What Are All of These Acronyms?

It doesn’t take much to get confused when someone is rattling off multiple acronyms that you’re unfamiliar with. This is especially true when you’re just starting out in a profession or hobby as others might assume you know certain lingo or jargon. With that in mind, I wanted to take a look at some of the more common acronyms you might come across as you work with SQL Server and other database systems.

In No Particular Order


Short for Create, Read, Update, Delete. These are the four main operations that any database system will include.


These stand for OnLine Transaction Processing (think of a database processing incoming data)
and OnLine Analytical Processing (think data warehouse).


Refers to these four properties:

  • Atomicity – transaction is all or nothing, an operation completes successfully or is rolled back
  • Consistency – database is consistent before and after transactions
  • Isolation – transactions occur independent of each other
  • Durability – data changes following a transaction must never be lost


This stands for Input/Output Operations per Second. Not necessarily exclusive to databases, IOPS is your read/write operations per second, not to be confused with throughput which is read/write bits per second.


Stands for Dynamic Management View. Have you ever searched dm_exec_cached_plans or dm_exec_connections? Those are two examples of DMVs.


This acronym was made famous by SQL community member Jeff Moden to shorten the phrase Row By Agonizing Row. For RBAR, think looping through a table updating one record at a time (which can be slow and get slower over time) compared to a set based process updating all records at once.


Arguably the most important acronyms on this list for a database administrator, Recovery Time Objective represents how long will recovery take in the event of a failure and Recovery Point Objective represents what point in time can we get back to following a failure.

Words are Hard

This is a short set from a list of acronyms and terminology that is always growing. When you’re an IT professional, it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s great that there’s always something new; however, it’s impossible to keep up with it all. Don’t get discouraged when you come across some that you don’t know.

Thanks for reading!

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