What is ferret? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

In a computer or a network, a ferret is a program that searches through selected files, databases, or search engine indexes for information that meets specified search criteria. The term derives from the name of a small furry animal, commonly a pet, that burrows under things. On the Internet, a ferret can forward a request simultaneously to a number of search engine sites and filter the results according to user-specified or program-designed guidelines.

Ferrets can be written to search a specific group of World Wide Web search engine sites, Usenet news groups, global e-mail directories, Internet Relay Channel ( IRC ) member lists, and any public, searchable database that can be efficiently selected.

A ferret should not be confused with a crawler , a program that search engines use to gather data from many Web pages that is then indexed for search retrieval.

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

Related Terms

Definitions

  • vendor

    - A vendor is an individual or company that sells goods or services to somone else in the economic production chain. Learn about different types of vendors. (WhatIs.com)

  • public sector

    - The public sector is the segment of an economic system that is controlled by government; it contrasts with the private sector, which is run by private citizens. (WhatIs.com)

  • grid computing

    - Grid computing uses small, distributed resources from servers and PCs to solve big problems. But will this architecture survive the cloud era? (SearchDataCenter.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • 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.