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SharePoint Glossary

Simple definitions of key terms related to SharePoint.

SharePoint can be a complex application with multiple functions that make your documents easier to find and work with. To help you understand some of the key terms that come up in a conversation about SharePoint, we’ve created the following glossary:


Access Control Entity (ACE)

The ACE is an entry in an access control list (ACL) which grands or denies permission to view an item. This can be set to an individual user or a group and controls the Windows Integrity Level for the object.

Access Control List (ACL)

This is the list that stores the Access Control Entities (ACE).

Access URL

The URL which is used by a crawler to access and identify an item.

Activity Feed

The feed that gives you information such as notifications and updates about people, documents, and tags that you are following.

Activity Flow

This is an active workflow consisting of a sequence of actions.

Activity Model

A predefined action sequence.

After Event

An event which runs only after the completion of a defined previous action.

Alert Subscription

Alert Subscriptions are automatically generated when items such as documents are changed.

Alternate Account

An additional user account in a different domain, but within the same “forest” as a user’s primary account.

App Catalogue

This is a specific type of SharePoint document library which is used by administrators to distribute apps for SharePoint and Office to end users.

Application Directory

The directory on an index a query server where all files are stored to create a full-text index catalogue.

Application Session

The period when an application is running.


An Internet site that where a collection of products and services developed by Microsoft and Partners are available.

Audience Rule

The logical conditions that determine whether an individual user can be included in an audience.

Authoritative Page

A webpage the site collection administrator has designated as more relevant than other pages. The higher the level of authority that is assigned to a page, the higher the page appears in search results.


To deploy an add-in and establish add-in isolation automatically.


Basic Page

A web parts page containing a single web part zone and, a Content Editor web part.

Blank Site

A site created with the “Blank” site template.

Business Connectivity

This feature enables users to interact with back-end (LOB) data from within SharePoint and the Office Suite.


Central Administration Site

A special SharePoint site where the administrator can manage all sites and servers in a SharePoint farm running SharePoint products.

Collaborative Application Mark-up Language (CAML)

An XML-based language which is used to describe various elements, such as views and queries, in sites based on SharePoint technologies.

Content Migration Package

An XML formatted file which is used to migrate content between site collections, sites, and lists.

Content Placeholder

A region of the layout of a page which is populated dynamically with the value of the publishing page field it is bound to.

Content Type Group

A named category of content types which is used to organise content types that have a similar purpose.

Content Type Identifier

The unique identifier assigned to a content type.

Content Type Order

The sequence of displaying content types.

Content Type Resource Folder

A folder that storing resource files associated with a content type.

Content Type Schema

An XML definition describing the contents of a content type.

Crawl Log

A set of properties providing information about the results when a URL is crawled. This information includes whether the content source, whether the crawl was successful, and information for any errors encountered.

Crawl Queue

The list of pages which will be crawled in order.

Crawled Property

Meta data that can be accessed during a crawl.

Custom Action

A ribbon item or dropdown menu added to a site page.


Data View Web Part

A web part which is used to display items in a list.

Default List View

The standard view of a list which appears when users access the list without specifying a view.

Default User Store

If a user store is not specified in FAST Search Authorisation, this is the starting point for expanding group membership.

Deployment System Object

An object created as part of a site or site collection. This can include root folders, default pages, and galleries. Deployment System Objects are not part of a template.

Dynamic Rank

A factor of search ranking dependent on how well the indexed item matches query text.


Excluded Item

Items which are excluded from being crawled by the administrator of the site or crawler.

Extracted Definition

The definition obtained during the crawl by an index serve. This is used to identify if any sentences in the item match the defined pattern.

Extracted Term

The term an extracted definition applies to.


Farm Administrators group

A group of users who have permission to manage all the servers in a server farm.

Farm Solution

A custom farm solution which has full access to system resources and other sites in the farm.

Feature Definition

A fragment of XML that defines a feature and its various attributes.

