Last update: 19 April 2016

This glossary provides terms and definitions for IBM® Bluemix®.

The following cross-references are used in this glossary:

  • See refers you from a nonpreferred term to the preferred term or from an abbreviation to the spelled-out form.
  • See also refers you to a related or contrasting term.

For other terms and definitions, see the IBM Terminology website.

For definitions of Git terms, see the official Git Manual Page.

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adoption item

A development work item that tracks when changes by one team must be adopted by another team.

agile software development

A software development methodology that focuses on collaboration and quality to produce complete product increments at regular intervals, called iterations or sprints.


A unique, publicly visible short name that is used in desktop and command-line clients, Git repository paths, and tracking and planning features. For users who have a Jazz ID, that ID is their alias.


A web or mobile device application.


An entity that is used or produced by a software or systems development process. Examples of artifacts include designs, requirements, source files, plans, scripts, simulations, models, test plans, and binary executable files. In an HTTP context, artifacts have a URI and are called resources. See also component.


See code completion.


  • To automatically retrieve and package build output, then move that output to another location for users to run or test it.
  • An automated process that retrieves and packages build output, and then moves that output to another location so that users can run or test it.



In agile development, a list of features or technical tasks that are necessary for a project or release that the development team assesses and prioritizes to assign work.


An open-standards, cloud-based platform for building, managing, and running apps of all types, such as web, mobile, big data, and smart devices. Capabilities include Java, mobile back-end development, and application monitoring, as well as features from ecosystem partners and open source—all provided as-a-service in the cloud.


A template that includes one application and its associated runtime environment and predefined services for a particular domain.


  • A stream for insulated or parallel development.
  • To create a stream for parallel or insulated development.


A tool that builds and compiles code.



See continuous delivery.

change set

A group of related changes to artifacts in a workspace or stream.


See continuous integration.


See command-line interface.

code completion

A feature of many IDEs and text editors that predictively completes content (words, phrases, tags, and so on) while the user types.

command-line interface (CLI)

A computer interface in which the input and output are text based.


  • To store a snapshot of the current state of a project.
  • A snapshot of the current state of a project in a repository. A project's history is defined by a series of commits.


In configuration management, a unit of organization for a reusable set of engineering artifacts. Components often correspond to project areas. Global configurations exist within a component. See also artifact.

continuous delivery (CD)

A software development practice that employs techniques such as continuous testing, continuous integration, and continuous deployment so that new features and fixes are packaged and deployed rapidly and at low risk to test environments and then to customers.

continuous improvement

The practice of evaluating a product, service, or process on an ongoing basis to ensure that it is efficient and effective, and making changes incrementally or all at once, as needed.

continuous integration (CI)

A software development practice where members of a team integrate their work frequently so that there are multiple integrations each day. Integrations are verified by an automated build to detect integration errors as quickly as possible.



A user interface component that provides a comprehensive summary of pertinent information from various sources to the user.


A project element that allows stakeholders to track bugs and bug fixes.


A process that retrieves the output of a build, packages the output with configuration properties, and installs the package in a pre-defined location so that it can be tested or run. See also stage.


A software methodology that integrates application development and IT operations.



An open-source initiative that provides independent software vendors (ISVs) and other tool developers with a standard platform for developing plug-compatible application development tools.


In agile development, a work item that defines a big use case with a large or unknown amount of work, which is often completed over several sprints. Epics can be divided into stories.



  • To create a project and Git repository that contain all of the repository content and history of another project.
  • In Git, a divergent copy of a repository that can be modified without affecting or having to synchronize with the original.



An open source program for source control management.



See high availability.

high availability (HA)

The ability of IT services to withstand all outages and continue providing processing capability according to some predefined service level. Covered outages include both planned events, such as maintenance and backups, and unplanned events, such as software failures, hardware failures, power failures, and disasters.



See infrastructure as a service.


See integrated development environment.


An item that prevents progress or a work item to track something that prevents progress.

infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

The delivery of a computer infrastructure, including server functionality, networking functionality, data center functionality, and storage functionality as an outsourced service.

integrated development environment (IDE)

A set of software development tools, such as source editors, compilers, and debuggers, that are accessible from a single user interface.


