Replication: SQL Server 2000 - Part 1 - Entities for the SQL Server Replication Model (Page 4 of 7 )
Publisher is a server that makes the data available for subscription to other servers. In addition to making data available for replication, a publisher also identifies what data has changed at the subscriber during the synchronizing process. Depending on the type of replication, changed data is identified at different instances. We will learn more about Replication types in the Replication Types section.
Distributor maintains the Distribution Database. The role of the distributor varies depending on the type of replication. Two types of Distributors are identified: Remote distributor and Local distributor. Remote distributor is separate from publisher and is configured as a distributor for replication. Local distributor is a server that is configured as a publisher and a distributor.
Agents are the processes that are responsible for copying and distributing data between Publisher and subscriber. There are different types of Agents supporting different replication types.
Subscriber is a server that receives and maintains the published data. Modifications to the data at the subscriber-level can be propagated back to the publisher; in some cases Subscriber may re-publish the data to the other subscribers.
An article can be any database object, viz. Tables (Column filtered or Row filtered), Views, Indexed views, Stored Procedures, User defined functions.
Publication is collection of articles.
Subscription is a request for copy of data or database objects to be replicated.