This contribution focuses on the objectives of microsystems technology (MST). The reason for this is two fold. First of all, it should explain what MST actually is. This question is often posed and a simple answer is lacking, as a consequence of the diversity of subjects that are perceived as MST. The second reason is that a map of the somewhat chaotic field of MST is needed to identify sub-territories, for which standardization in terms of system modules and interconnections is feasible. To define the objectives a pragmatic approach has been followed. From the literature a selection of topics has been chosen and collected that are perceived as belonging to the field of MST by a large community of workers in the field (more than 250 references). In this way an overview has been created with `applications' and `generic issues' as the main characteristics.