Feature Identifier

An item in the GUID which identifies a feature.

Feature Property

At a scope, this is a property which is associated with an active feature.

Feature Scope

The scope at which activation of a feature is possible.

Federated Location

The source that returns search results for a given search query.

First-Stage Recycle Bin

The location where items are deleted. These items are still visible for administrators and others with appropriate permissions.

Full-Text Index

This is the set of files that contain all index keys that have been extracted from a list of items.


Group Approval Document Identifier

An automatically generated and assigned string that identifies a unique document subject to the policies that have been defined for a Group Approval workflow.


High Confidence Property

A managed property in the metadata index which has been identified by the administrator as a good indicator of a highly relevant item. It is used to produce a high confidence result.

high Confidence Result

A highly relevant search result due to a precise match between a high confidence property value and the query text.

Host Web

A SharePoint site which an add-in is installed to.


Item Identifier

An integer which uniquely identifies a specific item in a SharePoint list.


Keyword Consumer

A site collection which uses a specific set of synonyms, Best Bets, and keywords.

Keyword Synonym

An alternate phrasing of a keyword.


Language Auto Detection

An automatic process that determines the language code identifier (LCID) for document text.

List Folder

A folder that contain documents or list items and is contained in a SharePoint List.

List Form

A page that lets users to create, view, or edit list items.

List Form Web Part

A web part that is used to display, edit, or view list items.

List Identifier

A GUID that identifies a list in a site collection.

List Item Attachment

A file that is stored in a folder in the “attachments” segment of a list.

List Item Identifier

An integer uniquely identifying a SharePoint list item.

List Template

An XML-based definition of list settings, including fields and views.

List Template Identifier

A GUID that identifies a list template.

List View Page

A web part page displaying a list view.

List View Web Part

A reusable web part component that generates HTML-based SharePoint lists.

Log Level

This refers to the amount of Information that is stored in the Log File by SharePoint for a given transaction.


Managed Keyword

A word or phrase added to a SharePoint item, either as a social tag or in the managed keyword column.

Member Group

A user group specific to the User Profile service.

Membership Group Record Identifier

A unique identifier that refers to a specific member group record.

Microsoft Business Connectivity Services

A feature enabling users to connect to and interact with back-end (LOB) data from Office and SharePoint.

Moderated Object

An object that has been reviewed and approved or rejected by a moderator.

Moderation Status

The status of an object in the content approval process.


Navigation Structure

The hierarchical organisation of links between related content.

New Form

A form that is used to create a list item.


Office SharePoint Server Search service

The farm-wide service responding to query requests from front-end web servers.

Office Store

See: AppSource.

Open Item Permission

An authorisation allowing users to retrieve entire files.

Open Web Permission

A permission during the export or import of a whole SharePoint site.

Operator Account

The user account of the individual managing the import process for deployment packages.

Organization Identifier

A number uniquely identifying an organisation.

Orphaned Object

An object in the content database object that has no relationship with any other object.


Paged View

A view supporting one or more visual pages. This is used to break up large sets of data into smaller sets to improve performance.

Parent Farm

A farm that crawls content from another farm and responds to search queries from that farm.

Personal Site

A type of SharePoint site used by an individual user for their personal information and documents. This appears as My Site.

Portal Content

The main search catalogue listing content sources and settings related to a crawl.

Privacy Level

A setting that specifies the category of users with permission to view the personal information of other users.


A condition of objects that were successfully created and deployed.

Publish to Server

A process that saves a document or portions of the document to the SharePoint Hosting server.

Published Version

The version of a list item that has been approved and can be seen by users.

Publishing Level

An integer assigned to a document to indicate the status of that document version.

Publishing Page

A document bound to a page layout that generates an HTML page for display.


Query Independent Rank

A system to rank items in the search results that uses features which do not vary with different queries.

Query Table

A two-dimensional table presenting data from an external source.


