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

In computers, transparent means something a little different than its general meaning of having the quality of being easily seen through , coming closer to meaning invisible or undetectable . Computer programs and procedures that are said to be transparent are typically those that the user is - or could be - unaware of. Transparency is considered to be especially desirable in situations where users that are not particularly technically inclined would tend to be confused by seeing or having to interact directly with programming components. The domain name system  (DNS), for example, operates in a transparent manner, resolving authorized domain names into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, all without the user's knowledge. Transparent is also used to refer to a change or upgrade of hardware or software that is undetectable in subsequent uses of the system.

A secondary meaning of transparent refers to complete predictability, as, for example, in a transparent computer system or program, output is entirely predictable from knowing the input.

This was last updated in June 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • photonics

    - Photonics is an area of study that involves the use of radiant energy (such as light), whose fundamental element is the photon. (WhatIs.com)

  • laser

    - A laser is a coherent and focused beam of photons; coherent, in this context, means that it is all one wavelength, unlike ordinary light which showers on us in many wavelengths. The acronym laser s... (WhatIs.com)

  • cyberextortion

    - Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of attack against an enterprise, coupled with a demand for money to avert or stop the attack. (SearchSecurity.com)


  • 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



    Contribute to the conversation

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