System Stored Procedures
A SQL Server-supplied, precompiled collection of Transact - SQL statements. System stored procedures are provided as shortcuts for retrieving information from the system tables or mechanisms for accomplishing database administration and other tasks that involve updating system tables. The names of all system stored procedures begin with sp_. System stored procedures are located in the master database and are owned by the system administrator, but many of them can be run from any database. If a system stored procedure is executed in a database other than master, it operates on the system tables in the database from which it is executed.
You can also write your own precompiled collection of Transact - SQL statements, called user-defined stored procedures, that can be executed from any database.
In addition to system procedures, extended stored procedures are installed with SQL Server. Extended stored procedures provide additional functionality for SQL Server.
From MSDN SQL Server: Platform SDK Glossary
( Topic last updated: 1999.12.21 11:15:40 PM )