This glossary includes definitions of terms that appear in the documentation.


adding a solution. The process of uploading a SharePoint solution to a SharePoint solution store.

application. The set of functionality under development to solve a particular business problem. See SharePoint application.

application page. An ASP.NET page that is located in the _layouts folder in SharePoint and cannot be customized.

artifact. An asset of an application or a project deliverable, such as binaries, pages, styles, XML definitions, and layouts. Artifacts may reside in the file system or in the database.

authentication provider. Software service responsible for validating user credentials. Also known as membership provider.

authored artifacts. Customized solution artifacts or new artifacts that are created using SharePoint Designer or the Web browser after a solution is deployed. They are stored in a SharePoint content database. See artifact.

Central Administration. A Web application provided by SharePoint for administering SharePoint Web applications. Also known as Centralized Administration Site.

column. See list column and site column.

command-line tool. See SharePoint command-line tool.

content database. The backend storage that holds SharePoint customizations, user documents, and so on.

content page. A customizable SharePoint Web page that contains user-provided content or supports customization, such as a Web Part page. Compare with application page.

content type. A reusable collection of settings to define the metadata and behavior for a certain category of content.

custom action. A link, toolbar button, menu item, or any control that can be added to a toolbar or menu that a user sees in SharePoint. For example, the Contoso Training Management application provides a custom action for registering for a course.

custom field type. See field type.

deploying a solution. The process of extracting and moving SharePoint solution artifacts to SharePoint Web applications.

Designer. See SharePoint Designer.

document library. A SharePoint list that contains documents.

event handler. A server-side code routine that is invoked when a predefined condition occurs, such as when a new item is added to a list. May be associated with a Web application, site collection, site, list, or document library.

feature. See SharePoint feature and Web feature.

feature receiver. A server-side code routine that is called as part of installation, activation, deactivation, or removal of a feature. Also known as feature event receiver.

feature stapling. The process of associating a SharePoint feature with a specific site definition, without modifying the site definition or creating code routines to activate the feature on each site. Also known as feature site template association.

field. An atomic unit of data storage. List items contain one or more fields. Fields may also exist at the site level. See list column and site column.

field control. A programmer-provided user interface for editing and displaying a field.

field reference. A definition placed in a content type for the purpose of including a site column or list column. The SharePoint object model uses the class SPFieldLink to represent field references. Note that field references can also occur in lists and list views. Field references in lists and content types can only reference site columns. Field references in list views can reference both list columns and site columns.

field type. Defines a type that can be used as a field or column in SharePoint. SharePoint has a set of standard field types, and developers may also define custom field types. For more information, see Custom Field Types on MSDN.

group. See SharePoint group.

IIS Web site. An application boundary defined by Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS); associated with a single SharePoint Web application.

image library. A SharePoint list that contains images.

library. See document library and image library.

list. See SharePoint list.

list column. The user interface that displays a field. Part of a SharePoint list. See field.

list definition. The schema for a SharePoint list. May contain user customizations stored in the content database.

list item. A record in a SharePoint list.

list item event handler. A method that is invoked by SharePoint when list items are added or modified.

list template. An element of the site definition that defines the initial structure of a list.

master page. A template used by ASP.NET that allows the user to apply a similar appearance to multiple Web pages.

mock object. An instance of a class that impersonates the behavior of another class for the purposes of testing. Mock objects provide an isolated environment for unit testing.

Model-View-Presenter (MVP) pattern. A software design pattern that formalizes the data flow between components by means of an interface.

object model. See SharePoint object model.

personalization. A feature provided by SharePoint that allows users to change site elements. Changes are persisted in the content database. Also known as customization.

permission level. A named capability used in access control. For example, Read and Write are permission levels.

port. A TCP port. Port numbers may appear in URLs after the server name. For example, in http://myserver:80/default.aspx, the port number is 80.

Quick Launch bar. A user interface element with links to commonly used pages of the current SharePoint site.

removing a solution. The process of removing a SharePoint solution from the SharePoint solution store.

Repository pattern. A programming idiom that isolates the details of data-store access into a software component.

retracting a solution. The process of removing a deployed solution from a server.

root Web. See top-level site.

server farm. A collection of servers for the purpose of load balancing or a collection of servers that perform different purposes, such as a Web front-end server, an application server, a database server, and an indexing server.

server. A host running IIS.

server control. An ASP.NET server control, which is a server-side software component that determines how a particular region of Web page will be rendered as HTML.

Service Locator pattern. A programming idiom that replaces static library dependencies with a run-time component responsible for producing an object that supports a specific interface.

