I have a program for managing products and intermediate artifacts stored in a human concrete building somewhere. The program is not only manage the artifacts existed, but also the resource planning for non-existed artifacts. So, what should I call this program, an inventory manager, or a repository manager, or warehouse manager, or something else?

Personally, I feel that inventory is not intuitive, it's prefixed with invent-, however, there are also purchased artifacts which are not invented by ourselves in the repository. Though, most people/documents call this piece of program as inventory manager.

  • What do you mean by a 'non-existed artifact'? Do you mean a virtual asset like a computer program, something which is purely imaginary, a product which is being designed but not yet produced or something else. The term 'non-existed artifact' is meaningless in English I'm afraid even if it is a literal translation of a term in another language.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 12:09

3 Answers 3


A repository is a specific location where something is stored. A warehouse is a specific type of repository. An inventory is a list of stored objects. In other words, a repository is a concrete location (although nowadays, it's most commonly referred to in a programming context), a warehouse is also a concrete location (actually, a building), and an inventory is a more abstract idea.

When you're talking about a program that will list owned assets, you will want to go with the term inventory manager, because it's not a physical location.

  • 1
    Then, how about asset manager v. inventory manager?
    – Lenik
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 4:16
  • 1
    @Ray Asset manager works in this situation.
    – waiwai933
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 4:18
  • A repository doesn't need to be physical; it only needs to store something (as opposed to an inventory, which only lists what's stored). For exampele, a repository of software packages is a virtual, digital, non-physical thing, and it's still a repository because it stores stuff.
    – CesarGon
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 7:16
  • Is a backpack considered a repository?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 0:08

A warehouse manager is more likely to be interpreted as the person in charge of running a warehouse.

A repository manager makes me think of a code repository, such as you might have in Subversion or Mercurial or some other source control system. The manager of a repository, whether human or heuristic, would have the job of dealing with that system.

An inventory manager makes me think of something that manages an inventory of products, which may, for example, be stored in a human concrete building somewhere. Therefore, I would go with that one.


I agree. Inventory Manager fits the context. As a native English speaker, I do not automatically associate "inventory" with "invent" so there is no possible misunderstanding there :)

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