SharePoint Glossary

Below is a list of commen SharePoint terms and acronyms.

Active Directory The Active Directory stores information about a variety of objects in the network. Importantly, user accounts, computer accounts, groups, and all related credential information used by windows and SharePoint.
Activities Activities are tracked updates related to a specific user. They are often related to the users social interaction within SharePoint (such as tagging, rating, etc).
Activity Feed A list of messages that provides updates about items of interest based on custom notification settings. This includes updates about changes to documents, the status of colleagues, social tags, and colleague profiles.
Alerts To notify users of changes to existing information or new information add an alert to track new matches to search queries, changes to content in an area (list/library, folder,and document/item),or a new site added to the Site Directory.
Anonymous Authentication/Access An authentication mode in which neither party verifies the identity of the other party.
Anonymous User A user who presents no credentials when identifying himself or herself.
Ascending Order A sort order in which text strings are arranged in alphabetical order, numerical values are arranged from smallest to largest, and dates and times are arranged from oldest to newest.
Attachment An external file that is included with an email message or associated with an item in a SharePoint list.
Audience A named group of users that is used for targeting content.
Audiences Groups of users, who meet certain criteria, created for targeted distribution of information. Users are said to be a member of an audience if they meet that audience’s membership criteria. The criteria are associated with properties found in the Active Directory.
Authentication (1) The ability of one entity to determine the identity of another entity. (2) The act of proving an identity to a server while providing key material which binds the identity to subsequent communications. (How the system knows who the user is)
BCS Business Connectivity Services – A service that empowers users (who have sufficient access rights) to pull in external data for use in SharePoint.
Collaboration Content Collaboration content is content stored in lists like calendars, task lists, and document libraries.
Column A field associated with a document library, list, or content type that is used for storing data of a specific type. An example of a column would be a field that stores a title for each document placed in a document library.
Content Type A named and uniquely identifiable collection of settings and columns that store metadata for individual items in a SharePoint list. One or more content types can be associated with a list, which restricts the contents to items of those types.  Content Types may also be associated with a document template and a workflow process.
Data Validation The process of testing the accuracy of data; a set of rules that specify the type and range of data that users can enter.
Default View The view of a list or library that is defined by the owner which appears by default to users.
Descending Order A sort order in which text is arranged in reverse alphabetical order, numerical values are arranged from largest to smallest, and dates and times are arranged from newest to oldest.
Discussions SharePoint supports collaborative discussion boards for sharing ideas and asking questions of the other users.
Distribution List A collection of users, computers, contacts, or other groups that is used only for e-mail distribution, and addressed as a single recipient.
Document Center A document library template that is preconfigured to store a large quantity of documents.
Document Library A configurable list in which documents and folders can be stored. The document library has special settings above and beyond a folder such as versioning settings, workflow settings, and information policies.
Document Workspace A document repository that enables users to collaborate on one or more documents.
External Content Type A reusable collection of metadata that defines a set of data from one or more external data sources, the operations available on that data, and connectivity information related to that data.
External List An instance of an External Content Type that allows a user to interact with the data as if it was stored directly in a SharePoint list.
Feature A package that can be activated or deactivated at a site collection or site level. Each feature has a specific purpose that may add additional functionality to SharePoint.  It is important to fully understand the impact of a feature before activating it in your SharePoint farm.
Gallery A library that is used to store a collection of site resources, such as Web Parts, list templates, or site templates.
Item An individual entry within a SharePoint list or document library.  When an item is added a user may be prompted to provide additional metadata defined by columns associated to the document library, list, or content type being used.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) A predefined measure that is used to track performance against a strategic goal, objective, plan, initiative, or business process. A visual cue is frequently used to communicate performance against the measure.
Keyword One or more words or phrases that site administrators identified as important. A keyword provides a way to display best bets and definitions on a search results page.
Libraries In order to share files, SharePoint makes use of libraries. The three primary types of libraries available in SharePoint are document libraries, form libraries and picture libraries.
List Template An XML-based definition of list settings, including fields and views, and optionally list items.
Lists A list is a collection of items. List types include: Announcements, Links, Contacts, Events, Tasks and Issues.
Lookup Column A column that is related to data stored in another SharePoint list.  This enables a way to provide an easily editable list of values for a drop down list.
Major Version An iteration of a document, or list item that is ready for a larger group to see, or has changed significantly since the previous major version. For an item on a SharePoint site, the minor version is always zero for a major version.
Managed Term A word or a phrase that can be associated with a SharePoint item . Managed terms, are usually predefined, can be created only by users with the appropriate permissions, and are often organized into a hierarchy. Also called “term” where “managed” is clear from the context.
Masterpage A masterpage defines the look and feel for a SharePoint site.  The masterpage is built with HTML, CSS and some ASP.NET components.
Meeting Workspace A specialized SharePoint site for organizing and managing meetings.  Features include the ability to store agendas, tasks, and track attendees.
Metadata Data about data. This is often seen in the form of column values in a SharePoint library or list, but can take many other forms.
Minor Version Usually considered a draft version of a document.  Minor versions are usually configured so only editors can view them.  A minor version of a document will at some time be published as a major version.
My Site A single site collection that contains the user’s personal sites, links, etc. My Site consists of both a public and private view. The private view is intended as a personal workplace for the individual end user. The public view, on the other hand, acts like a business card that can be accessed by other SharePoint users.
OOTB Out of the box. In SharePoint this represents the components and features shipped with the product.
