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I’m sorry, you’ve committed a GIANT INTERNET FAIL (#SQL2012)

Updated with links to no-login goodness. Updated again with IE rage.

This week, Microsoft announced the SQL Server 2012 release to market (RTM), and a Virtual Launch event.  Much like a movie premiere, an event like this is meant to really jazz up SQL customers (and potential customers) about the awesomesauce of the new product.  It’s shiny! It’s awesome! We worked really hard on it, so come and see!

The Virtual Launch website was a bit confusing.  For events like this, here’s what you typically get (what everybody’s grown to expect):

  1. What the event is about.
  2. A way to register.
  3. What day it’s happening.
  4. What time it starts.
  5. What sessions happen, and when.
  6. A way to login.
  7. A way to choose those sessions. Generally they’ll get added to your calendar on the webpage, and/or you can put them in Outlook.

We got 1-3. We didn’t get 4-7. That would be fine, except the site gave every indication that we had 4-7: somewhere in there, there had to be a start time.  A session schedule. A way to login.

I wrote emails. I tweeted. I got no reply.

The day of the launch (today) arrived. The rumored time of the launch approached. Still no change. Even the session moderators couldn’t log in.

I got an email that said I could login. I couldn’t. I wrote an internet-nerd-rage email:

… You can’t provide a website like this that gives all the indications that users will be able to log in and choose sessions, and then provide no way to do so. You set no expectations as to how the site would work, nor when the expected functionality would become active. Many of us have been banging our head on the desk, tweeting and emailing you and each other, trying to get in.  I’ve received no reply to my emails and tweets.  This gives us the impression that the site isn’t working properly, and we won’t be able to get in in time for the keynotes and sessions.

The time for the launch came and went, and nothing changed. Twitter exploded in similar nerdrage. When the site finally opened for logins, the incoming flood brought down the page.  Quoth one user: “This wouldn’t happen if they’d let people login early…”

Microsoft, you’ve been at this a while now. You know far, far better than to make such a huge, massively-publicized mistake like this, and you’re going to get massive amounts of flak for this launch failure.  I realize that you’ve probably got a vendor running this campaign, but I and the rest of the ragey internet trolls lay this at your feet, because someone should have been more involved.

That said, I’m really looking forward to the launch, and to SQL 2012. You know we love you, that’s why we’re so hard on you. (Well, most of us.)

Update: The launch site apparently doesn’t function in Internet Explorer.  And moderators aren’t able to get in and moderate (see Sean’s blog for the moderator’s POV). Here, Microsoft’s vendor company…have some rage:

Links that you don’t need a login for:

Happy days,
Jen McCown

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