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Definition: push technology


Transmitting data from an internal network or a cloud-based service to the user's computer or mobile device. Notifications for a wide variety of events such as stock quotes and Facebook posts are pushed in real time. In contrast, email is typically pushed when users open their mail program. Application updates may be automatically pushed when the app is opened or only when requested by the user.

Push Is Automatic - Pull Requires a Request
Contrast push with "pull" technology, in which the user initiates a request for the data each time. Retrieving a Web page is an example of the pull model.

PointCast Was the First
In the mid-1990s, PointCast was the first Internet product to become popular for pushing selected news and stock quotes into a user's computer (see PointCast). See real time, BackWeb and Active Channel.