“The Long and Winding Road” is one of my favorite Beatles songs, it reminds me of my dad, he was a huge Beatles fan. My dad passed away almost five years ago, but I still miss him like it was yesterday and I still remember the advice he gave me when I was a kid, “Work hard and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do something, there’s always a way. It may not be easy, but there’s always a way.” I credit that advice for the success I’ve had in my life, both personal and professional.
I started working with SQL Server back on Windows 3.11 (version 4.21a). I know I’m dating myself here, but that’s kind of the point of this post. We thought Windows 3.11 was so cool after having to deal with DOS for so many years, we didn’t think it could get any cooler. But it did. We got Windows 95, then 98, XP, 7 and now 8. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
The same goes for SQL Server.
We started out with what I thought was a great tool, then they made it better. We went from having to create devices to hold our database files and keeping track of each file growth, to just being able to create our database files and let them grow on their own. I don’t know about anybody else, but that made me so happy. No more sp_helpdb every night to make sure I could recreate my databases if needed in a disaster.
It used to be very hard to write T-SQL code if you weren’t familiar with the database objects, the old iSQL query window didn’t have an object browser so you couldn’t see a list of your tables, let alone column names. Now we have intellisense built right in to the query window. This feature alone is with worth its weight in gold. It allows me to be so much more productive, type the first few letters and hit tab. “BAM!” as Emeril would say.
BCP really used to be the only way to get data in and out of your database, then they gave DTS. Once again it’s like going from DOS to Windows. Then they came out with SSIS. Holy Cow, I thought I’d won the lottery after writing my first package in under 5 minutes. It truly was an amazing transformation (pun definitely intended).
There are so many other features that have improved along the way, too many in fact to list them all here.
It’s been a long road,
The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day.
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way.
There were definitely many tears shed along the way to where I am today, tears of frustration and of joy. But I wouldn’t change my long and winding road for anything, it’s made me who and what I am today.
SQL Server let me know the way…