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Using Better Tools


Using Better Tools

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Using Better Tools

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Let's suppose that a FTE cost £1/minute. A tool cost £300. Over the lifetime of that tool it has to save 5hours of time for that one person.

Having read "The Phoenix Project" one of the points that hit home for me was that most of a project elapse time is spent waiting for people and/or resource to become available. Saving 1 person 5 hours may actually save considerably more for other people and present the organisation with revenue generating opportunities to boot! So where is the business case for NOT buying such tools?
If I was in charge of an organisation with a No 3rd Party Tools policy I would look for the BECAUSE then start looking for the mitigation for the BECAUSE. There needs to be an internal certification process for such tools.

Then there is the other extreme where a company buys an expensive tool suite then tries to save money on the training to use that tool suite. That's got all the wisdom of buying a Ferrari to prevent your garage floor from getting dusty

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Gotta say, as a one person IT shop Red Gate's tools (though expensive) are a god-send. They are literally the equivalent of having a second DBA!

Three tools in particular come to mind, SQL-Prompt (code beautification/intellisense/find invalid objects), SQL Compare (moving schema changes), SQL Data compare (great for refreshing QA/Training and Development data). If you don't already have them GET THEM.

Another must have tool is ModelRight, a data modeling tool. Yes, it lets you draw pretty pictures of the database to show in meetings but it ALSO lets you create the DDL that creates the database AND creates the SQL to alter it. Plus it IS your database's documentation and data dictionary. Triple crown win!

These tools probably cost my company around $2,000 but compare that to spending $70,000+ per year for a DBA...the tools literally are that useful.
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How prevalent is the behavior described here? 5% or 50% of the companies surveyed?
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I too really enjoy third party tools and can use them where I work. I particularly use Redgat SQL Prompt for SQL Development. I really enjoy it and the tool has certainly saved me a lot of time. I don't know every statement, especially a lot of the mundane ones. SQL Prompt has good shortcuts that lets me get right to a core layout that I can work with and without reference.

I really enjoy JetBrains and their suite of IDE's. One of the major concerns I've had with them is the fact there are so many open source (free) options out there for both Python and even SQL. Thus, why pay for one when you have those free options out there? Well, I pay for PyCharm for Python because the tool has so many great features other free tools do not have for Python. Notepad++, Sublime Text, Atom, and Spyder. However, most of these are just text editors and not fully integrated IDE's like PyCharm. Therefore, paying the extra money per month is well worth the time saved.

The cool thing about JetBrains that I like is they offer a monthly billing model now that includes all of their IDE's, not just the one you want. While I have dabbled into other languages, others may not. But the idea that if I ever start working in Java, PHP, C/C++ and even need a Linux based SQL IDE, JetBrains has options that are already included in my monthly payment. I just go, download, and enjoy a fully licensed copy.
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 9:05 PM
Comments posted to this topic are about the item Using Better Tools

Inspired by your editorial, I just installed SQL Search in my SSMS 17.4. Whenever I click on the SQL Search Icon, SSMS crashes. Had to remove SQL Search

Jeff Mlakar
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I like the bit about companies restricting non-Microsoft software like sp_WhoIsActive, DBATools, Ola's scripts, etc. I get the place this is coming from, i.e. security focused, but it isn't effective. The advantages are greater here than the disadvantages of using these open source software. It's a dinosaur mentality in my opinion.
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Oh boy Steve, could I ever say a lot in response to this. At my old job I worked for a university. In our IT shop we were a Microsoft shop, but we would consider other vendors or open source. In my current position, it is basically use what Microsoft has and don't consider anything else. I just don't get it. For example, I like to use third party controls in application development because they've tackled the really tough problems that would take us a long time to accomplish. But here, its do not consider any third party controls at all! I've asked why. Basically, I think its someone got burned way back in the day when there were a lot of third party companies writing controls and the inevitable pruning of those companies happened. I think they made a bet on some third party control authoring company that went out of business and now they don't trust any of them. But it isn't just controls, its other things. Like we don't look at any collaboration software/suites. When it comes to SQL Server third party controls, only 1 person (the head DBA) has a license. The rest of the DBAs are just outta luck. (Although I will say that we're switching from Idera to Redgate this year, or so I've been told.)

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Wow, Steve. I think this is the first time in my career that I've heard that companies will not use any software BUT from Microsoft. It has always been the other way around for me. Although not at 100%. Meaning, use anything but software from MS unless there is nothing else. The notion of someone restricting their software to only one company these days would have me question the long term strategies of the IT department within the organization and try to understand where the value is in doing that. Security concerns, imho, is not a legitimate reason, as mentioned already, steps can be taken to validate/verify.

What is the % of the companies that have this policy in place? From my experience, it should be a small number.
Tom Uellner
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gbritton1 - Thursday, January 4, 2018 8:01 AM
Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 9:05 PM
Comments posted to this topic are about the item Using Better Tools

Inspired by your editorial, I just installed SQL Search in my SSMS 17.4. Whenever I click on the SQL Search Icon, SSMS crashes. Had to remove SQL Search

I just updated to SSMS 17.4 and have SQL Search installed so your comment prompted me to check on my laptop. Using SSMS 17.4 with SQL Search v3.0.6.1667 is working without issue. Did you try contacting Red Gate support? SQL Search is a super useful tool.

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