Definition

Application layer

In the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communications model, the application layer provides services for an application program to ensure that effective communication with another application program in a network is possible. The application layer is not the application itself that is doing the communication. It is a service layer that provides these services:

  • Makes sure that the other party is identified and can be reached
  • If appropriate, authenticates either the message sender or receiver or both
  • Makes sure that necessary communication resources exist (for example, is there a modem in the sender's computer?)
  • Ensures agreement at both ends about error recovery procedures, data integrity, and privacy
  • Determines protocol and data syntax rules at the application level

It may be convenient to think of the application layer as the high-level set-up services for the application program or an interactive user.

This was last updated in August 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Email Alerts

Register now to receive SearchNetworking.com-related news, tips and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

More News and Tutorials

Do you have something to add to this definition? Let us know.

Send your comments to techterms@whatis.com

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: