Terms and Definitions

Knowledge is Power

Just like any other industry, accounting systems and CRM practitioners speak in a nomenclature all their own. The purpose of this page is to provide clear, simple definitions to common accounting software, technical, and cloud terms.

Accounting Information System

An Accounting Information System (AIS) is a system of collection, storage and processing of financial and accounting data that is used by decision makers. An accounting information system is generally a computer-based method for tracking accounting activity in conjunction with information technology resources. The resulting statistical reports can be used internally by management or externally by other interested parties including investors, creditors and tax authorities. An example of an Accounting Information System is Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Classic App

Classic App is a tool that allows users of Remote Desktop Services to access individual applications on a server. Applications delivered by Classic App look and feel like applications installed directly on the local computer, despite being executed on a server that may be across the internet.


The term Cloud comes from an image that has been used by network engineers for decades. It was first used to show telecommunications infrastructure. When a telephone call is made, the call is routed through a number of networks, and the engineer could not directly identify where the call went, so they drew a cloud. Later, when T1 lines became available, the engineers used the image of a cloud to indicate that the infrastructure supporting the T1 was unknown. Finally, the cloud was used to indicate data moving through the Internet.

Cloud Broker

A Cloud Broker is a third-party business that acts as an intermediary between the purchaser of a cloud computing service and the vendor of that service. Cloud Brokers navigate the myriad of Cloud vendors and recommend the best solution for the end user. Cloud Brokers may also provision, customize, and integrate the cloud computing platforms for the end user.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand (by the minute, by the hour, or by the month); it is elastic -- a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access).

CRM System

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System is computer software with a large database populated with customer-related information. Its primary purpose is to organize, track, and automate key aspects of an organization's sales activities. More robust systems normally facilitate similar tasks for marketing, customer service, and technical support operations. Users often attribute significant benefits to using a large-scale CRM system. Among them are increased sales productivity, better rates of closing sales, improved profitability and enhanced customer service. An example of a CRM system is Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 here.


A Dashboard is an easy to read real time user interface showing a graphical presentation of the current status and historical trends of an organization's key performance indicators ("KPIs") to enable instantaneous informed decisions at a glance.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is an Internet hosting option in which an organization leases an entire server, which is often housed in a data center. The host not only provides the server equipment, but may also provide administration and other services. This is considered a flexible arrangement, because unlike in shared server arrangements, it gives the organization total control over the server, its software and security systems. Dedicated hosting is also known as a dedicated server or managed hosting service.

Document Management System

A document management system is a program used to store and control the documents a company uses. Before the advent of computers, a document management system was simply a process of filing a company's hard copy documents, such as purchase orders, engineering changes, and schematics, in a systematic order to make retrieval easier. An example of a Document Management System is Microsoft SharePoint. Learn more about SharePoint Online here.

Dynamics GP Rich Client

The Dynamics GP Rich Client describes the traditional Dynamics GP software interface. The Rich Client gets is name from the fact that the entire Dynamics GP application has to be installed on the machine in order to work. This is in contrast to the Web Client, where nothing needs to installed on the local computer in order to run Dynamics GP.

Dynamics GP Web App

The Dynamics GP Web App is an alternative user interface to the Dynamics GP Rich Client. The web client allows a user to log into a website, enter their credentials, and start working. The web client performs similarly to any other website. The web client is built on Silverlight, so the user needs to install Silverlight on their computer for the web client to work.

ERP System

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems integrate internal and external management information across an entire organization, embracing finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, project accounting, customer relationship management, human resources, etc.  ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software application. Their purpose is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems help small, medium and large companies standardize, plan, and implement business processes.

Extended Pack

The Dynamics GP Extended Pack was introduced by Microsoft with Dynamics GP 2013. The Extended Pack includes all of the functionality of the Starter Pack plus Manufacturing, Project Accounting, Advanced Distribution, and Service Call Management. The Extended Pack can be purchased from Syvantis for a flat $9,995 for an unlimited number of users.

GP OnPremise

GP OnPremise is the branded version of Syvantis Technologies' Microsoft Dynamics GP provided on the client's owned onsite servers.

GP Private Cloud

GP Private Cloud is the version of Syvantis Technologies' Microsoft Dynamics GP offered through a private infrastructure on Microsoft's Azure cloud.


