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I just had one of my questions edited, changing instances of MSSQL to SQL Server in the text.

I don't have a problem with this, I just wanted to check what the consensus was on the use of 'MSSQL' to mean 'Microsoft SQL Server', given that many people refer to Microsoft SQL Server as 'MSSQL' and probably expect it to turn up in search results?

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    Many people also refer to it as just "SQL". I think the consensus on this and the SO site is to tag with "sql-server" and refer it it by SQL-Server. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Aug 7 '14 at 11:01
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    @ypercube I've never heard anyone refer to it so vaguely as that! – Cocowalla Aug 7 '14 at 11:02
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    Just spend a few hours through SO questions. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Aug 7 '14 at 11:03
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    We deprecated the mssql tag on Stackoverflow some years ago now, and it shouldn't be used to refer to SQL Server here either. – ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Aug 7 '14 at 11:03
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    Cocawalla: This happens less frequently here, but is very common on the SO site. More specifically, people post questions for "SQL" without specifying what their actual DBMS is. It's very annoying, even more so because answerers just go ahead and assume that it's Sql Server (even when that's not evident). Still, most of the time it is Sql Server (no doubt because of that site's popularity with .Net developers) and the posters are just shortening it to "SQL". – RBarryYoung Aug 12 '14 at 15:35
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    @ypercube People who refer to it as just "SQL" need to sound whacking around the head with a cluestick. You can't "run" the "Structured Query Language". It isn't a product. It isn't software. (Of course, the people who really need a retrospective cluestick are Microsoft for choosing such an awful and frustrating product name). – Craig Ringer Aug 15 '14 at 1:25
  • For a great many questions, "SQL" is just not specific enough. The SQL dialect depends on the DBMS and in some cases on the version. Whether or not "MSSQL" and "SQL Server" are synonyms is a matter of convention and consensus. In here, the tribe has spoken. – Walter Mitty Aug 19 '14 at 11:13
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Thanks for bringing this up on meta so constructively.

The consensus here is that we use the term 'SQL Server' and not MSSQL - it might not always merit an edit just to make that change but it's always preferred.

Although the abbreviation MSSQL is often used, it tends to be by those who know the product less well - I just did a quick survey of blogs by household names in the SQL Server world and not one of them used MSSQL, rather 'SQL Server' was displayed prominently on their pages. As we want this site to be expert-led, that is a strong reason to prefer the term most used by experts in the field.

The issue of search is an interesting one. We are obviously not helping ourselves be found by those who use MSSQL to search. This is outweighed by the benefit to our reputation in using the more expert term. You could even argue that this reduced visibility to MSSQL searches is a benefit as it helps keep the site targeted.

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    Additionally, I have also noticed that posters often accidentally add the [mssql] tag when they meant to add [mysql]. So apparently it's easily confused. – RBarryYoung Aug 12 '14 at 14:49
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    What about "Microsoft SQL Server"? With synonyms MSSQL and SQL Server. – Vérace Aug 20 '14 at 14:44
  • @Vérace I would not be a fan of that (either the name or the synonym), but if you think you can get support, please post it as an answer that can be voted on. – Jack Douglas Aug 20 '14 at 14:46

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