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Why Are There So Many Editions? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Sunday, February 22, 2009 8:32 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Why Are There So Many Editions?






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Post #662334
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 2:13 AM


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Probably pretty close, Steve.

My guess'd be that the full toolset is something approximating to "whatever Oracle sell to interact with their database" plus "the most in-demand third party tools written for SQL Server shortcomings that MS have been able to buy the rights to". I'd guess they then categorise those tools according to the size of business likely to use them, then charge what they reckon each target audience will wear. Over simplified, I'll admit, but like you I doubt the decisions on what to bundle in which edition are based on hugely complex formulae.


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Post #662422
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 9:24 AM
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Regardless of the method, they have done well in maintaining a platform that is fairly inexpensive compared to the capabilities and the additional toolsets. Few (if any?) other vendors provide a full package in their given market that does not require many 3rd-party addons for the different tiers of the back office, at such a price point. MS is extremely solid in the TCO game, to the point of leaving competitors with nothing but looking futile and stubbornly holding to anti-MS gimmicks. MySQL has played the anti-MS card well, but has never met the mark, and has never had the toolsets that compare, nor owned it's own ACID compliant DB, and still is 5-10 years behind many other products (depending on what aspect of the product you are considering). Oracle, while powerful, has long been at the top of the price-point game, and still lacks in lower-market-level communication and in some front-end toolsets. Other competitors have not seemed to come close to the footprint of any of these three.

I am an MS fan for one reason: they own the current "sweet spot" in the Price-Quantity with Quality game.

When some other brand can beat that, I will move on. No other product ever has, nor is any close, as none winds the suite together with a common back-suite of development tools like MS. MS is doing exactly what the market is asking for, and the yet the market still complains about the price-point, even in the face of several much higher-costing competitors.
Post #662700
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 9:33 AM


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I think it would be nice if you could customize an installation and price. For example, if Standard edition was the baseline and had exactly what it currently has, but you could get the transparent encryption modules for $X, and the database compression module for $Y, and so on.

The one feature of Enterprise that I don't understand is backup compression. Why is that Enterprise-only? I don't see that one fitting in with the description given in the blog you linked to. It doesn't require a more skilled DBA to understand that backup compression is a good thing, nor should it take any particular expertise to operate it. From what I can see, that should be a Standard edition feature.

Heck, by the justification given, compressed backups probably matter more to smaller businesses that can't afford as much disk space.

Of course, RedGate has a solution for that, so it's easy enough to bypass that issue. But it strikes me as odd that it's necessary to do so.


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Post #662713
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 9:51 AM


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I've asked about the a la carte versions of SQL, but I think MS avoids that to prevent a nightmare of support issues. Which features do you have when you call? I don't think it should be that big a deal to figure out. Automate it, right?

Compression is one that stumps me as well. I think that it's a big selling push to get larger companies, who save more, to move to EE.







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Post #662734
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 9:58 AM


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Steve Jones - Editor (2/23/2009)
I've asked about the a la carte versions of SQL, but I think MS avoids that to prevent a nightmare of support issues. Which features do you have when you call? I don't think it should be that big a deal to figure out. Automate it, right?

Compression is one that stumps me as well. I think that it's a big selling push to get larger companies, who save more, to move to EE.


Yeah, the support issues for that would likely drive the price up. But by how much? Also would mean the various pieces would have to decouple easily, which may or may not be the case. Should be technically possible, but Microsoft doesn't seem to work that way.

Take Vista for example. You can't buy a "Basic Vista", and then tack on the extras that you want. Would be nice to have some of the features of Ultimate available as for-pay add-ons to Home Premium or Business, for example. But MS doesn't seem to want to work that way.

Office kind of works that way. You can buy a copy of Word, or you can buy a copy of Office that includes Word. Want Access? Buy a copy of Office Pro, or buy a lower-end copy of Office and buy Access separately, or just buy Access all by itself.

Might be clever if they did something similar for Windows, SQL Server, et al, but not sure if they ever will.


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Post #662744
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 10:30 AM


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More editions means more choices. People like choices, right?

:P
Post #662768
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 11:34 AM


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People like "custom".

Let's have 4 editions of SQL
- Compact/Embedded
- Express/Free
- Developer
- Standard

then let us choose which features we want on Standard. We could have a chain of license keys, each unlocking some feature that's worth paying extra for. Want compression but not partitioning, add it on. Add in partitioning later if that's important. TDE, etc.







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Post #662823
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 11:46 AM


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Steve Jones - Editor (2/23/2009)
People like "custom".

Let's have 4 editions of SQL
- Compact/Embedded
- Express/Free
- Developer
- Standard

then let us choose which features we want on Standard. We could have a chain of license keys, each unlocking some feature that's worth paying extra for. Want compression but not partitioning, add it on. Add in partitioning later if that's important. TDE, etc.


Sounds like a good list. Workgroup Edition doesn't get a lot of mileage from what I can tell.


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Post #662847
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 2:22 PM


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The free edition gets people interested in the product. Once they see what it can do, they hopefully get hooked and want more.




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