Microsoft Access Acronyms

Bookmark this handy reference so the next time you come across an Access acronym that you don't recognize, you will have a quick way to look it up.

Microsoft Access Acronyms

I spent five years as an officer in the United States Army.  Let me tell you, the Army loves acronyms.  It wasn't unusual to get emails like the following:


Submit USR to 125th FSB XO NLT COB.




Submit Unit Status Report to the 125th Forward Support Battalion Executive Officer no later than close of business.

Commanding Officer

While that may be a bit extreme, it's not too far off from many military communications.  There is a strong case to be made for the higher signal vs. noise ratio in the first example compared to the second, but only if you know what all the acronyms stand for.

Acronyms in the Access World

To help you navigate the acronyms you may come across in the course of your Access development career, I'm going to gather some of them here.  

These are not the most common acronyms that you will come across.  Some are quite common, like "ODBC," while others are more obscure, such as "DDE."  All of them are in some way related to Microsoft Access development.

Let me know in the comments if I left any out that you think deserve a mention.

The world of COM is a wild and woolly place with an overwhelming smorgasbord of alphabet soup.  Learning the acronyms associated with COM is an important first step in learning COM itself:

The following extensions apply to Microsoft Access databases written in the Access 2003 and earlier file format:

Microsoft introduced several new file formats available in Access 2007 and later:

Referenced articles

Signal vs. Noise
My approach to software development in four words: Less noise. More signal.

Image by Rozbooy from Pixabay

UPDATE [2022-01-30]: Added section on Microsoft Access-related file extensions (h/t Richard Rost).

UPDATE [2022-02-14]: Added Mark of the Web acronym (MOTW).

UPDATE [2022-03-05]: Added section on COM-related acronyms (OLE, OCX, DLL).

UPDATE [2022-05-14]: Added Microsoft Visual Basic Virtual Machine acronym (MSVBVM60.dll).

All original code samples by Mike Wolfe are licensed under CC BY 4.0