Acronym Anarchy

It has gotten out of control. The insanity has to be stopped. Words are not the enemy of programmers. Lower case is not bad. Programming languages such as C++ and C# respect lowercase letters! Multiple syllables can be used! In a need for brevity, it seems that the concept of easily identifiable terms and concepts has been lost!

While I have no evidence to back it, it seems like the use of acronyms by software companies is as prevalent as it has ever been. The number of acronyms that a developer runs into in an any given day seems to be increasing.

Following is a table containing 100 acronyms. These are all acronyms related to computer terms and products. I challenge you to see how many you can expand out. Once you've given this a try, check the remaining pages of this article. I've gone ahead and listed what each one is on the following pages.

If you can get 75 of the 100, you are most likely a developer and you definitely know your acronyms. Be aware though—while some are quite easy (VB), others are not! If you can get 90, you are good. The question is, are you an Acronym Guru? Can you get all 100?

The list:

VB ADO VSA BPC
VI IIS VSIP CDO
VS DHTML WCSDK DTL
VFP MDAC XML DLC
AD KB (not kilobyte) ASP DCOM
BTS ACT IDL DTS
CS MSVM TSQL DSO
MMC MSDN CHTML DLL
CMS VSTO EVB DMO
WSH PSDK EVC DBCS
PDB CTS MOD EDK
FFC SMS MASM GDI
MMC ZAW MIS GP
MMS NGWS MSAA HIS
EVT COM ADSI IME
ETK VBA CIS ICS
STL VBS ATL IE
WAS NT MFC ISA
WTE VCM BITS IrDA
WSS VSM CRT JAFC
SSPI OFC MSDE LSA
SSDK OSD MSI MCI
SAPI SNMP MTS MSMQ
SMO SDO MSVM MAPI
LDAP SBSCS NLB SPPLAT

If you cruise through the 100 acronyms above, here are a few bonus ones (I threw a few easy ones into this list):

  • BCL
  • CIM
  • CLR
  • FCL
  • IL
  • IM
  • JIT
  • OWA
  • WFP
  • WIA
  • WQL

It is also worth pointing out that all of these acronyms are for technical terms or products. Additionally, all were found on Microsoft's sites. Although all have been used within the content found there, this is this kind of Acronym Anarchy that can also be found from other company's as well. If you add companies such as Sun (Java) and IBM, you could create an entirely different set of acronyms. Throw in the work done by standards groups such as W3C, ANSI, ISO, and ECMA (yes, acronyms for names!), and the acronyms start flying everywhere!

It is no wonder that a lot of programming languages use single letters or symbols in their names. How else can developers keep from confusing them with all these other terms!

Did I mention J2ME, J2EE, JDO, JRO, StAX, WML, WAP, GIF, CSS, DHTML, ...

You will find the expanded acronyms on the following pages is in alphabetical order, based on the acronym.

Acronym Anarchy

Here they are:

ACT = Application Center Test
AD = Active Directory
ADO = ActiveX Data Objects
ADSI = Active Directory Service Interfaces
ANSI = American National Standards Institute
ASP = Active Server Page
ATL = Active Template Library
BCL = Base Class Libraries
BITS = Background Intelligent Transfer Service
BPC = Broadcast Architecture
BTS = BizTalk Server
CDO = Collaborative Data Objects
CIS = Commercial Internet System
CHTML = Compact HTML = Compact Hypertext Markup Language
CIM = Common Information Model
CLR = Common Language Runtime
CMS = Content Management Server
COM = Common Object Model
CRT = C Runtime Library
CS = Commerce Server
CSS = Cascading Style Sheet
CTS = Common Type System DHTML = Dynamic HTML = Dynamic HyperText Markup Language
DAO = Data Access Object
DBCS = Double Byte Character Set
DCOM = Distributed COM = Distributed Common Object Model
DHTML = Dynamic HTML = Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language
DLC = Database Template Library
DLL = Dynamic Link Library
DSO = Decision Support Objects
DTC = Distributed Management Objects
DTL = Database Template Library
DTS = Data Transformation Services
ECMA = European Computer Manufacturers Association
EDK = Exchange Development Kit
ETK = Embedded Toolkit
EVB = eMbedded Visual Basic
EVC = eMbedded Visual C++
EVT = eMbedded Visual Tools (Event Tracing)
FCL = Foundation Class Libraries
FFC = FoxPro Foundation classes
GDI = Graphical Device Interface
GIF = Graphics Interchange Format
GP = Group Policy
HIS = Host Integration Server
ICS = Internet Connection Sharing
IDL = Interface Definition Language
IE = Internet Explorer
IIS = Internet Information System
IL = Intermediate Language
IM = Instant Messenger/Instant Message
IME = Input Method Editor
IrDa = Infrared Data Association
ISA = Internet Service API = Internet Server Application Programming Interface
ISO = International Organization for Standardization
J2ME = Java 2 Micro Edition
J2EE = Java 2 Enterprise Edition
JAFC = Java Application Foundation Class
JDO = Java Data Objects
JIT = Just In Time (compiler)
JRO = Java Runtime Object
KB = Knowledge Base