The software development activity in which separate software components are combined into an executable whole.


See sprint.


manifest file

A file that contains information, such as settings, instructions, or metadata, about other files or artifacts.


  • To fetch content from one branch and apply it to another branch.
  • The commit that results after bringing content from another branch into the current branch.


A set of small, independent architectural components, each with a single purpose, that communicate over a common lightweight API.


A significant event in a project or process that is used to determine progress toward goals.


open source

Pertaining to software whose source code is publicly available for use or modification. Open source software is typically developed as a public collaboration and made freely available, although its use and redistribution might be subject to licensing restrictions. Linux is a well known example of open source software.



See platform as a service.


A repeatable build and deployment service that divides software delivery into stages. Pipelines support continuous delivery and continuous integration, including automated testing.

platform as a service (PaaS)

The delivery of a computing platform, including applications, optimized middleware, development tools, and Java and Web 2.0 runtime environments, in a cloud-based environment.


In software and systems development, a rank assigned to requirements or work items to determine the order in which they are worked on.


An organized collection used to group folders or packages. Projects are used for building, version management, sharing, and organizing resources related to a single work effort.



See repository.

repository (repo)

A persistent storage area for data and other application resources.

repository workspace

A repository object that includes one or more components. Repository workspaces are typically used by individual team members to contain their changes in progress. Team members deliver their changes from their repository workspace to the stream and accept changes from other team members into their repository workspace from the stream. Every repository workspace has an owner, and only the owner can make changes in the workspace. See also workspace.


In agile development, a meeting or a work item that evaluates successes and needed improvements after a sprint.


A compilation of procedures and operations that a system administrator or operator uses as a reference for running and maintaining a computer system or network.

runtime environment

A set of resources that are used to run a program or process.



See software as a service.


See source control management.


An agile software programming method that uses small, self-organizing, cross-functional teams, and iterative, incremental practices.


A daily, informal meeting between stakeholders in an agile development project. Participants must include a scrum master, the product owner, and the team and might include the product manager and other stakeholders.


A cloud extension that provides ready-for-use functionality, such as database, messaging, and web software for running code, or application management or monitoring capabilities. Services usually do not require installation or maintenance and can be combined to create applications.


In software and systems development, a measurement of the importance for a unit of work, for example, critical, high, medium, or low.

software as a service (SaaS)

A model of software deployment whereby software including business processes, enterprise applications, and collaboration tools, are provided as a service to customers through the cloud.

source control management (SCM)

An aspect of software configuration management that involves managing changes to collections of files.


An organizational unit that contains applications and services in the Cloud Foundry infrastructure and can be used to store and track application resources.


In Scrum development, a set period of time in which work is completed. Sprints can vary in length, for example, from 1 to 4 weeks, but typically have a fixed duration within a project.


  • To deploy an application, service, or instance to a pre-defined location for running or testing before deployment to a production environment. See also deployment.
  • To mark a set of file changes as being ready for Git commit.
  • A group of jobs within a shared execution context that consists of source input, environment variables, and a defined order of execution.


A development work item that defines part of a use case or a specific contribution to the value of the overall product.

syntax checking

A feature that parses code and attempts to interpret it before compilation in order to discover syntax errors that might cause apps to not compile properly, then notifies the user.



In agile development, a work item that defines a specific piece of work.


A visual representation of a running application that provides status on a dashboard.


An area of activity in a project that typically has its own schedule, deliverables, teams, and process.


A collection of programs or tools used to develop a product.

track build item

A development work item that tracks required fixes after a failed build.



See web archive.

web archive (WAR)

A compressed file format, defined by the Java EE standard, for storing all the resources required to install and run a web application in a single file.


An HTTP custom callback that alters the behavior of a web page or web application.


In IBM DevOps Services, a browser-based IDE for web and cloud development that is built on the open source Orion platform from Eclipse.

work item

An artifact representing a generalized notion of a development task, such as a task, defect report, or enhancement request.


In Eclipse, the collection of projects and other resources that the user is currently developing in the workbench. Metadata about these resources resides in a directory on the file system; the resources might reside in the same directory. See also repository workspace.