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Some Comments about our Discussion Area

By Andy Warren,

As much as we all like to read articles to extend our knowledge, sometimes you just need an answer to a question, or a better idea about how to solve a problem. Our discussion area is the place for that! If you've posted a question to a newsgroup or mailing list before, you know that sometimes you get a reply, sometimes you don't. Beginner questions aren't always well received. We're going to try to do better. How?

  • To start with, we will GUARANTEE that you get a reply within 3 business days. That's the max. In most cases you can expect to get a reply the same day. Keep in mind that we're not guaranteeing to give you the answer! We're just committing to reading your questions and trying to answer them, or suggesting other places where you may be able to find the answer. 
  • We don't mind beginner questions. If you have a question and you can't find the answer here or on MSDN, post it! All we ask is that you try to figure it out on your own first.

For it to work, you have to do your part. The more information you provide up front, the fewer round trips needed in the discussion to get to the point where someone can suggest a solution. Here are some points we hope you'll keep in mind when posting:

  • Try to create your topic in the appropriate category. Also, please post your topic only once!
  • Always include the version of SQL Server that you're using. The exact error message is always helpful. Tell us what troubleshooting you have done so far. Include code samples if appropriate. Including DDL to build the relevant table(s) and insert test data is a great help to other readers.
  • If you're trying to find a solution, it's always better to include some background about the scope of the problem. It's not uncommon to eliminate the need for a tricky solution by rethinking the approach to a problem.
  • Check the box to give you email notification for new replies so you don't have to keep checking the site.
  • Respond promptly and politely to all replies. Typically you'll get some questions asking for some additional information - without all the info, it's hard for readers to contribute good solutions. 
  • Once your question or problem is resolved, PLEASE post a final message explaining which fix worked and that your topic is complete. This is to provide readers that review the discussion days or even weeks later with a thorough picture - nothing more frustrating that to find a thread that addresses your question, but no information about whether the answer really worked.

Come try it out!

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