Bad Manners

  • Pinnochio

    I had a great editorial today on security, based on a recent summit, but I just had to push it back. Actually I have a good one for tomorrow, but that will slip as well for different reasons.

    I saw a post yesterday in the Quest forums and other forums here on the site. It's rare we get posts in these vendor forums, though I'm hoping it will change. If you have issues, questions, or comments for a vendor, post them. Others can chime in and I usually send links to vendors and try to get them to respond.

    In any case, this was a post by Bob Boule, using a Gmail address (not that you would know that), but it appears that Mr. Boule is also an employee of Quest, something he did not disclose. Not that it matters, but the post was questioning licensing for a competitor's (Red Gate) product.

    Now I'm not defending Red Gate here (probably here about that one), and if there are questions about their licensing practices, feel free to post them and I'm sure someone will comment. Not me because I have no idea how their licensing works, but someone will see it or I'll ping someone at Red Gate and likely others will respond with their experiences. I did have two problems with the post, which is why I edited it.

    First, Bob, if you or anyone else wants to post something about a competitor, have the stones to disclose who you work for. Hiding behind a Gmail address, or Hotmail, or anything else is just poor ethics. We're all wearing big boy or big girl pants and we know companies are competing with others. Disclose who you work for, Bob, like many others do, and then give us valid reasons why you are questioning something. We can read through the horse piles (at least I can after shoveling plenty of them over the last year) and sort out the issues.

    Second, post your own comments. Or your comments on what someone else wrote. In this case, the entire post was the contents of an entry at Database Underground over at InfoWorld. No credit was given, which is plagiarism as well as likely a copyright violation.

    As to the content of the blog? The license agreement certainly seems to imply you license a machine and cannot move the software. In my opinion, that's a poor license. Most companies allow you to license concurrent copies and move the software as needed to a new server. It's similar a Checkpoint firewall I purchased years ago. It was licensed to an "IP" owned by my company. We couldn't move it without permission from Checkpoint, nor could we "sell" this $15,000 machine to anyone else.

    I thought that was unfair and have refrained from doing business with Checkpoint and if this is the case (still seeking clarification), I think this is just as unfair.

    As far as disclosure, I am not a Red Gate employee, but contract with them for the management and editing of this site.

  • let's hope the irony of this statement isn't lost on anyone who has read the "about" section of this site. 

    "have the stones to disclose who you work for."

    Brian Lockwood
    ApexSQL - SQL Developer Essentials

    Stand up for an Independent SQL Community - be Informed

  • Steve,

    Good editorial!

    Original author: 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2019, 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005.

    When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor they call me a communist - Archbishop Hélder Câmara

  • Let me raise a more general issue, based upon the original article.

    What is "correct" and not "correct" in copy protection schemes?...

    I'll raise a practical example, which I presently have in my hands.

    The Company I work for will not upgrade XP Professional to Vista before the next 2 years or so.

    Meanwhile, as a home user of XP Pro (corporate Select agreement, given to me by the Company - after all, I work to tem from home and in fact from anywhere...) I ahave not had to bother with "machine-tied" licensing.

    Right now, if I don't want to wait 2 years until my Company upgrades my copy of the OS, I'll have to buy a new copy of Vista. So far so good, it's a typical money decision - or is it not?

    No, it's a lot more than that.

    I change vital hardware components every 6 months to 1 year, at the most. The things that I change are exactly those requiring re-activation from the software vendor!... I change disks (right now, I have a new 750 GB vertical recording Seagate waiting to me mounted...), burners (still waiting for the HD-DVD one, too costly now), Graphics boards (now looking warmheartedly at the Nvidia 88800 GTX  and the combo Motherboard + Processor + RAM.

    Both the Disk and the main board combo cause always licensing issues. I've had to switch back in the past as well, because of things that went wrong.

    HOW MANY TIMES will Microsoft (or any other vendor, for that matter) accept my frequent changes of Hardware?... It's not only a hassle - it's that you risk them saying "no" at any one point - without the right to do so, but with the might to dump you as they please. There are even no clear rules as to how many times you can apply for a reactivation, or within which time frame those reactivations may occur.

    I am violently against these discretionary and arbitrary powers given to the software vendor - restrictions to the use of the software are already too great. And, of course, I do not like to be treated like a bandit.

    Every day, I have the trust and the confidence my bosses and co-workers and my Company places on me (I'm IT Manager and IPO). It's one of the top 20 in its field. And now they come and say "ah, wait, you want to use this expensive piece of software that you paid for?... Not until "we" check your machine guts to see if you're cheating!"

    I have nothing against this, in principle - providing that I would be controlled by a database in the vendor that would allow ME (not them) the option to control how I want to use my own copies of the software. Let me explain. The process COULD be the same as the current one - UP TO THE POINT and no more where they match my machine with their database.

    OK, so they would know the serial number and the "finger ID" of my machine. Now I want access to their database, to my records.

    I and not them should be able to say - OK, that machine is dead. I want to move my license to this new one. And that's it - period. So their database software takes care of the registration, it could place a restriction (say, 1, 2, 3 days or so, but no more, before I could switch machines again- to prevent me from going back and forth abusivelly.

    This would ber acceptable, albeit not the ideal scenario. That's how far I'd let them go.

    I own ONE COPY - so let me decide where I want to use it - and if you want to keep tabs on it, fine, as long as I am still in control. The vendor would control HOW MANY copies I have active - and I would control WHERE I use them.

    More intrusion and power to the vendor is completelly unaceptable.

    What do you think?...


    Leonaldo Brum

    (I don't want to disclose publicly where I work or my e-mail, because that's involving 3rd. parties not interested in it, but my ID is known to the publishers of this site).