continued on next page....

Acronym Anarchy

LDAP = Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
LSA = Local Security Authority
MAPI = Messaging API = Messaging Application Programming Interface
MASM = Microsoft Assembler
MCI = Media Control Interface
MDAC = Micrsofot Data Access Components
MFC = Microsoft Foundation Classes
MIS = Mobile Information Server
MMC = Microsoft Management Console
MMS = Microsoft Media Server
MOD = Microsoft Office Developer
MSAA = Microsoft Active Accessibility (also Microsoft Academic Alliance)
MSDE = Microsoft Database Engine
MSI = Microsoft Installer
MSDN = Microsoft Developer Network
MSMQ = Microsoft Message Queuing Server
MSVM = Microsoft Visual Modeler
MTS = Microsoft Transaction Server
NGWS = Next Generation Web Service
NLB = Network Load Balancing
NT = New Technology
OFC = Open Financial Connectivity
OSD = Open Software Description
OWA = Outlook Web Access
PDB = Program Database (I file extension)
PSDK = Platform SDK = Platform System Development Kit
SAPI = Speech API = Speech System Development Kit
SBSCS = Side-by-Side Component Sharing
SDO = Server Data Object
SMO = SOAP Messaging Object = Simple Object Access Protocol Messaging Object
SMS = System Management Server
SNMP = Simple Net Management Protocol
SPPLAT = Microsoft .NET Speech Platform
SSDK = Speech SDK = Speech System Development Kit
SSPI = Security Support Provider
StAX = Simple API for XML = Simple Application Program Interface for eXtended Markup Language
STL = Standard Template Library
TSQL = Transact-SQL = Transact System Query Language
VB = Visual Basic
VBA = Visual Basic for Applications
VBS = Visual Basic Script
VCM = Visual Component Manager
VFP = Visual FoxPro
VI = Visual InterDev
VS = Visual Studio
VSA = Visual Studio for Applications
VSIP = Visual Studio Industry Partner
VSM = Visual Studio Macros
VSTO = Visual Studio Tools for Office
MSVM = Microsoft Visual Modeler
W3C = World Wide Web Consortium
WAP = Wireless Access Protocol
WAS = Web Application Stress Tool
WCSDK = Windows Client SDK = Windows Client System Development Kit
WFP = Windows File Protection
WIA = Windows Image Acquisition
WML = Wireless Markup Language
WQL = Windows Management Instrumentation Query Language
WSH = Windows Scripting Host
WSS = Web Storage System
WTE = Web Telephony Engine
XML = eXtended Markup Language
ZAW = Zero Administration Windows




About the Author

Bradley Jones

Bradley Jones, in addition to managing CodeGuru, Brad! oversees the Developer.com Newtwork of sites including Codeguru, Developer.com, DevX, VBForums, and over a dozen more with a focus on software development and database technologies. His experience includes development in C, C++, VB, some Java, C#, ASP, COBOL, and more as well as having been a developer, consultant, analyst, lead, and much more. His recent books include Teach Yourself the C# Language in 21 Days, Web 2.0 Heroes, and Windows Live Essentials and Services.
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