Use the information in this topic to learn about terms and concepts mentioned in SQL Server product documentation for SharePoint integration. This information is useful for SQL Server customers who are new to SharePoint products and technologies.
- Application server
A SharePoint server that provides resources to the farm. Examples of applications that run on an application server include Search Server, Access Database Services, Business Data Connectivity Services, Excel Calculation Services, and SQL Server PowerPivot for SharePoint. You can make a SharePoint server an application server by turning off the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application service so that the server no longer functions as a Web front-end, and then add service applications to the server.
- Configuration database
A SQL Server relational database that stores the farm configuration settings.
- Content database
A SQL Server relational database that stores user documents and items for a site collection.
One or more SharePoint servers that share the same configuration database. A SharePoint farm has a central configuration, Web applications, services, and content. The Web applications provide the application layer on a Web front-end server. Services provide resources or shared functionality to the farm and its applications. Within a farm and for specific SharePoint web applications, you can select which services are available.
- Service application
A service application is a farm-level resource that is shared across sites in a farm. Examples include Search Server, Access Database Services, Business Data Connectivity Services, and Excel Calculation Services.
- Service application database
A SQL Server relational database that stores internal data that is created and used by the service application.
- Services on a server
A service application is often associated with a service that runs on a physical server. Services such as Excel Calculation Service, Secure Store Service, and PowerPivot System Service run on an application server, but are configured and accessed through the service applications you create for them.
- SharePoint Web application
A collection of sites that share a single point of access and a common configuration at the application level, including the authentication subsystem used to authenticate user identity, service connections and availability, and general settings.
- Site collection
A multi-hierarchical group of sites. There is one root site collection for each SharePoint Web application. However, a farm administrator can add additional site collections under the root, as well as under other sites in other collections.
- Web front-end server (WFE)
A SharePoint server dedicated to hosting Web applications. It is supported through the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application service. A WFE server can be on a physical computer that is separate from other computers that host shared applications and services in the farm.