Page Layout A dynamic web template that is stored as a document. It contains content placeholders that bind to fields of a publishing page. A page layout has an associated content type that determines which publishing pages it can be bound to. The page layout can contain webpart zones, as well as webparts.
Permission A rule that is associated with a site collection, site, list, library or item to regulate access.
Permission Level A set of permissions that can be granted to users, distribution lists or SharePoint groups on an entity such as a site, list, folder, item, or document.
Privacy Level A setting that specifies the category of users who are allowed to view the personal information of other users, such as user profile properties, colleagues, or memberships.
Private Web Part A Web Part added to a Web Part Page by a user who is working on the page in personal view. Private Web Parts are available only to the user who added or imported the Web Part.
Provision The process of creating and deploying something, and in some cases, populating that something with default data and settings.
Published Version The version of a list item that is approved and can be seen by all users. The user interface (UI) version number for a published version is incremented to the next positive major version number and the minor version is zero. and minor version.
Publishing Pages Publishing pages are pages under /Pages/ document libraries on each site that include specific content types. Content for these pages are stored in this document library like columns in a list, with each column storing data for a page field.
Recycle Bin A container for items that are deleted.  The recycle bin enables users to recover accidentally deleted documents, items, lists and libraries.  The user recycle bins will automatically be emptied after a period of time set by the SharePoint administrator.   A second level recycle bin stores content emptied from the user’s recycle bin.  A site collection administrator can recover items that are stored in the second level recycle bin.
Ribbon The Ribbon is a UI component added to simplify navigation, and increase the visibility of functions. It is Context Sensitive (which means when you click on something, it knows what you clicked on).
Search Scope A list of attributes that define a collection of items to be filtered/returned in searches.
Server Farm A central group of network servers maintained by an enterprise. A server farm provides a network with load balancing, scalability, and fault tolerance. In some configurations, multiple servers may appear to users as a single resource. Each SharePoint farm has a single, unique configuration database where information and configuration settings for the farm are registered. Each server in the farm relies on that configuration database to get information about the farm and to provide services in the farm.
Shared Documents Library A document library that is included by default in the Team Site site template.
Shared Web Part A Web Part added to a Web Part Page by a user who is working on the page in shared view. Shared Web Parts are available to all users of a Web Part Page who have the appropriate permissions.
SharePoint Foundation (Server) This is the entry level version of SharePoint.  SharePoint Foundation is included as part of the Windows Server license.
Site A web site that contains lists, libraries, pages, and web parts.  A site is part of a site collection.
Site Collection A set of web sites on a web application that has the same owner and share administration settings. Each site collection contains a top-level web site and can contain one or more sites (or subsites). There can be multiple site collections on each web application. A site collection can use only a single content database.  Administrators can set storage quotas to site collections.
Site Collection Administrator A user who has administrative permissions for a site collection.
Site Column A column that can be associated with a content type or list within a site or site collection.
Site Content Type A named and uniquely identifiable collection of settings and fields that store metadata for lists within individual sites. This is at the site collection level, so that it is available throughout the sites beneath it.
Site Groups Site groups are custom security groups that apply to a specific site collection. Users are assigned to site groups to grant them permissions on sites, lists, libraries, and items.
Site Membership The status of being a member of a site and having a defined set of user rights for accessing or managing content on that site.
Site Templates Whenever you create a new site, SharePoint use predefined templates to simplify the creation of the new elements for the site. These templates allow you to create everything from a specialized team site to a blank site you can use to create content from scratch.
SPD / Sharepoint Designer SharePoint Designer is a free tool which allows users to modify pages, and customize their SharePoint sites in more powerful ways than the out of the box GUI interface.
Subsite Sometimes also just called a site.  This term is usually used when a site is created under an existing SharePoint site.
Survey A web site component that enables users to respond to a set of questions specified by the creator of the survey. Results are tallied in a graphical summary. Surveys provide a way to poll portal users for input on a subject. Surveys support a wide variety of response types from simple Yes/No answers to free-form text.
Term Set A collection of related terms. For example, the term set named “milestone” could include the terms “M0” “M1” “M2” “Alpha” “Beta1” “Beta2” “RC1” “RC2” and “RTM.”
Top-Level Web Site The top, root default site in a site collection. Every site collection has, at its root a top-level web site. Access to the top-level web site is provided supplying the URL of the site collection (like http://ServerURL or http://ServerURL/sites/SiteCollectionName) without specifying a page name or subsite.
View A named collection of settings for querying and displaying items/documents in a SharePoint list/library. There are two types of views: personal, which can be used only by the user who creates them; and public, which can be used by all users who have access to the site.
Web Application A web application is the top level content container for a SharePoint deployment.  A web application will have one or more site collections. Several Web applications can reside on one server, each having it’s own set of site collections. Each Web application can have its own domain name and IP address.
Web Part Customizable user interface elements that can be added to SharePoint pages.  Usually web parts display items from SharePoint lists and libraries.
Web Part Connection An element in a page that defines a provider-consumer data relationship between two web parts. When a page is rendered, data provided by one web part can affect how and what is rendered by the other web part.
Web Part Page Often certain pages will be called web part pages – this means that these pages have pre-defined zones you can use to add and re-arrange web parts on.
Web Part Properties The properties which can be changed for a web part to appear or function differently.
Web Part Zone A container with a set of properties that can be configured to control the organization and format of web parts on a page. Web part zones can also be used to provide protection against changes to web parts.
Workflow The automation of business processes, where business documents and tasks are passed automatically from one user to another for action, according to a set sequence.

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