Michael J. Swart

March 12, 2009

SQL Server Jargon

Filed under: Tongue In Cheek — Tags: , , , — Michael J. Swart @ 9:07 am

SQL Server has its own share of jargon. Some cool sounding words, some not so much.

Here are some words that you will never hear me pronounce:

  • UPSERT a portmanteau of update and insert. There’s just something that seems wrong about the sound of it. So if pressed, I’d use the full phrase, “insert or update”. With SQL2008’s new MERGE command, hopefully I’ll have less of a need to.
  • SARGable a contraction of Search Argument Able. For example “The query is not sargable because the where clause has an expression in it that contains a function.” Again, I just don’t like the sound of it. Unfortunately, it’s hard to come up with a better word and so a phrase has to be substituted as in: “The query needs to perform a scan because the where clause contains a function”.

Here are some words that I am always looking for excuses to pronounce.

  • HOBT an acronym of Heap or B-Tree. Essentially it’s the name given to the physical structure of every index or table. Microsoft explains it better than I can. It shouldn’t be too hard to guess why I might like the word. I’m a fan of the book. In fact, fellow Canadian blogger Aaron Alton writes a (high quality) blog called the HOBT.
  • Q-BERT Okay, this one really isn’t an existing acronym for any SQL Server related term, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be in the future. Maybe one of the following could catch on:
    • Query BEhaviour Research Tool (instead of DB Engine Tuning Advisor maybe)
    • Quality Backups Ensure Robust Tables (more of a principle or saying)
    • Queries Bomb: Estimated Rowcount Terrible (time to update those stats!)

I’m sure you can think of a few of your own. Email me or comment if you have pet words (or pet-peeve words).

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