An Intern’s Guide to Software Acronyms and Technical Terms

By Carly Samuelson | July 21, 2015

When I began my internship at Stoneridge Software, I initially experienced a bit of culture shock. While I used to think that I was fairly tech-savvy, those thoughts quickly went away during one of my first training sessions as I was told to “open AX through RDP and go to the AP area page.” What?

Now, these TLAs (three-letter acronyms) are part of my daily vocabulary. I've realized that many of these are used so frequently as technical jargon that people might not even realize their full meaning. A coworker recently gave me a cheat sheet of acronyms which was part of a "newbie survival kit" from The Partner Channel. This was helpful, but I wanted to put together a more comprehensive list with additional explanations of the most common TLAs I've come across.

If you are also new to the software world, here is a list of common acronyms you might hear around the office so you can take your knowledge of acronyms from "Lol" to "XML."

*Additional resources listed at the end of this blog


  • AIF (Application Integration Framework) – Companies can communicate with external business processes and partners through the exchange of XML in AIF.
  • AOS (Application Object Server) – A server used for sharing application objects and information to increase application performance.
  • AOT (Application Object Tree) – The AOT contains the definitions of all elements used to build Dynamics AX (tables, forms, reports, menus, etc).
  • AX – (Microsoft Dynamics AX (Axapta): A global Microsoft ERP software product for enterprise-level companies.
  • BI (Business Intelligence) – A data analysis process that helps executives and managers make more informed business decisions.
  • BOM (Bill of Materials) – A list of all components and raw materials that go into producing or manufacturing a product.
  • BP (Business Portal) – A feature on company websites that allows authorized users to access or edit restricted content.
  • BPR (Business Process Review) - An exercise to evaluate the processes your organization uses and identify ways to improve them.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Practices, strategies, and technologies used by businesses to manage relationships.
  • CRP (Conference Room Pilot) – an activity where users get to try the product or solution in a hands-on setting.
  • CS (CustomerSource) – A site for customers using Microsoft Dynamics products. Customers can find information, resources, and download updates from CS.
  • CU (Cumulative Update) – Scheduled releases of hotfixes for Office Server products.
  • DIEF (Data Import Export Framework) – A module for importing complex data types into Dynamics AX.
  • D365 – (Dynamics 365 suite of products) and also the cloud-based online version of Dynamics CRM
  • D365 CE – (Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement) the cloud-based online version of Dynamics CRM, specifically the functionality that deals with customer service, retention and support.
  • D365 F&O – (Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations) the cloud-based version of Dynamics AX
  • D365 FinOps – (Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations) the cloud-based version of Dynamics AX
  • D365 BC – (Dynamics 365 Business Central) the cloud-based version of NAV


  • EPR (Enterprise Process Review)An exercise between partner and client to gain a broad understanding of how a clients' business processes are set up, resulting in recommendations on how to increase efficiencies through the use of specific technology.
  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) – An integrated information system that serves all departments within an enterprise. I've also heard this referred to as "accounting software on steroids."
  • GP – Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains): The first Microsoft ERP software, which was developed at Great Plains Software in Fargo, ND and released as “Dynamics” in 1993.
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – A service of cloud computing involving rental of servers, storage, and networking.
  • IM (Instant Message)
  • ISV (Integrated Software Vendor) – An ISV makes or sells software that runs on one or more operating systems. An example of an ISV is a company that develops and sells add-on products for Dynamics.
  • JPD (Joint Process Design)A joint focused meeting between the partner delivery team (including project manager and consultants) and key stakeholders from the client adopting a new solution, resulting in the optimal configuration of new technology.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – A type of performance measurement that evaluates the success of an organization or of an activity it engages in.
  • LAR (Large Account Reseller) – Microsoft’s largest Value-Added Resellers (VARs).
  • LCS (Life Cycle Services) – A cloud-based workspace for customers and partners to collaborate in managing AX implementations.


  • MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) –Someone who holds one or more Microsoft certifications.
  • MSA (Master Service Agreement) A contract reached between a company and a client in which the two parties agree to most of the terms that will govern future transactions or future agreements. 
  • MR (Management Reporter) – An enhanced financial reporting process included in Microsoft Dynamics ERP products.
  • MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) – An integrated method of operational and financial planning for manufacturing companies.
  • MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) – Services that assist developers in writing applications using Microsoft products and technologies.
  • NAVMicrosoft Dynamics NAV (Navision): A global Microsoft ERP software product.
  • OS (Operating System) – A program that manages all other programs of a computer.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service) – The cloud model in which providers host users’ hardware and software on their infrastructure.
  • PM (Project Manager) – An individual who plans, organizes, and manages a project for a customer.
  • PS (PartnerSource) – A website where partners can find information and resources provided by Microsoft when needing assistance.


  • RDP (Rapid Deployment Program) – An invitation-only program that gives certain customers access to a product or update earlier than the official release.
  • RDP, again! (Remote Desktop Protocol) – A connection to a computer from a separate computer over the same network or the Internet.
  • RTM (Release to Market) – The general release of a product after passing all testing.
  • SaaS (Software as a Services) – The cloud model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network.
  • SIS (Single Instance Storage) – A system keeps one copy of content that multiple users share. This is helpful because it eliminates duplicates.
  • SL – Microsoft Dynamics SL (Solomon): A project-driven Microsoft ERP software product.
  • SOW (Statement of Work) – A statement of work is a document routinely employed in the field of project management. It defines project-specific activities, deliverables, and timelines for services a company provides to a client.
  • SP (SharePoint) – A platform used to create internal Web sites for companies. Files can also be shared here.
  • SPLA (Services Provider License Agreement) – With this, ISVs and service providers can license eligible Microsoft products to host services and applications for their customers.
  • SSRS (SQL Reporting Services) – A server-based report generation software system.
  • TPC (The Partner Channel) – A news outlet providing sales, marketing, and leadership publications for Microsoft Partners, headquartered in Fargo, ND.


  • UAT (User Acceptance Testing) – The final phase of software development in which the software is given to members of the intended audience to be tested for functionality. This is done to receive feedback from users in order to make any final changes before releasing it to the public.
  • UG (User Group) – An organization of users of specific software products in which members share experiences and ideas to improve understanding for others. For example, AXUG is a community of AX users. Other user groups include: CRMUG, GPUG, NAVUG, and D365UG.
  • UI (User Interface) – Everything designed into an information device that a human might interact with. Ex: display screen, keyboards, icons, etc.
  • UX (User Experience)
  • VAR (Value-Added Reseller) - A company that adds to an existing product then resells it as an integrated product. Stoneridge Software is one of these!
  • VM (Virtual Machine) – An operating system or application environment installed on software that imitates hardware.
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network) – Technology that creates an encrypted connection over a less secure network.
  • VS (Visual Studio) – Coding ID; main development environment.
  • VSTS (Visual Studio Team Services) – task and bug tracking and code repository.
  • WA (Work Authorization) – Document agreed upon between a company and a client to begin work on a project.
  • WPC (Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference) –A yearly event where thousands of Microsoft Partners come together.
  • XML (Extensible Markup Language) –The universal format for data on the web.
  • XPO – The extension of files exported from Microsoft Dynamics AX.

If you ever come across a less common acronym, Microsoft TechNet has a huge glossary of acronyms here.

*This list is periodically updated by new interns and new and evolving acronyms, so check back later!

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