Not Connected


No, I'm not unwired. Things are actually working well here at the Ranch and with the generator, we even survived a recent power outage!

No, I'm talking about Microsoft Connect. I personally think this is a poor way to handle the bug reports. It's a generic system that puts the onus on the customer to report a great deal of information on the bug. That's not necessarily a bad thing, after all, it you can't reproduce the bug, maybe it was an anomaly.

However it appears that bugs are worked on based on the voting for the issue. So if there are a lot of votes for something, it gets a higher priority in the chain of fixes. I don't know this for a fact, but it appears that this is how things work from the outside. So you need to get votes for your issue, either by publicizing it or because a lot of people have the same issue. There's would work great if people could easily report their issue, see you've reported it, and add their vote.

However we have to search for issues. With Live search.

I don't mean to constantly berate the Live team, but the search features haven't worked well. It's not all their fault, however, because we all think of things or might report them differently. So we don't necessarily find the same report or don't want to weed through 50 results when we enter a search, so we re-report it. And we now have the same issue reported twice, each with 1 vote and neither looks very important.

Now just imagine that we have a semi-serious bug that's reported 500 times, by 500 people? And each report has 1 vote. How important do those look when you're running a "select top 20 bug_name from Connect order by votes desc" query? Not very good.

I get why developers like Connect. Heck, I'd like it too! It rolls up reports, you can see which ones are important to a lot of people, it's easy to prioritize, etc. However it's not effective. I am sure that someone thought this was a good idea, got people to buy in and there are a few people whose bonuses depend on how well Connect is used to get through bug reports and issues. So effective or not, they'll continue to push it, pull out the metrics that will make them look good, and whether it's good for the long-term health of the product, we'll have to use it. At least until it causes a blip in revenue somehow and how likely is that?

Now I've heard there are changes coming and there is a beta for a new Connect out there. It crashed on me a few times, and it looks better, but it still suffers from the problems of not making it easy to find if the same bug has been reported.

I think the best solution is to hire 20 more interns and have them classify bugs, triage them and combine those that are the same problem. Or are close enough that you think they're the same problem. Then we could just report the bug and if it's already been reported someone would combine the reports and we'd see if it impacts people. Or if someone reported a closed bug, you could let them know, still combine the reports and maybe I wouldn't see 100 results for "SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3" or any of the other items I'd searched for.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

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