One of the highlights of my weekday mornings is reading the editorial by Steve Jones of SQLServerCentral.com. However, this past Tuesday's newsletter was particularly newsworthy: Steve announced the sale of the SQLServerCentral.com site to Red Gate software, a UK-based manufacturer of SQL Server tools.
Though the timing came as a surprise, I have to say that the sale did not.
The three founders of this community had recently opened a new training facility
in Florida which seems to be doing very well. Further, there had been a noticable
shift toward revenue generation on the site during the past few months, and I wondered
if SSC was being primed for a sale.
I am a longtime member of SSC, and I have much respect for the founders of this
community. I was relieved to read that Steve Jones will continue on as editor
of the site, including the publication of his daily editorial as usual. The
company line at Red Gate is that the site will continue as usual, with Steve having
control over the content.
As much affection as I have for this site, I will confess a great deal of skepticism
over the future of SSC after the sale. I am suspicious of the motives of any
software company in Red Gate's position who would buy what is arguably the most
active SQL Server community site at the same time that they announce an initiative
to greatly increase company revenue. Further, a visit to www.simple-talk.com,
another venue owned by Red Gate, reveals that community to be very loyal to only
Red Gate tools.
I'm not a naysayer or a pessimist; I believe it is possible for SSC to continue
to be the great site it has always been. This community is my favorite site
on the 'Net, and I sincerely hope that it continues to be business as usual there.
Only time will tell.
Tim Mitchell is a Microsoft SQL Server consultant, speaker, and trainer, and is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. He has been working with SQL Server for over 7 years, working primarily in business intelligence, ETL/SSIS, reporting, and database development. You can find his complete profile at TimMitchell.net.