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Stanford IT terms

The following is a glossary of Stanford-specific terms most often used in the context of Stanford technology services.

Accessible (electronic content)  
When an individual with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. (Source: 6.8.1 Accessibility of Electronic Content, Stanford Administrative Guide)

AFS (Andrew File System)  
A distributed, networked file system that enables efficient file sharing between clients and servers. 

The process of identifying yourself and the verification that you're who you say you are. Computers where restricted information is stored may require you to enter your username and password to gain access.

Axess is Stanford’s primary website for managing your course enrollment, keeping your contact information current, reviewing your university bill, and viewing financial aid information.

The learning management system (LMS) available for Stanford classes provides instructors with a platform to communicate with students, post course materials, and create online assignments.

Cardinal Key  
A digital certificate that is installed on a device and provides a user’s identity to a remote server in place of a SUNet ID and password. Cardinal Keys are installed on a per-device basis, and the same Cardinal Key provides authentication to VPN and web single sign-on.

Cardinal Print  
Stanford managed printing service for the university community. 

A program or computer that connects to and requests information from a server. Examples: Internet Explorer or Firefox. A client program also may be referred to as "client software" or "client-server software."

Computer clusters  
Public computers available to members of the Stanford community at a variety of campus locations. 

Dashlane Password Manager  
A free password manager application that stores passwords securely and offers a mechanism for logging into websites without the need to remember all of your passwords. 

Device compliance, compliance, device enrollment  
Stanford University requires that all devices (computer and mobile) that are used by faculty, staff, and students on the campus network must be verifiably encrypted. Compliant devices can access the Stanford network.  

Device registration  
The process to ensure that a device that can access Stanford data is only used by identified people. Device registration or enrollment associates a device with the person who is responsible for its data security in MyDevices (

Duo Mobile app, two-step authentication  
Two-step authentication uses two forms of authentication to verify your identity to access Stanford systems. The Duo Mobile app is one of the two-step authentication tools Stanford uses. The Duo Mobile push notification is the recommended method of two-step authentication.

Endpoint Configuration Management, BigFix  
A service to deploy patches and updates to Windows and Macintosh computers.

Essential Stanford Software (ESS)  
Software applications that help you plug into the Stanford network and securely access university computing services.

Stanford’s shared computing environment that provides Linux facilities for general and research computing to anyone with a full-service SUNet ID.

Help request, Help ticket  
A support record (usually in ServiceNow) to either report and get help with an incident or to request a service. 

High Risk Data  
The risk category for Stanford data and systems that meet these qualifications:

  1. Protection of the data is required by law/regulation,
  2. Stanford is required to self-report to the government and/or provide notice to the individual if the data is inappropriately accessed, or
  3. The loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the data or system could have a significant adverse impact on our mission, safety, finances, or reputation.

Mobile device management software for Apple (macOS and iOS) devices .  

LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)  
Stanford uses OpenLDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) software to enable the searching and browsing of directory information in its central information systems, e.g., StanfordYou and Axess. 

Makerspaces, maker space  
Spaces throughout campus that facilitate “making,” design, creation, innovation, and project/research activities for students.

Mobile device management (MDM)  
Software that provides profile configurations, self-service tools, and enhanced protection on mobile devices. 

Mobile Key  
A feature on the Stanford Mobile app that allows you to use your phone as a digital key card to open doors across campus using secure, encrypted technology. 

An application that presents information about your registered devices, including whether or not the devices are verifiably encrypted and compliant. 

Office of Digital Accessibility (ODA)  
The campus entity designated to provide resources and services to the Stanford community in support of the creation, development, and procurement of accessible electronic content and services. 

PHI (Protected Health Information)  
Individually identifiable health information, or information protected by HIPAA.

Phishing email  
Phishing is a term used to describe email messages that appear to be from a trusted entity but are actually from someone attempting to trick you into divulging private information such as passwords and financial account numbers. 

Private browsing, private browser  
A privacy feature in some web browsers that turns off browsing history and web caching.  

SALLIE, Digital Asset Management (Stanford ALL-Image Exchange)  
Stanford's campus-wide system for managing and sharing digital assets (photos, videos, and other files) used for communications. 

ServiceNow, SNOW  
An enterprise ticket/record-management system that helps deliver consistent and timely service and support processes across Stanford.  

SNRT (Stanford Network Registration Tool)  
A tool used to register computers on the Stanford network.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)  
Software that is owned, delivered, and managed remotely by one or more providers. 

Stanford Device Registration app (SDR)  
An application to register devices to access the Stanford network. See also “device registration.”

Stanford Domains  
A self-service web publishing tool used to create personal digital spaces for various media, e.g., portfolios and wikis.

Stanford Mobile  
The official mobile app of Stanford University, where Stanford students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents, and friends connect to essential information on The Farm. 

Stanford Sites  
A self-service tool for building and managing websites for university work. It offers design flexibility, integration with Stanford systems, and substantial functionality through Drupal. 

Stanford Training and Registration Systems (STARS)  
A distinct module in the PeopleSoft system that delivers and tracks professional development, personal development, and compliance training for learners, managers, instructors, and administrators.

StanfordWho, Stanford Directory, Stanford People and Organization Search  
A web application that allows you to search the Stanford directory of faculty, staff, students, and sponsored affiliates at Stanford University and the Stanford hospitals. StanfordWho provides contact and organizational information.

StanfordYou, Stanford registry  
A web application that allows Stanford community members to update their contact information​ and SUNet accounts, including their password, vacation auto reply, profile, and privacy settings.

Student Technical Support (STS)  
Stanford department that provides technical support (network registration, computer problems, etc.) for graduate and undergraduate students and their personal devices. Support is available by phone, help ticket, and in-person at the Lathrop Learning Hub.

SUNet, SUNet ID (Stanford University Network Identifier)  
An account name that identifies you, uniquely and permanently, as a member of the Stanford community.

SWDE (Stanford Whole Disk Encryption)  
The service for Mac and Windows laptop computers that supports native encryption.

University IT (UIT)  
Stanford’s central information technology organization that delivers and supports hundreds of technology services across the university and hospitals.

Vanity URL  
URLs that provide a shorter and more descriptive address that is easy to remember, type, and share.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)  
A virtual private network allows you to create a secure and private connection. Stanford's remote access VPN allows you to create a private encrypted connection over the Internet between a single host and Stanford's private network, SUNet. 

WiFi, Wi-Fi, wireless access  
Wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet access. Source: Washington Technology Solutions 

Workgroup Manager  
A web application that gives the Stanford community a place to define groups of community members for use in various online applications