SharePoint application. An application designed to run on SharePoint. SharePoint applications are packaged in SharePoint solutions, and the functionality is typically encapsulated in SharePoint features for modularity and management.

SharePoint command-line tool. The STSADM.exe executable.

SharePoint Designer. A client application for customizing the visual appearance and page elements of a SharePoint site.

SharePoint feature. A modular unit of functionality that can be individually activated or deactivated by the administrator for each site. Each feature is defined by a Feature.xml file.

SharePoint group. A collection of users for the purpose of access control. Permission levels can be set on a per-group basis.

SharePoint list. A structure of items or rows and columns or fields that contain data provided by SharePoint similar to a database table. The SharePoint object model uses the class SPList to represent a SharePoint list.

SharePoint object model. A .NET-based application programing interface (API) to SharePoint components.

SharePoint theme. A collection of graphics and cascading style sheets that control the appearance of a site.

SharePoint solution. An installation package in CAB format that is a deployable unit for SharePoint. A SharePoint application is packaged in one or more SharePoint solutions. Also known as Web solution package (WSP). The file name extension is .wsp. The packaged files may include executable libraries (DLLs), site definitions, features, and other files. Contrast with Visual Studio solution.

SharePoint solution store. A centralized collection of all SharePoint solutions for a server farm.

SharePoint Web application. A load-balanced Web application for SharePoint that is based in Internet Information Services (IIS). For information, see Server and Site Architecture: Object Model Overview on MSDN.

site. A SharePoint Web site. The SharePoint object model uses the class SPWeb to represent a site. For historical reasons, sometimes referred to as a Web, a site instance, or a Web site instance. For more information, see Server and Site Architecture: Object Model Overview on MSDN.

Site Actions menu. A drop-down menu that provides the ability to manage a SharePoint site and create new subsites.

site collection. Represents a collection of sites in a Web application, including a top-level Web site and all its subsites. A site collection acts as an administrative unit that allows for common security permissions and list templates, content types, and workflows to be shared by multiple sites. The SharePoint object model uses the class SPSite to represent a site collection. Sometimes (for historical reasons) referred to as a site. Properly, however, this is a site collection. For more information, see Server and Site Architecture: Object Model Overview on MSDN.

site column. A site column, also known as a field, is a reusable column definition, or template, that can be assigned to multiple lists or content type definitions across multiple SharePoint sites. Site columns are reusable and help ensure the consistency of metadata across sites and lists. The SharePoint object model uses the class SPField to represent a site column. Also known as column template or field.

site definition. A file-based representation of the structure of the site. Contains a server-side collection of files that defines the structure of one or more configurations. For more information, see Site Definition on MSDN.

site feature. A modular unit of functionality that may be individually activated or deactivated by the administrator for each site or site collection. Each feature is defined by a Feature.xml file in a solution.

site template. A customized site design based on an existing site definition stored in an .stp file. This is the delta or difference between a site and its underlying site definition. Applies mostly to layout and appearance. For more information, see Site Template on MSDN.

solution. See SharePoint solution.

solution artifacts. Files created by developers or designers that are packaged into a SharePoint solution (WSP). After solution artifacts are deployed, they are available for activation across all sites within the deployed scope (SharePoint Web application or SharePoint farm).

subsites. Refers to any site in a site collection other than the first (or top-level) site. Also known as subwebs.

theme. See SharePoint theme.

top-level site. The first site in a site collection. Allows administration of attributes shared by all sites in the site collection. Also known as root Web.

user control. An ASP.NET user control. This is a programmer-provided visual element that appears on a Web page running in the ASP.NET environment.

unit testing. A software testing technique that focuses on exercising the features of individual functions or modules in isolation. Can be contrasted with system-level testing.

Visual Studio extensions for Windows SharePoint Services. A Visual Studio project type that supports the creation of SharePoint applications.

Visual Studio project. A configuration and packaging division within a Visual Studio solution. It is typical that each project builds a single library (DLL) or executable (.exe file).

Visual Studio solution. A file that contains all of the settings needed to build and debug a specific application being developed in Visual Studio.

Web application. See SharePoint Web application.

Web content. Content such as text and images that is created by content authors.

Web feature. A unit of functionality that may be individually activated or deactivated by the administrator for each site. Each feature is defined by a Feature.xml file.

Web Part. An ASP.NET server control that allows users to customize the appearance or behavior of the Web page.

workflow. A business process that proceeds in discrete operational steps, implemented using the Windows Workflow Foundation library.

workflow activity. A .NET Framework class that implements the behavior of a particular operational step of a workflow.

workflow instance. A workflow plus run-time data that indicates the current state of a running business process.

WSP file. See SharePoint solution.

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