Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » S »

standard


A definition or format that has been approved by a recognized standards organization or is accepted as a de facto standard by the industry. Standards exist for programming languages, operating systems, data formats, communications protocols, and electrical interfaces.

From a user's standpoint, standards are extremely important in the computer industry because they allow the combination of products from different manufacturers to create a customized system. Without standards, only hardware and software from the same company could be used together. In addition, standard user interfaces can make it much easier to learn how to use new applications.

Most official computer standards are set by one of the following organizations:

  • ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
    • ITU (International Telecommunication Union)
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers)
    • ISO (International Standards Organization)
  • VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association)
  • IEEE sets standards for most types of electrical interfaces. Its most famous standard is probably RS-232C, which defines an interface for serial communication. This is the interface used by most modems, and a number of other devices, including display screens and mice. IEEE is also responsible for designing floating-point data formats.

    While IEEE is generally concerned with hardware, ANSI is primarily concerned with software. ANSI has defined standards for a number of programming languages, including C, COBOL, and FORTRAN.

    ITU defines international standards, particularly communications protocols. It has defined a number of standards, including V.22, V.32, V.34 and V.42, that specify protocols for transmitting data over telephone lines.

    In addition to standards approved by organizations, there are also de facto standards. These are formats that have become standard simply because a large number of companies have agreed to use them. They have not been formally approved as standards, but they are standards nonetheless. PostScript is a good example of a de facto standard.







    TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    DID YOU KNOW?
    Keeping Data Secure Is Tougher than Ever

    If hackers get their hands on your company's data, they can wreak havoc on customer relationships and cause tremendous damage to your brand and... Read More »

    Windows XP: Move Along, There's Nothing to See Here

    After more than 12 years of holding the title of most popular operating system in the world, Windows XP is taking center stage for its final... Read More »

    Report: The Role of Big Data in the Marketing Industry

    According to a new study from Infogroup Targeting Solutions, we can expect to see companies spend heavily on big data marketing initiatives in... Read More »

    QUICK REFERENCE
    How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

    Creating desktop shortcuts to a websites is useful. When you double-click the icon from your desktop it automatically launches the browser and... Read More »

    Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

    Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »

    15 Important Big Data Facts for IT Professionals

    Keeping track of big data trends, research and statistics gives IT professionals  a solid foundation to plan big data projects. Here are 15... Read More »