Computer hardware refers to the physical parts of a computer and related devices. Internal hardware devices include motherboards, hard drives and RAM. External hardware devices include monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, and scanners. Hardware can also refer to the computer itself.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a composition of at least one private cloud and at least one public cloud.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service ("IaaS") is a provisioning model in which an organization outsources the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. The client typically pays on a per month basis. Microsoft's Windows Azure is an example of Infrastructure as a Service.

Microsoft Exchange

Microsoft Exchange is the program that allows Outlook users to see each other's calendars, contacts, etc. Exchange also offers a number of other features that are not available from Outlook alone. Outlook is installed on each local computer, but Exchange must be installed on the server. Learn more about Microsoft Exchange here.


Multitenancy refers to a principle in software architecture where a single instance of the software runs on a server, serving multiple client-organizations (tenants). With a multitenant architecture, a software application is designed to virtually partition its data and configuration, and each client organization works with a customized virtual application instance. Multitenancy is an important feature of cloud computing.

Online Backup

Online backup, also known as cloud backup, is a strategy for backing up data that involves sending a copy of the data over a proprietary or public network to an off-site server. The server is usually hosted by a third-party service provider, who charges the backup customer a fee based on capacity, bandwidth or number of users. Online backup has become a very common method for companies to keep an additional layer of backup in addition to their local backups.

On Premise Software

On premise software is installed and run on computers on the premises (in the building) of the person or organization using the software, rather than at a remote facility, such as at a server farm or cloud somewhere on the internet. The on-premises approach to deploying and using business software was the most common until around 2005, when software running at a remote location became widely available and adopted. The new, alternative deployment and use model typically uses the Cloud, resulting in considerable cost savings because of reduced staffing, maintenance, power consumption, and other factors.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a way to rent hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity over the internet. The service delivery model allows the customer to rent virtualized servers and associated services for running existing applications or developing and testing new ones. PaaS is typically used by software developers.

Private Cloud

Private Cloud is cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally. Private Clouds are designed to appeal to an organization that needs or wants more control over their data than they can get by using a Public Cloud. Because Private Clouds don't share resources across many organizations, they are substantially more costly than Public Clouds.

Public Cloud

Public cloud is based on the standard cloud computing model, in which a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the internet. Public cloud services may be free or offered on a pay-per-usage model.

Remote Desktop Services

Remote Desktop Services ("RDS") is part of Microsoft Windows Server. It enables users to remotely access their server, including shared directories and software. Remote Desktop Services used to be called Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 and prior versions.

Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)

Results-Only Work Environment ("ROWE") is an innovative concept created by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson in the early 2000's. A Results-Only Work Environment is a management strategy where employees are evaluated on performance, not presence. In a ROWE, people focus on results and only results.

SQL Reporting Services (SRS or SSRS)

SQL Reporting Services ("SRS"), also known as SQL Server Reporting Services ("SSRS") is a server based reporting platform that enables report developers to create, manage, and deliver reports from data stored in SQL. Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM use SRS for report writing.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the internet. International Data Corp (IDC) identifies two slightly different delivery models for SaaS. In the hosted application management model, a provider hosts commercially available software for customers and delivers it over the Web. In the software on demand model, the provider gives customers network-based access to a single copy of an application created specifically for SaaS distribution. GP Online™ is an example of Software as a Service.

Starter Pack

The Dynamics GP Starter Pack was introduced by Microsoft with Dynamics GP 2013. The Starter Pack includes most everything that a typical small business needs in an ERP system:  Financials, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources Management, and Reporting. Additional functionality can be obtained through the purchase of the Extended Pack.

Syvantis GP Online™

Syvantis GP Online™ is the branded version of Syvantis Technologies' Microsoft Dynamics GP offered through a multitenant infrastructure on Microsoft's Azure cloud. Learn more about Syvantis GP Online™.

Terminal Services

Terminal Services was part of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and prior versions. It enabled users to remotely access their server, including shared directories and software. Terminal Server is now called Remote Desktop Services.


There are two different definitions for xRM. In the first, the "x" stands for extended, as in extended relationship management. The other definition is that the "x" is a variable, and means "anything" relationship management, such as partner relationship management, constituent relationship management, employee relationship management, etc. Both of these definitions are referring to building any application on top of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.