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Enough is Enough Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, July 05, 2008 11:21 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Enough is Enough






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Post #528881
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 5:05 AM
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As a customer, I really despise when a product has errors and I try to never by from those companies again. But there is of course a tradeoff somewhere and what the other companies has to offer.

If I were to lead a company however, it's vital to make sales and have a good cashflow, and they have to make other tradeoffs on when they think the product is good enought.

So yes I understand both areas parts, but I do think you should not put something in that has errors, then you should wait for the fix. But then again, if it's something minor.. like report builder wizzard in sql server 2005 that can not handle sp's with temporary tables (just to take an example), maybe that is not grounds enought to remove the wizzard, but it sure is annoying from a customers standpoint, but the customer probably still wants to have the wizzard..

Excuse bad typing.
Post #529168
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 5:25 AM


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Software is part science and part art.

The science to the decision goes something like this: Somewhere in a marketing cube (or office) at Microsoft there's likely a graph with two lines. One line represents the number of customers who will delay purchasing until SP1 because of this bug and a general consensus that customers should wait for SP1 before deploying. Another line represents value lost by not releasing on the intended date. Where those lines intersect is a point that served as an argument for this decision.

The art of the decision involves balancing business and technology. The technology part is about the advances in SQL Server 2008 over previous versions. The business part falls into two categories: the companies that will benefit from the advances in SQL Server 2008 over previous versions and Microsoft's business strategy.

Personally, I'm glad I don't make those kinds of decisions often. When I do, it's no fun for me either.

:{> Andy


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Post #529172
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 6:13 AM


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We get these debates where I work a lot. For some reason, many of my fellow DBA's believe that every known bug has to be addressed prior to release or you absolutely can not release the software. I fall into the pragmatic camp. Does it break stuff, or just not work as well as we would like? If it's the latter, deploy it and we will get around to fixing it, if it needs fixing. The fact of the matter is, sometimes, what appears to be "broken" to us, is just fine to the users. What appears to be very slow to us, is fast enough for the users. If it isn't, usually, not always, but usually, the word will get back to us and we can spend time fixing what needs fixing. In the mean time, something that the users need is available, rather than sitting on a Dev server waiting for perfection.

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Post #529189
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 6:14 AM


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Today, we don't really deal in software much. We deal in software packages. That is to say, when we buy something, we expect it to do a lot of stuff. The days of building a company around a simple utility are largely gone. A new release of a major software pacakge like SQL Server (like any other package) is expected to have new features.

The problem is; at what point do you have enough to get the job done? At what point are new features 'gravy'? Many software purchasing entities have reached a point where they can get along without new features for quite a long time. So, why risk problems when your current package is sufficient? That's why we're hearing more and more of the "don't buy until SP1" mentality. Sometimes the only practical differenence between a new release and what you currently have is that the seller is going to stop supporting your package eventually.

This is why Apple is having so much success with their anti-pc adds. Mac is sold as being much more dependable than the PC. PC's do more for less money, but Mac still does a lot and (supposedly) does it more dependably. For many, the dependability is worth the extra $$.

My point (after the ramble) is that producers of software packages (like Microsoft) should lean towards making a smaller number of things work right at this point.


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Post #529190
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 6:34 AM


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Hi SomeGuy,

I disagree. Microsoft has overwhelming marketshare and customer loyalty - why change? That's not to say Microsoft shouldn't strive to release better products. They should. And they do. From my observations, Microsoft software is more reliable and secure and stable now than it was in the past. I've seen steady improvement.

Is Microsoft software perfect? Heck no. The quality's better than it was though, and I expect that trend to continue.

I think they should remain on the course they're on and keep delivering more features at a steadily increasing quality while maintaining the value.

:{> Andy


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Post #529206
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 7:04 AM


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Hi Andy,

I hope I didn't miss the main point of the article with my previous post. Most of us have jobs because our employers and customers want new stuff. If my only job were to keep old programs running, I would be a 'technician' rather than a 'developer'. If Microsoft doesn't add new features to releases, their market share will diminish. And SQL Server has much more right about it than questionable.

Having said all that, I think that the folks in marketing at Microsoft should be concerned about their 'brand'. Microsoft as an entity is starting to have a reputation in some circles of putting out software before it's ready. This is a shame, because those of us who work with individual products such as SQL Server know that it's overall a good package and that there are lots of good business reasons to purchase it over its competitors.

We need to be careful about applying terms like "customer loyalty" to database packages because in the real world a company buys one and is forced to stick with it for a long time whether they feel they made a good decision or not. We techies may have an attachment to our tools, but if there are too many CIOs sitting in the country club quietly grousing to their buddies about how much they regret purchasing a certain software package, new sales will diminish. Right now, the buzz in many of the corporate watering holes is "don't buy Microsoft until SP1". Maybe that's a shame, but it's something Microsoft should think about. Likely, they are...


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Post #529245
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 7:06 AM
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Andy Leonard (7/7/2008)
Hi SomeGuy,

Microsoft software is more reliable and secure and stable now than it was in the past. I've seen steady improvement.

Is Microsoft software perfect? Heck no. The quality's better than it was though, and I expect that trend to continue.

I think they should remain on the course they're on and keep delivering more features at a steadily increasing quality while maintaining the value.

:{> Andy


uhm, what was the last major package release from MS before the current release cycle of Windows server and SQL? Vista? Quality?

I understand there are problems with software at times, but known issues should be addressed in one way or another. I.e. if you can not get a fix in on time for RTM, it should be removed until they can get it fixed (if it flat out does not work, if it is slow that is different).

We're not talking a piece of software written for our users, where for most of us the user base is pretty small and we can get a godo feel for what the users would prefer us to do.

Personally I think MS needs a better beta program. Too many things slip trough without working right. I.e. SQL 2005 SSMS lacking the ability to properly script out objects from the database at release. But I guess stuff like that is bound to happen as I would venture to guess most production DBAs do not have the time to extensively play around with new versions until it is time to start planning for the upgrade.

Put me solidly in the book for someone that will wait for SP1 (or SP2 if SP1 comes out shortly after release), which for us is bad timing as we are about to upgrade all our SQL 2000 boxes. I had hoped to go with SQL 2008, but will have a hard time recommending that to my bosses.
Post #529246
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 7:19 AM
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Can you imagine Toyota, for example, advertising a car with specfic new features, but when you buy it you find out that they don't work? And if you complain they tell you that in 6 months, you can take it to the dealer and (hopefully) the feature can be installed?

Software companies seem to have a very different mindset than those in the real world.



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Post #529269
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 7:23 AM
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There's really not enough info to make an intelligent decision on the example presented. Assuming this is not the only report the feature provides, and that there is more than 5 or 6 total reports created by this feature, since there is a work around available, I would probably send this out. Conversely, if this is the only report, or very few reports are created by the feature, I would move the release date.

You have to review all your options before making a final decision - In the past I have stopped projects and recommended the stoppage of projects from being released because of critical features not working. I have also moved release dates for my our projects when too many bugs are present. When a critical issue is going to affect a release date, I have even personally got involved in testing to make sure a project is released on time. And when it's far enough in advance, I have pushed for a critical bug to be fixed when it is going to put the company I worked for at risk.

You need to understand what will happen if the software goes out as is. Will it take away current functionality, will it shut down the application or a PC, how difficult is the walk around, how critical is the feature. The more info you have, the 'easier' it will be to make or recommend the 'correct' decision.
Post #529277
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