Technical Glossary

I’ve been reading quite a few books and blogs as part of the preparation for the SQL Server 2012 exams and thought it’d be a good idea to keep some sort of glossary of terms and acronyms I come across. They will mostly be SQL Server related and a few SSDT and MSBuild but I might slip a few others in if I think they are helpful to me.

Last updated: 07/10/2013

API Application Programming Interface.

BOL Books Online. The online document provided by Microsoft. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms130214.aspx

Catalog Views a general interface to the persisted system metadata. Introduced in SQL Server 2005 to replace direct use of the system base tables. An example is sys.objects.

Compatibility Views introduced in SQL Server 2005 to allow backward compatibility for the SQL Server 2000 system tables such as dbo.sysobjects. They are deprecated and will be removed in a future version of SQL Server.

DAC (SQL Server) the Dedicated Administrator Console.

DMO Dynamic Management Objects. Sometimes just referred to as DMVs and the vast majority of the objects are views with the minority being functions. They return data not only from some system tables but also from internal information gathered by SQL Server during the running of the service.

DMV Dynamic Management Views. A subset of all the views from the DMO.

Edition (of SQL Server), e.g. Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition etc.

Protocol Layer one of the four main components of the SQL Server Engine (the others being the relational engine, the storage engine and the SQLOS) the protocol layer acts as an interface between the client and the relational engine. It translates requests from the client so the relational engine can process them and then translates the results back to the client.

Query Processor see Relational Engine.

Relational Engine (also known as the query processor) one of the four components of the SQL Server Engine (the others being the protocol layers, the storage engine and the SQLOS). The relational engine receives batches of T-SQL from the client and processes them. This process includes parse the code, binding to objects, optimisation and plan caching. If any data is needed the relational engine requests this from the storage engine.

SNI SQL Server Network Interface. Whenever a request is made to SQL Server that request is formatted in a TDS Packet. The SNI receives the TDS Packet and wraps it inside one of protocols used by SQL Server, such as Named Pipes or TCP/IP.

SQLOS one of the four components of the SQL Server Engine (the others being the protocol layer, the relational engine and the storage engine) the SQLOS layer handles everything that you would consider part of the operating system such as memory management.

Storage Engine one of the four components of the SQL Server Engine (the others being the protocol layer, the relational engine and the SQLOS) the storage engine receives requests from the relational engine for data through transaction based commands and bulk operations.

System base tables a set of tables maintained by SQL Server that store info about everything in SQL Server including objects, constraints, configuration settings, resources available etc. An example system base table is sys.objects.

TDS Packet Tabular Data Stream Packet. When an application sends a request to SQL Server the protocol layer formats the request into a tabular data stream packet. The SQL Server Network Interface on the client and the server wraps the TDS packet inside one of the protocols used by SQL Server, such as Named Pipes or TCP/IP.

T-SQL Transact-SQL. The dialect of the standard SQL language used by SQL Server. The code used to interact with SQL Server.

Version (of SQL Server), e.g. version 8 is 2000, version 9 is 2005, version 10 is 2008, version 10.5 is 2008 R2 and version 11 is 2012.

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