About TechRef

A computer terminology database


TechRef is a unique product because unlike the available technical dictionaries, it was written for "business people". The explanations are in plain English. Examples use business situations. Definitions contain what products are used for, what products they interface with, and what platforms they run on instead of a technical explanation of how they work.


TechRef is organized so you can access the information you need - from broad concepts to specific details.

  • Read Papers for explanations of concepts and systems
  • Go to Technical Shorts for explanations of common areas of confusion
  • Use Categories to drill down from systems to specific terms and products
  • Search for Definitions of terms, acronyms, products, and vendors

Search for a definition, or use Advanced Search for so much more


TechRef is the most complete resource of computer terminology available, but we all know there's no way every single technical term and product can be included. To keep our promise to answer any technical question, an included link lets you email questions to us if you can't find or need more information. We'll find the answer and get it to you (and add the information to TechRef so the next time it will be there).



TechRef contains 17 papers that discuss IT concepts and systems. Each definition in the database contains a link to the paper that provides the overview for the technology. The papers are:

            1.  IT Overview                      10.  Development Life Cycle

            2.  IT Jobs and Titles              11.  Languages and Tools

            3.  Corporate Applications     12.  Software Engineering

            4.  eApplications                    13.  Files and Databases

            5.  Artificial Intelligence          14.  Data Management Systems

            6.  Computer Systems           15.  Communications

            7.  Operating Systems           16.  Middleware and Servers

            8.  Systems Security              17.  Networking

            9.  Storage Management


Technical Shorts

These are discussions of IT topics that are especially confusing, currently hot, or just plain interesting. Most of these pieces originally appeared in TechConnections, SemCo's monthly newsletter, and date they were written is provided. New "Technical Shorts" are added when appropriate.



The definitions in TechRef are organized by categories, and you can look at an entire category to get a list of the terms and products that support that technology. There are 15 main categories. All categories follow a structure so you can drill down to detailed information. With every category and subcategory, TechRef provides a list of the terms that apply.



Over 15,000 definitions provide a wealth of information covering IT terms, acronyms, products, and vendors. The definitions thoroughly cover what's in current use, and more – they also cover both legacy products and terms and tomorrow's technology. Terms are added to the database when announced, and information on what the major vendors are currently working on is included.          

Product terms include the vendor, the category, and the appropriate paper in addition to the actual definition. The definition includes any or all of: what the product does, what it is used for, what platform(s) it runs on, what other software it interfaces with, the underlying technology, the year the product was released, and the current release or version.


Vendor terms include the vendor name, a brief description of what the vendor does, a list of vendor products included in TechRef, and a link to the vendor's website. Information on vendors no longer in business is maintained, with a reference to what happened to the vendor.


Advanced Search

Using the database is easy, and provides both simple search and advanced search capabilities. The simple search lets you search for specific terms, vendors, or words in the definitions. The advanced search allows you to:

     use quotes to create phrases for search keys;

     use Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT;

     search only within a specific vendor's products; and

     search for terms that were added or updated during a specific date range.

This allows you to find items like Microsoft's content management software (if any), or a list of products released by IBM in 2003. Build new categories this way; perhaps you need to have a list of embedded databases. You can keep on top of new additions by using the date added function and checking on what's been added to the database since the last time you looked. Set up a regular schedule to do this, and you'll quickly build your own technical knowledge base.


And, If something you need to know isn't there, a quick click gives you an email option to send us your question. You'll get an answer, most of the time within 24 hours.


Check out TechRef details, and if you want to see how TechRef works, view the demo. Or, call to request a free 30-day trial. We know you'll find this an invaluable tool.