What is engine? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Programming glossary:

In computer programming, an engine is a program that performs a core or essential function for other programs. An engine can be a central or focal program in an operating system , subsystem, or application program that coordinates the overall operation of other programs. It is also used to describe a special-purpose program containing an algorithm that can sometimes be changed. The best known usage is the term search engine which uses an algorithm to search an index of topics given a search argument. A search engine is designed so that its approach to searching the index can be changed to reflect new rules for finding and prioritizing matches in the index. In artificial intelligence , the program that uses rules of logic to derive output from a knowledge base is called an inference engine .

The term connotes a comparison with mechanical engines. In 1844, Charles Babbage named his stored-program computer the Analytical Engine .

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • rapid mobile app development (RMAD)

    - Rapid mobile app development (RMAD) is the use of code-free programming tools to speed the process of creating applications for mobile platforms. (WhatIs.com)

  • deprecated

    - In dictionaries, deprecated is a term used to indicate a pronunciation or usage that is acknowledged but discouraged. (WhatIs.com)

  • security by design

    - Security by design is an approach to software and hardware development that seeks to make systems as free of vulnerabilities and impervious to attack as possible through such measures as continuous... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Programming

    - Terms related to software programming, including definitions about programming languages and words and phrases about software design, coding, testing and debugging.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.