Ranking Parameter

A value used to influence the algorithm that determines the ranking order of search results in SharePoint.

Root Document

A document stored in a site’s root folder.


Search Database

A database storing search-related information, including stored tables and procedures used for crawler data and document metadata.

Search Query Log

A record of all the information from user searches.

Search Service Account

A specific user account that the search service runs under.

Second-Stage Recycle Bin

A container for items after they are removed from the first stage recycle bin. These items can only be viewed by site collection administrators.

Shared Documents Library

A default document library in the Team Site template.

Shared View

A view of a list or web part page which every permitted user can see.

SharePoint Add-in

A cloud-enabled add-in integrating scenario-focused content and services into SharePoint.

Site Collection Administrator

A user with administrative permissions for a site collection.

site collection identifier

A GUID identifying a site collection. The identifier is usually @SiteId or @webSiteId.

Site collection Quota

An option for a site collection that lets administrators to set levels for maximum number of users allowed and maximum storage allowed.

Site Column

A field associated with a list or content type within a site collection or site.

Site Content Type

A uniquely identifiable named collection of and fields storing metadata for lists within sites.

Site Definition

Each site definition specifies a name and contains a list of configurations for the site.

Site Flag

4-byte unsigned integer bit mask which specifies the properties which are unique to a site.

Site Identifier

A GUID used to identify a site in a SharePoint site collection.

Site Membership

The status of a defined set of user rights for managing or accessing content on a site.

Site Property

A name/value pair of strings serving as metadata for a site.

Site Solution

A reusable package containing a set of features, site definitions, and assemblies that apply to sites such as an Intranet, and that can be individually disabled or enabled.

Site Template

XML-based site settings definition that includes lists, views, and formatting of elements such as page layout, text, and graphics.

Start Address

The URL which has been identified by administrators at the point where an indexing crawl should start.

Static Rank

The component of a search rank that is independent of the search query.


Trusted Authentication

A mechanism that allows a process or user account to perform operations on behalf of the current user.

Trusted Subsystem

A method of communication between two server components in which two-way trust is established.


UI Culture

The language used to display graphical elements and strings in the user interface.

User Display Name

A property of the user profile that contains the user’s preferred name.

User Profile Change Entry Log

The log of all changes that take place across any user profile.

User Profile Change Event

When a property of any user profile is changed.

User Profile Import

This refers to the process where records are imported to the user profile store from a directory service.

User Profile Store

The database containing information about all user profiles.

User Store

A logical grouping of content permissions for users and groups for a third-party security or content system.


Visible Scope

The scope of search that is displayed to users and site collection administrators.

Visitors Group

The default group of users on a SharePoint site.


Web Control

A component in the server-side which contains functionality related to the user interface.

Web Discussion Comment

Each comment that is added to a web discussion.

Web Identifier

The GUID identifying a site in a SharePoint site collection.

Web Part Cache

A hash table of key/value pairs used to locate internal information for web parts.

Web Part Property

A characteristic of a web part that can be configured to determine its behaviour.

Web Part Type Identifier

T unique 16-byte value assigned to each web part type.

Web Part Zone Identifier

A string identifying a web part zone on a page.

Work Item Process

The process which runs a work item.

Work Item Type Identifier

The GUID used to identify a work item type.

Workflow Association

The association between a workflow template and a content type or a specific list.

Workflow Configuration File

The workflow configuration file contains information that is necessary to create a workflow template from rules files and associate it with a specific list.

Workflow History Item

A list item that stores information about the past and current status of an item along with actions taken.

Workflow History List

The Store of Workflow History Items

Workflow Identifier

The GUID used to identify a workflow.

Workflow Mark-up File

The file specifying the functional behaviour of a workflow.

Workflow Task

An action or task in a workflow sequence.

Workflow Task List

The list of Workflow tasks for a business process.


Zero Based Index

An index where the first item has an index of zero.

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