Why would a SQL Server professional need an iPhone for work? Although I must admit to having an application for showing me ukulele chords, and just love my GPS application, I also find the iPhone very handy for SMS and email alerts, apart from the obvious use as a phone! When it comes to applications, there are some that really increase my effectiveness. I don’t yet try to use it to program SQL Server, though I suspect that, soon, there will be an iPhone version of MyLittleAdmin that will make it easy! However, there are a number of other ways it come in very useful for the occasional remote access of a SQL Server. One can use Remote Desktop to a Windows workstation, or use VNC to any windows server in order to do simple operations. It is strange to operate a big screen via a tiny one, but it just-about works. You can even use Telnet and FTP, and ping a range of IP addresses. You can access VMs too. There are several applications for checking on networks, that provide Ping, TCP/IP Port Scans, GeoIP, Traceroute, and Whois.
For monitoring websites, there is a miniature version of Google Analytics. I find this easier to use than the browser application, with a very nice ‘Today’ feature with all the facts summarized in a list. As far as more general business requirements are concerned, there are a host of applications for reading RSS feeds, Twittering, Collaboration, business intelligence, organization, documents and so on. As the browser on the phone is very impressive, there is little one can’t do in the way of accessing information.
I’ve been using handheld computers for many years, but the iPhone and iPod Touch are the first ones that make me feel that I’m able to work effectively when I’m away from my desktop or laptop computer. The nicest surprise for me was the way that Apple had redefined the expectation of how much one ought to pay for an application. With prices rarely higher than a tenner, one can afford to take one or two gambles. And, yes, I’ll continue to play music on the thing when the urge takes me!