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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog > Posts > SQL Terminology for SharePoint Admins
July 18
SQL Terminology for SharePoint Admins

Those of you that have had the privilege and honor of being in one of my sessions you know I spend a lot to time harping on terminology. I’ve even been known to throw things at people that use the word “site” in a non-ironic fashion. I have been described as “pedantic” a time or two. I wear that badge with pride. Smile To that end when I talk about SQL to SharePoint folks some of the terminology gets in the way. I’ve decided to blog a quick and handy “Todd’s guide to SQL Terminology” so that everyone is on the same sheet of music. Here it is:


Server Physical box. Something you can kick. Also often used in place of Instance.
Instance SQL process on a server. Has its own settings, databases and security. A server can have many Instances. The default instance is the server’s machine name, the rest are called “named instances” and look like servername\instancename

An MDF file and zero or more NDF files. Where the data is actually stored.

Transaction Log

An LDF file. Used to store transactions before they’re written to a database


MDF, NDF or LDF files that store information.

Filegroup A file or group of files that store a partition of a database.

SQL security boundary. Roles have permissions, users and logins go into Roles to get permissions.

I’m sure some SQL folks will have “constructive criticism” about my list. I welcome it. But keep in mind the audience. My audience is SharePoint admins that are afraid of SQL. Smile



Nik Patel

Good try Todd.. I would suggest you stick with SharePoint.. LOL. ;)
 on 7/18/2011 8:11 PM

Re: SQL Terminology for SharePoint Admins

I like your Definition of "Server": "Physical box. Something you can kick." :)
 on 10/28/2013 9:47 AM

Database Snap Files

I recently took over an Admin for three portals and have one database with an associated SNAP File.

My basic question is why was the file created and is it safe to delete it?


 on 10/28/2013 12:21 PM

Re: Database Snap Files

Hi John,
I would assume those .SNAP files where created by someone making database snapshots. If the database in question doesn't show any Snapshots in Management Studio then it's probably safe to delete them. Do some research though, don't take my word for it. I'm just some crazy guy on the Internet.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 10/28/2013 7:20 PM

Comments from SQL folks

Wouldn't "SQL folks" be too embarrassed to admit they read this?
 on 2/4/2014 9:13 AM

Re: SQL Terminology for SharePoint Admins

I like your definition
 on 10/14/2014 12:21 AM

Re: SQL Terminology for SharePoint Admins

Thanks. I had to make it easy enough for SharePoint Admins to understand. That's no easy feat. :)
Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 10/14/2014 10:36 AM

Re: SQL Terminology for SharePoint Admins

Hiya Todd- 

For Server, I think you need to add: 'Now often virtual, and you only wish you could kick it.'
 on 10/25/2015 12:02 PM

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