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Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is a SQL Server Professional working in the UK where he recently worked as a DBA in women's clothing, not literally he hastens to add! He is certified in SQL Server 2008, runs the Maidenhead SQL Server User Group Pass Chapter and is on the organising committee for SQL Relay. In his spare time plays the trumpet in local symphony orchestras.

His online presence includes:

Top 5 Third Party Quotes

Unless you’ve worked in a vacuum the likelyhood is that you either are a third company or you have many third companies with you, possibly both. Some are really really good and you can learn a lot from talking to them and working things out together, others have staff who should never have been allowed to go near a keyboard period or speak to a customer. I.T. can be extremely stressful and bizarrely it’s these people that can make your week. With this in mind I’d like to nominate my favourite 5 third party quotes of my career so far in reverse order to brighten up your day:

  • Email from third party: We’re delighted to inform you that we received your server yesterday, our software has been installed and configured on the two drives which have been configured as RAID 10 which means mirrored and striped.
    My reply: That’s really impressive, would you mind telling me how you managed to mirror AND stripe on only two physical disks?!?!
    I never received a response.

  • Third Party: We’re concerned that you are not backing up your databases.
    Me: I am backing them up.
    Third Party: You’re not.
    Me: I’ll double check 99.9% sure they are though, not had any failure notification come through. Yup just checked MSDB everything looks fine.
    Third party: I tell you you’re not! I dialled in yesterday upon X’s request on ticket Y and saw you had no maintenance plans!!!
    Me: Can I just put you on hold for a few seconds please…. Guy’s you’ll never believe this, this guy thinks you can only back up databases via maintenance plans….

  • Me: I’m not convinced this design is scalable, you have lots of redundant data here.
    Third Party: Normalization went out with the dinosaurs.

  • Me: I’m just reading this maintenance schedule, you say we have to abide by to keep your application optimal. I’m all for proactive maintenance but this doesn’t seem right can I skip some of it.
    Third Party: No, that would invalidate your support agreement with us.
    Me: But you want me to autoshrink all your databases EVERY night.
    Third Party: Yup, keeping them small makes them more optimal.
    Me: That’s not true, all you’ll do is fragment all the data. Have you not read Paul Randal’s blog?
    Third Party: Never heard of him, does he work for your company?
    Me: I wish.

  • Me: X, I’ve looked at this database and you have 250 tables all with triggers on and they all have the same logical flaw.
    Third Party: It’s not our fault, SQL Server comes with triggers built in!

I have paraphrased in places to protect the guilty, but there are many many more where these came from which I might store up for another post at another time if it proves popular. Hope you enjoyed reading the conversations as much as I did having them!

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