portability


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Related to portability: Number portability

portability

[‚pȯrd·ə′bil·əd·ē]
(computer science)
Property of a computer program that is sufficiently flexible to be easily transferred to run on a computer of a type different from the one for which it was designed.

portability

(operating system, programming)
The ease with which a piece of software (or file format) can be "ported", i.e. made to run on a new platform and/or compile with a new compiler.

The most important factor is the language in which the software is written and the most portable language is almost certainly C (though see Vaxocentrism for counterexamples). This is true in the sense that C compilers are available for most systems and are often the first compiler provided for a new system. This has led several compiler writers to compile other languages to C code in order to benefit from its portability (as well as the quality of compilers available for it).

The least portable type of language is obviously assembly code since it is specific to one particular (family of) processor(s). It may be possible to translate mechanically from one assembly code (or even machine code) into another but this is not really portability. At the other end of the scale would come interpreted or semi-compiled languages such as LISP or Java which rely on the availability of a portable interpreter or virtual machine written in a lower level language (often C for the reasons outlined above).

The act or result of porting a program is called a "port". E.g. "I've nearly finished the Pentium port of my big bang simulation."

Portability is also an attribute of file formats and depends on their adherence to standards (e.g. ISO 8859) or the availability of the relevant "viewing" software for different platforms (e.g. PDF).
References in periodicals archive ?
amp; BARCELONA, Spain -- Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC), a leading developer of high-performance network applications for next-generation fixed, mobile and packet networks, today announced that its EAGLE[R] 5 Integrated Signaling System (ISS) capabilities, triggerless ISUP-based number portability (TINP) solution and INAP-based number portability (INP) solution will enable operator Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Limited (PTCL) to implement inter-carrier mobile number portability.
PortExchange(TM) provides a scalable software solution, integrated or stand-alone, for conducting the inter-carrier communications required to support wireless number portability.
The genesis for the Intrepid X came from customers who had already invested in virtualized storage and wanted to leverage their SANs for more than just data storage to gain increased speed, portability, manageability, and disaster recovery of the Linux operating system itself.
As the leader in next generation signaling, Nortel Networks has teamed with DSET Corporation - an expert in number portability (NP) and OSS Interconnect Gateways solutions.
At the core of the Syniverse-provided solution is the global market-leading Telcordia[R] Service Management Gateway for Wireless Number Portability, which will enable number portability for Centennial in the Midwest and Southeast United States, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.
DSET's extensive experience in developing and deploying LSMS and Local Service Order Administration (LSOA) solutions enables Nortel Networks to meet the needs of a broad range of service providers -- national and international, wireline and wireless -- for number portability and other network solutions.
SafeBook offers the ideal combination of data access, portability and security for all types of healthcare organizations.
The Telecommunications Act requires incumbent local telephone companies, such as BellSouth, to implement number portability in the nation's 100 largest local metropolitan areas by the end of 1998.
RDX QuikStor is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that need faster access speeds and drag-and-drop convenience, coupled with the added security of portability, allowing data to be easily secured when not in use," said Kelly Beavers, Vice President, Product Marketing at Exabyte.
Local number portability allows customers to keep their existing telephone numbers if they switch local service providers, removing a major obstacle for competition in local phone markets.
SafeBook has all the features of a thin client terminal along with the portability and convenience of a notebook computer.
Maryland Carrier Acquisition Company, a limited liability company comprised of certified local telephone service providers in the state, was formed by members of the Maryland Local Number Portability Consortium.