The other day, I was chatting to a keen PostgreSQL user. We're used to having free databases, such as IBM DB2 Express-C, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, SQLite and Oracle XE, but PostgreSQL is different in that it is open source. It is a proper, dedicated community too, I was told.
That expression made me sit up a bit. I'd imagined that SQL Server had some pretty dedicated communities too. 'Take a look at SQLServerCentral!', I spluttered. When I pressed him further, he suggested that the major difference was the strong sense of camaraderie, and contribution to community code projects, that defines the PostgresSQL world.
I then wandered on to Codeplex and immediately saw that there was plenty of community work being done with SQL Server as well. I link to one tool that's recently been added (Scriptio) in this newsletter, but there are a whole host of others…SQL Web Data Administrator, Data Dictionary Creator, to name but two. Of course, Codeplex is run by Microsoft, and the MVP program is controlled by them. So is comparing the PostgreSQL projects with codeplex really comparing like with like?
In any event, it got me thinking on other possible ways that we could support the community. Should SSC be providing independent hosting for community projects in SQL Server, for example? Or should we focus our energies in different areas, such as video training, webinars, conferences, books…the list could go on.
Our overriding objective is to provide for, and foster, all the ways that the community want to operate. We're proud of the SQL Server Central site and pleased with the way that the forums are being used. Most of all, we are awed by the dedication of the many who contribute to the site and assist others. However, we're continually wondering if we could do more, and do better.
Please let us know what you think.