Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to portability: Number portability


(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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(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).
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

cloud portability

The degree of compatibility and ease of moving applications and data from one cloud computing provider to another. See cloud computing.

data portability

Being able to move data from one database or repository to another. It implies that the data are in electronic files that are readily accessible rather than only visually on screen. Otherwise, the data must be retyped word for word into another application and on-screen images must be captured one at a time. Walled gardens prevent data from being easily transferred. See walled garden. Contrast with software portability.


Movable; transferable. An electronic device that is easily transported. It may refer to a pocket-sized handheld device or to a laptop that weighs several pounds. See also data portability and software portability.

software portability

Being able to move software from one machine platform to another. It refers to system software or application software that can be recompiled for a different platform or to software that is available for two or more different platforms. See portable application. Contrast with data portability.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
That's why, today, we're publishing a white paper that sets forth five questions about data portability and privacy that we hope will help advance a global conversation about what it means to build privacy-protective data portability.
The senator said, 'It would have been a major win for consumers had there been less grounds to reject applications for mobile number portability. After all, we want to encourage consumers to avail this service, especially when they feel they are not getting the service they deserve from their respective networks.'
Under the guidelines released by the NTC, a subscriber who intends to avail of the mobile number portability service shall first request from the donor provider or the mobile service provider to whose network the mobile number belongs at the time the subscriber submits a porting application a nine-digit unique subscriber code (USC) valid for 15 days.
Its expertise extends beyond number portability to fraud and revenue assurance, network asset management, MVNE platform solutions, and services incorporating agile methodologies and innovative business models.
The new extension is permanent but applies only to estates of decedents who died after 2010, survived by a spouse, that are otherwise not required to file an estate tax return, except to make the portability election.
The executor is not required to file an estate tax return, based on the value of the gross estate and adjusted taxable gifts--without regard to the need to file for portability purposes;
Portability simply allows a surviving spouse to make use of both his or her individual federal estate tax exemption and the exemption granted to a first-to-die spouse.
Amersfoort, Netherlands, November 12, 2016 --(PR.com)-- BroadForward, a GSMA Best Mobile Technology award nominee for three years running, announces its latest innovative offering - the launch and deployment of its BFX Interface Gateway to deliver a single, unified access point for number portability in the network.
Despite the ongoing progress, there is still a stubborn perception in the retirement planning marketplace that "portability is an obstacle to offering lifetime income products, due to both its importance and the widely held view that portability options do not exist or are not feasible," the IRIC observes.
Questions about the portability of in-plan guaranteed income products have dissuaded some sponsors from offering annuities in 401(k) investment menus, even as regulators and retirement advocates continue to lobby for wider adoption in workplace plans.
25 -- Pan-India Mobile Number Portability (MNP) will finally be reality this year.