A Round of Applause

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Recently I've complained a bit about the issues with SQL Server, both the upcoming release of Katmai and the current 2005 release. I think there are definitely problems with the way Microsoft builds and releases their software, but I'm sure I could do any better. In some ways I think they are systemic issues prevalent in any large company.

But I didn't want to debate, complain, or argue about the efforts put forth by the developers at Microsoft. My problems are mostly with management and marketing, but I also realized that I haven't really put forth any kudos to the men and woman that build this great product that I use and evangelize. So I decided to take a few minutes and share some of the great things that I see in the SQL Server team.

First of all I think that the people that worked on SQL Server 2005 did a great job. For every bug or issue, there are some amazing new features, and it's a very, very stable product. It has run extremely well for me and from what I've seen, it's been more stable than SQL Server 2000. And I thought that was a very, very solid piece of software.

I've seen Dan Jones speak a few times over the last couple years and he brings a great amount of passion and effort to a fairly mundane area: management and tools. He and his team don't always do what I want (or what you want either), but they do listen, they respond, and they've worked hard to build us new tools to manage the product. And they've gotten Intellisense into SQL Server! Thanks to that entire team.

I remember years ago getting documentation for software that was never updated. It seems that many vendors and their support teams want you to build up your own set of knowledge over time about how the product works and it's shortcomings, especially in the documentation. The team at Microsoft not only does a nice job of periodically rebuilding Books Online and releasing updates, but they do a good job of responding to feedback that you post on MSDN for topics and allowing (and adding to) comments from those of us using the product. Thanks everyone!

The BI group is fun. Bill Baker leads an incredible team of people that show up and entertain us, often making fun of themselves, at various events. They have built an incredibly useful and full featured suite of tools and subsystems from Reporting Services to Integration Services and have been working hard to make a mainstream platform for Business Intelligence. All without having their own product! They've built on top of SQL Server and given away this huge amount of software for free with the relational engine.

This group has really built an amazing platform and they deserve to be recognized for the work they've done.

And the relational engine team just keeps building the best engine out there. It's solid, it inspires confidence, and it's getting more and more open all the time. All of the DMV work, the tuning, and probably more of all, all the blogging from Paul Randal, Craig Freedman, and many more developers, has really helped to increase our understanding of SQL Server. There's an incredible wealth of knowledge out there if you look around and I have to really thank them for a very strong, stable platform on which everything rests.

There are hundreds of people working on SQL Server and while I've met a small fraction, I have to say that they all project this excitement and passion for what they do. I don't recognize their accomplishments enough, and I'm sorry for not pointing out more of the great things in between my complaints.

So take a moment and think about something you like about SQL Server, something that works well, or that you appreciate. Thank those folks up there in Redmond that are heads down in the code, working hard each day to build great software.

Steve Jones


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