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What is the word for an applied template?

I am looking for a word to describe that which is created from a template.

I am writing software which is used for testing. I created an object which can be used as a template for actual tests. These 'implementations' (as I have called them) just pass a few parameters to the template and the template is executed. It is important to recognise an implementation as such and to be able to refer back to the template as this is where the actual actions are performed.

I am not happy with the word 'implementation' as I find it too general. Is there a better word I could use? Bear in mind that the end user has to create (implement?) the template itself before template-implementations can be created. It gets a bit confusing. I had thought of 'wrapper' but this doesn't fit well with 'template' - perhaps 'template' is the wrong term ;-)

CLARIFICATION I need a term which the end-users will understand (i.e. non-IT people).

P.S. I am aware of this question What is the word for an applied template?. The fact that I'm asking virtually the same question shows that the question should not have been closed!

  • 2
    In software especially- a template is instantiated and the result is an instantiation. It is also sometimes called an instance of the template.
    – Jim
    Nov 16, 2012 at 6:28
  • @Jim - thanks. In my code I would use those terms but I need a word which 'normal' people will understand ;-)
    – paul
    Nov 16, 2012 at 6:32
  • My advice is to educate your reader and then use the correct term. Template instance seems like reasonable wording for normal people.
    – Jim
    Nov 16, 2012 at 6:36
  • 'Instance' works, although it tends to have a more specific meaning ie. an object created according to a class definition. 'Copy' is a more general word eg. in biology where a DNA template results in 'copies'.
    – Pete855217
    Nov 16, 2012 at 6:37
  • 1
    What about 'derivative'? Wikipedia: "a modification of an original work"
    – paul
    Nov 16, 2012 at 6:57

4 Answers 4


A template is used to create a final product. The name of that final product will vary according to what it is. A carpenter might use a template to produce a moulding. Some very well-known office software uses templates to produce documents, spreadsheets and presentations; this is the usage that most non-IT-savvy people will be reasonably familiar with.

There’s nothing wrong with using the simplest, most direct expressions.

It appears that what is happening is that your users put together or assemble the template (from, say, widgets) and then use that template to create a test script.


Perhaps something as simple as "copy"?


Why not just call one "the first template" or "the setup template" and the other "the second template." That would seem to take a lot less brain power to parse, for non-geeks, than talking about objects and implementations.


A Prototype can be seen as an "applied template". Many people will know the word 'prototypical'.

The Ruby community has some board use of the term for these things being "Fabrications" (based on this gem). Maybe a 'fabricator' for the common audience.

In OOP, a "Factory" is a common pattern-object, that creates other objects in its nature. A 'factory' is also a word that can be used with broad audiences, since most-everyone will know something about factories.

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