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Definition

native

Contributor(s): Susan M. King

In computer systems, native means "original" or "basic." Here are several usages:

1) Microsoft stresses that its Internet Information Server ( IIS ) is "a native implementation of the current Internet standards for Web servers..." Microsoft is implying that its own implementation of a Web server is likely to perform better than Netscape's (or someone else's) Web server running on a Windows NT operating system.

2) In COBOL , a native character set is the default character set that comes with the computer specified in the OBJECT-COMPUTER paragraph.

3) In IBM's Virtual Telecommunications Access Method ( VTAM ), native mode refers to its use directly in the VM operating system rather than in another operating system whose emulation is being supported by the VM operating system.

4) If a computer application program is compiled to run with a particular processor and its set of instruction s, the result can be referred to as native code . If the same program is run on a computer with a different processor, software can be provided so that the computer emulates the old processor. In this case, the same application runs in "emulation mode" and almost certainly more slowly than in native mode on the original processor. (The application can be rewritten and recompiled so that it runs on the new processor in native mode.)

This was last updated in August 2005

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