Browse Definitions :
Definition

proprietary

Also see open and Open Source .

In information technology, proprietary describes a technology or product that is owned exclusively by a single company that carefully guards knowledge about the technology or the product's inner workings. Some proprietary products can only function properly if at all when used with other products owned by the same company. An example of a proprietary product is Adobe Acrobat , whose Portable Document Format ( PDF ) files can only be read with the Acrobat Reader. Microsoft is often held up as the best example of a company that takes the proprietary approach. It should be observed that the proprietary approach is a traditional approach. Throughout history, the knowledge of how an enterprise makes its products has usually been guarded as a valuable secret and such legal devices as the patent, trademark, and copyright were invented to protect a company's intellectual property.

A prime motivation behind development of products using proprietary technology is straightforward - buyers are compelled to use other products marketed by the same company. Microsoft is often held up as the exemplary company in terms of proprietary sophistication. Nevertheless, the strongest reason in favor of using proprietary standards leads to the strongest reason against: customers may be disinclined to buy one product that limits their choice of others. The IT world is increasingly moving toward open standardization.

Criteria for open standard products include: absence of specificity to a particular vendor, wide distribution of standards, and easy and free or low-cost accessibility. One of the best known examples of an open standard product is the Linux operating system . (There are free versions of Linux and for-cost versions. The latter come with accessability to service and updating.)

This was last updated in April 2005

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • payload (computing)

    In computing, a payload is the carrying capacity of a packet or other transmission data unit. The term has its roots in the ...

  • passphrase

    A passphrase is a string of characters longer than the usual password (which is typically from four to 16 characters long) that ...

  • Web application firewall (WAF)

    A Web application firewall (WAF) is a firewall that monitors, filters or blocks traffic to and from a Web application. WAFs are ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • computational storage

    Computational storage is defined as an architecture that couples compute with storage in order to reduce data movement. In doing ...

  • data deduplication

    Data deduplication -- often called intelligent compression or single-instance storage -- is a process that eliminates redundant ...

  • public cloud storage

    Public cloud storage, also called storage-as-a-service or online storage is a service model that provides data storage on a ...

Close