. One of the three distinct services provided by cloud computing, PaaS allows access to an application development environment in the cloud.

Page - The most basic Layout Type in WorkXpress. All other Layout Types are displayed on pages.

Parent layout - A Layout Block in which other Layouts are nested.

Path - The route the logic layer of your application follows to make a decision about whether or not to perform an Action that's been requested from it.

Platform - Also known as an engine, a platform is the framework that allows a software application to run.

Portal - A web page that collects, displays, and allows a user to interact with a variety of different types of information.

Presentation layer - The face your application shows to the world; that is, its interface. For a detailed discussion of your application's presentation layer, please study WorkXpress 102.

Procedure - A series of events starting with a fixed context and processed by an application in first-come, first-served order during which Actions are performed. Please visit WorkXpress 103 for more information.


Query - A request for data from a WorkXpress application's data layer.

Query Builder - One of the five fundamental WorkXpress tools, the Query Builder provides a visual, interactive map to construct queries. Please see WorkXpress 303 to learn more about the Query Builder.


Relationship - A connection or association between Items in an application. Please study WorkXpress 101 to learn more about Relationships.

Relationship Type - To create a Relationship in WorkXpress, you must define a Relationship Type, which is the unique name that describes one specific Relationship in an application.

Release - Always performed from a development application. A release involves freezing and saving a copy of the development application in its current state. The DNA file that is created is the “release”.

Rollout - Deploying changes from a development application to a testing or production application involves two steps. First, a developer needs to “Release” a version of the development application. Second, a developer must navigate to the target testing or production application and perform an “Update” to the newer version you've chosen. Both of these steps are required to move a current version of an application from development to production.


SaaS - Software as a Service. One of the three distinct services provided by cloud computing, SaaS allows access to software applications in the cloud.

Single tenancy - An application that exists by itself as the only application in its environment. In WorkXpress, an application is considered single tenant when it has a uniquely dedicated Virtual Appliance or Cluster of Virtual Appliances assigned to it.

Schedule - A type of Control Action used by your application to tell the computer to perform another Action at a later time.


Tab - A navigation Layout Type that allows for switching between different Pages of information nested within a single parent Page.

Tarball - The compressed file output from any archiving application based on the *nix tool tar. WorkXpress releases DNA files as tarballs.

Tenant - An individual or group, defined as a single client client organization, that uses a unique software application.

Trigger - The mechanism used to communicate the need to process an automation procedure. Triggers in WorkXpress are currently available when a Block is saved or upon validation of that Block prior to saving. In the future, functionality will be added to trigger procedures when certain interface events occur.


URL - Uniform Resource Locator. Specifies the location of a computing resource and the means by which it may be retrieved. A web address, in the form is an example of an URL.

User - A single username/password combination allowed to access a secured resource. Often arranged in groups to simply permissions management.

User data - Data acquired by an application as a result of user input during the course of normal usage.


Version - Any given release of a software application. In WorkXpress, each version is a distinct DNA file and can be independently installed into an empty WorkXpress environment as an application.

Virtual appliance - The functional equivalent of a single computer server that includes its operating system and any applications served by it, except that it exists as software rather then as a physical piece of hardware.

Virtual machine - The functional equivalent of a piece of computer hardware, except that it exists as software rather than as a physical piece of hardware.


Web services - Also known as a web APIs, web services involve client-server computing over the World Wide Web. Often described by the WSDL, or Web Services Description Language. Frequently follow the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) standard.

Wizard - An interface element that simplifies a complicated task by presenting it to a user as a series of easily-accomplished steps.




Have we missed anything?

If you'd like us to include a term in our glossary, we welcome your suggestion! Please email to let us know.

glossary.txt · Last modified: 2016/09/14 14:19 (external edit)
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