A Brief Glossary
The following provides brief explanations of terms used on our web site.
- The person responsible for MainBoss at a particular site.
The administrator controls who can use MainBoss.
The administrator also performs operations like backing up
- Any significant piece of equipment or space in your organization:
what maintenance departments maintain.
- Making a copy of your data so that it doesn't get lost if something
bad happens (e.g. the power goes out in the middle of a big operation,
leaving your database messed up).
You might store the copied data on a different computer (to protect
your data in case the original computer has hardware problems) or even move
the copy out of the building (to protect your data in case of a fire
or some other major disaster).
- Charge backs
- Charging some or all of the expenses of a job to a third-party
(e.g. charging a tenant for work done in the tenant's space)
- Computerized Maintenance Management Software (or System)
- Corrective maintenance
- Maintenance work intended to correct an existing problem (as
opposed to preventive maintenance which is intended to prevent
- Cost center
- A term used in MainBoss when allocating maintenance costs.
Cost centers are parts of your organization that can be held
responsible for such costs.
For example, one organization might allocate costs on a department-by-department
basis, in which case each department is a cost center.
Another organization might consider each building a separate cost
center, or each production line, or each project.
- Data conversion
- For the purposes of our web site, data conversion means
converting data from some other CMMS package into a form that can be
used with MainBoss.
This is often necessary if you switch from some other CMMS to MainBoss.
- Demand maintenance
- Maintenance done on demand, i.e. in response to a specific request
(as opposed to preventive maintenance, which is done according to a
schedule rather than in response to immediate need)
- Copying information to your computer from some other computer (e.g.
downloading trial software from this site to your own computer)
- Time when equipment is not available for use (e.g. because it's
broken or being repaired)
- Equipment specifications
- Information that might be useful when servicing a piece of equipment.
For example, this might include horsepower, voltage, amperage, size,
weight, type of oil needed for lubrication, and anything else that
might help someone who's working on the equipment.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- An attempt to integrate all of the computer applications used by an
organization, so that (for example) the maintenance software exchanges
information with the accounting software which exchanges information with
the inventory software which exchanges information with manufacturing
- Spreadsheet program from Microsoft
- Facilities Asset Management System
- Facilities Maintenance Management System
- Information printed on paper (as opposed to displayed on a computer screen)
- Heat, ventilation, air-conditioning
- The set-up required before you can start using a CMMS in day-to-day operations.
In MainBoss, for example, you need to type in a list of the equipment and
places your department maintains
- The maintenance department's supply of materials including spare parts,
tools, lubricants, and anything else needed on the job
- ISO 9000
- Used as a blanket term for a family of standards from the International
Standards Organization (ISO 9001, ISO 9002, etc.).
These standards attempt to ensure a reliable level of quality in the products
and services your organization offers.
The key is a set of procedures by which you document all aspects of your
operations (including maintenance activities).
- Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- The company that provides your connection to the Internet.
- Information technology.
Many companies have IT departments that supervise all computer usage
in the company.
- Local Area Network (LAN)
- A combination of hardware and software
that allows a group of computers to exchange information.
"Local" means the computers are physically close to each other (for
example, all in the same building).
- Manufacturer's specs
- Recommendations from the manufacturer for how equipment
should be maintained.
For example, the specs might say how often preventive maintenance should
be performed and what should be done in such PM jobs.
- Mean Time Between Failures (average length of
time a piece of equipment stays up and running)
- Mean Time Between Repairs (average length of
time a piece of equipment can go before repairs are needed—either
scheduled or unscheduled repairs)
- Used to measure quantities of information stored in a computer.
Roughly equivalent to a million letters or digits.
- Microsoft Access
- Software from Microsoft for storing and retrieving data in files.
- Occasional newsletters offering MainBoss news and tips.
Newsletters appear online here.
- Online Help
- Helpful information stored on a computer (as opposed to
in printed manuals)
- Personal digital assistant.
Typically a small computer such as a Palm Pilot,
a Tablet PC, an iPhone, or a BlackBerry.
- Portable document format.
A way of storing documents on a computer, designed
to make it easy for users to share documents with each other.
- PM Task
- Preventive maintenance task.
Typically a check-list or step-by-step instructions on what
should be done during a preventive maintenance job.
- POP3 Protocol
- A way of retrieving email from an email account.
It is used by MainBoss @Requests in MainBoss
Basic or MainBoss Service in MainBoss Advanced.
For further information, see
POP3 and @Requests.
- Preventive maintenance
- Inspection, lubrication, regular part replacement, or any other
scheduled maintenance intended to prevent unscheduled problems;
also called Preventative maintenance
- Taking action before something happens:
anticipating possibilities and getting ahead of the game.
In maintenance, it means an emphasis on preventive maintenance
instead of corrective.
- Taking action after something happens: playing catch-up.
In maintenance, it means you spend all your time on corrective
maintenance rather than preventive.
- Anyone who submits a work request (see below)
to the maintenance department
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
- U.S. federal law passed in 2002 with the intention of holding
corporations more responsible for their actions, particularly in
their obligations to shareholders.
SOX requires the keeping of accurate records on all aspects of
business, including maintenance operations.
- Schematic drawings
- Diagrams intended to help with the maintenance and repair
of equipment (e.g. pictures that show where everything is inside
- Service contract
- A contract with an outside company whereby that company
agrees to provide some type of maintenance for you.
For example, you might have a service contract with a garage
to provide regular oil changes for your company vehicles.
- A computerized walkthrough describing features of our software; click
here to download
- Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
A technique for sending email to other users.
SMTP is used by most email software—you use your email package
and your email package uses SMTP.
- Standard Query Language.
A standard format for obtaining information from a database.
- A piece of equipment or a place where you perform maintenance.
- Unplanned downtime
- Interruption of service caused by equipment breakdown (as opposed
to planned downtime where equipment is shut down for scheduled maintenance)
- Length of time that equipment remains up and running (continuously
available for use)
- Any person or organization that provides you with goods or services.
This includes, for example, companies that sell you equipment or materials,
and outside contractors who perform specialized maintenance for you.
- Wide area network (WAN)
- Similar to LAN, but allows the computers to be
farther apart (e.g. all the computers are on a university campus as
opposed to all the computers being in a single building)
- Work order
- A description of a maintenance job.
Typically, work orders are prepared by a maintenance manager.
The manager schedules the work, assigns personnel to the job,
reserves materials (if necessary), and writes up whatever
instructions are appropriate.
The work order is then printed off and given to the workers
who are expected to do the job.
After the work is finished, the work order is closed.
The closing process records the actual time that the job took,
the materials actually used, and so on.
- Work request
- A request for maintenance work.
Often, work requests are submitted by non-maintenance personnel,
providing initial information about a problem.
Maintenance personnel often create work orders
in response to work requests.
- Zip file
- A single file that contains data obtained from many other files.
The contents of a Zip file are compressed; usually a Zip file takes up
much less memory space than the collection of original files.
Zip files are used for MainBoss back-ups and for
transmitting data to MainBoss Support.