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Entries in rant (2)

Monday
Apr192010

ISV Rant

This post was originally inspired by T-SQL Tuesday #5 hosted by Aaron Nelson (blog|twitter) and a great rant by Jeremiah Peschka (blog|twitter) where he discussed the relative merits of encrypted stored procedures and their effect upon his rug http://facility9.com/2010/04/08/encrypted-stored-procedures-and-their-effect-on-my-rug


At work we have an implementation of an enterprise level reporting solution. It's from a very large international independent software vendor who I shall call IISV (the initial draft named names, however I've decided to be a tad more discrete).

The report writers seem to love it. I believe that it gives them the opportunity to quickly develop and deploy reports, which they do on a frequent basis. The trouble is that the code it writes is shall we say, a little poor. In fact this tool is the whole reason that I have had massive blocking issues on a reporting server, although this has luckily provided me with an opportunity to gain a much greater understanding of different transaction isolation levels and the locking methods employed by each when queries are executed. You can read up on this in a previous post "T-SQL Tuesday #005 - Changing Your Isolation Level"

So this enterprise level tool, created by this huge company DOES NOT SUPPORT SQL 2008 SP1! Yup, that's right, a service pack that has been out for over a year is not supported. Incidentally neither is SQL 2005 SP3, however if you are on SQL 2000 SP4 then it's all good.



Earlier this year the reporting team were advised that we were going to be applying SP1 to all of our SQL 2008 servers. This caused a minor panic as we wouldn't be supported by said company in the event of a problem. My response was quite simple on this:



"We have a choice, be supported by IISV on SQL 2008 RTM or we can be supported by Microsoft on SQL 2008 SP1. I choose the support of Microsoft because if I have a server issue then your reporting solution isn't going to be functioning anyway"



We're running SP1 on all our SQL 2008 servers now.



As a side bar, this IISV application has a repository database, one that has been causing deadlocks on our SQL 2000 system since it was implemented. My guess is that it was developed by some Oracle folks because every column on the main table has an index. Additionally, whenever a value is updated in a row rather than just change that value it actually updates every single cloumn, they think that it's all good though.


While this post has been related to reporting and this one vendor they are far from the only offender with this kind of thing. Another major ISV, for example, recently refused to certify one of their major products with SQL Server 2008, as such said product will be deployed on Oracle.


Is this something that is just an inherent issue with large vendors? They just can't keep up with the technology and ultimately force you down a road where you have to deploy a solution that is unsupported in some fashion?


I makes wonder if there is something to be said for going with some of the smaller shops and tools given that they are more likely to be agile in keeeping up with version support.

Tuesday
Mar232010

Plagiarism

There is some discussion uproar as regards a case of ongoing plagiarism within the SQL community. You can find out all the details at http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2010/03/plagiarism-inspiration-and-john-dunleavy and http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/sql-server/plagiarism-inspiration-and-john-dunleavy/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+techtarget%2FwIpw+%28SQL+Server+with+Mr.+Denny+-+SQL%29

 

This is not something new. Brent Ozar (blog | twitter) has brought this up on previously with the invidual in question. John Dunleavy (blog | twitter) has been caught time and again using other peoples content, and has in fact been caught posting carte blanche Microsoft White Paper articles including the copyright notices.

 

Brent Ozar and Denny Cherry (blog | twitter) have been absolutely right in calling out John for his plagiarism.  Sure it's very easy to copy someone elses work (even just pieces) that does not make it right however. That's part of why I don't post much, or often, I'm busy trying to come up with something of my own. While a concept of what I am saying might have been posted out elsewhere I'm actively looking to put my own spin on it and make it my own. Heck, most of what I read is way above my level, so there's nothing good I can add, as such I just leave it alone.

I'm not looking to aggregate other peoples content, that doesn't make much sense to me. There are plenty of aggregators out there, and that's hardly going to be my voice. That's what all these blogs should be about, someones voice. What comes out of my blog is mine, I stand behind what I say, I even hope that some of it is useful to people.

People like Brent, Denny, Jonathan Kehayias (blog | twitter), Jorge Segarra (blog | twitter), Paul Randal (blog | twitter) and many many others dedicate a great deal of their time and energy in giving to the community. They blog, they tweet, they answer forum questions, they don't get paid for it (Denny might break even as he has stated on his blog, however he's hardly attempting to make a living off it). Why do they do it? I don't know, you'll have to ask them, however I believe that these people just have a passion for what they do. They enjoy it, they have a huge enthusiasm for it and they just want to share that with the world at large. 

One of the most amazing things about SQL Server is the community. If you have a question or problem there are so many places that you can turn to for answers. A post on twitter with the #SQLHELP tag, for example, will generally get you an answer inside of 30 minutes, and usually includes a link to a blog post or article somewhere on the web where you'll find in depth information and it doesn't cost you a dime. There are all the free training resources available that I've linked in a my "Ehance Your Skills For Free" post, all based around the community.

When someone like John Dunleavy plagiarizes others, aside from it being just wrong, it hurts the community. It makes people less likely to post stuff; makes folks less likely to help others; it makes people like me write poorly constructed blog posts because they are miffed.

 

I think the final note on this comes from the movie Downfall and a translation provided by Chuck Boyce Jr (twitter) which can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DWR3zdUsQA