  • My name is Derek Langone and I work for Quest Software.  Not only do I work for Quest Software, but I run the SQL Server business for Quest.  I hope that is enough disclosure for everyone reading.

    It is never our intention to mislead an audience by masquerading covertly under a personal e-mail address.  We participate in every forum and every show available to discuss best practices in the SQL industry.  We answer every question we receive honestly and completely.  We use personal e-mails at times to alleviate the flood of e-mail we receive corporately.  In fact when I originally signed up for this site in 2004, you guessed it...I used my personal e-mail account.

    This site was once a very informative place for us to contribute to content as well as recruit new customers to take a look at our products. 

    When a vendor purchased this site last year we were certainly disappointed.  We considered removing all of our contact with, but after much discussion we decided to stay engaged even though we knew content and discussions would slowly turn to favor the vendor in charge and only the vendor in charge.  The fact that Bob Boule has been "outed" by an employee of the vendor who now owns the site just proves that our hunch was correct and the site is no longer a repository for SQL DBA's, but rather a full-time marketing campaign for the Vendor paying the bills.

    I have the luxury of a nearly unlimited marketing budget, but never once have we considered purchasing SQL Server Central or SQL performance or SQL Magazine or any other medium designed to be a community and not a commercial.

  • Interesting issue. If the facts are straight should it matter the source or relative anonimity of the poster? As I gather it no one is disputing the factual basis of the GMAIL poster's content - or are they? Has anyone pulled the string on the original "Sean McCown" at DB Underground to see if he has an ax to grind or a monetary interest? If SQL Server Central was unaffiliated with any major vendor would they have referenced his blog in the Sunday composite listing of SQL Server topics or further commented in a different way than they did? Should we think poorly of vendors that point out competitors flaws without fully identifiying themselves?

    None of my questions above are rhetorical, at least in my mind. I think all are interesting.

    I will say that a non-transferable license is almost a show stopper in my purchasing mind. I will not buy an OEM OS license for my personal PC for this reason and I'm constantly annoyed by the single-transfer rule of Microsoft CAL's (which I have to live with but really sort of understand given the nature of the CAL license model) - I'd almost rather they make them totally untransferable - it would greatly simplify license management, i.e. you hire a new employee, you buy a new set of CAL's and give employers a little more incentive to minimize turnover. But I digress.

    Interesting issue.

  • I am a SQL user and not an employee of any software company.

    I am not sure what your objection is here:

    The fact that Bob Boule has been "outed" by an employee of the vendor who now owns the site just proves that our hunch was correct and the site is no longer a repository for SQL DBA's, but rather a full-time marketing campaign for the Vendor paying the bills.

    It seems you did not address the objections that were raised:

    1) he pretended to be a customer when he was an employeed of a competitor

    2) he violated the site's rules on copyright

    Nothing in the original post attacked your product, only the questionable behavior of an individual. That (and licensing policy if you can provide legitimate comment on it) should be the issue under discussion





    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • Bottom line is, Bob did something wrong, got caught and was exposed.  Steve did his job as editor in removing the post, but leaving the link there so anyone who wanted to could go read the original article (with the original authors byline).

    As for those who claim the "About" area of this site isn't clear, which part of "owned by Red Gate Software" was unclear?  Here is the appropriate section, copied directly from the "About Us" link at the top of this forum page:

    "A daily newsletter providing a direct line to all recent articles, tools, editorials and forum posts is owned by Red Gate software and, together with Database Daily and Simple Talk, forms part of the Red Gate Network. and its editor, Steve Jones, have complete editorial independence from Red Gate. "

    Feel free to debate how much independence Steve has from the folks who pay his salary.  But don't try to intimate that Red Gate is a "hidden owner".

    Here there be dragons...,

    Steph Brown

  • Thank you for the comments and I stand by what I said.

    Derek, if Bob had merely disclosed he worked for Quest, I would have been ok with the link. If he had quote or credited the blog or license and wished to encourage debate if this is a good or bad practice, that would be have been fine.

    We don't disclose emails, I didn't disclose Bob's other to mention it was Gmail. I can completley understand the desire to avoid additional email at work, but at least drop a signature, make a note, say I work for Quest, I'm the product manager, and we don't do this and think it's bad. That's fine.

    Just don't pretend that you're an independent third party. As much as I wish I could, I have a bias because I am paid by a vendor. Guess what else?!?

    I've been paid by vendors for three years. In fact a good portion of my salary was covered by Quest prior to the sale of the site. And we've readily admitted before that we struggle with the bias of advertising.

    It's not a perfect world. Quest, ApexSQL, and every other vendor competes with Red Gate, who owns this site. I welcome suggestions on how to be more fair.

    I also think the license debate is a good one to have and if you have comments, please add them to the thread in the Red Gate Forum -

  • I've been using SQL Backup for 2 years and haven't had any licensing problems at all.

    I am not an employee of Red Gate.

  • I still think the 'Third Party Software' forum is not a good idea.

  • Why not have the forum?

  • now who's equivocating and obfuscating?

    The About section says Steve is "in charge" in huge big letters  - this ISN'T TRUE.  Steve might maintain the site but when critical questions arose Steve said I had to "deal with Red-Gate".  Red-Gate informed me THEY had control over editing my ads the second they took over - not Steve.  Red-Gate pays Steve.  It's classic Red-Gate orwellian speak that constantly creeps into this site.

    the pattern here Stephanie is that nothing is clear on this site.  if it weren't for people constantly advocating for full disclosure that notice probably wouldn't even exist.  how long has this particular statement even been there?  When was that exact line added?

    so I applaud you for pounding Bob - but you have a double standard.  one for posters and one for the site itself.  and don't attack the people who have done the heavy lifting to get what little disclosure that does exist on this site.  if you wanna help lift join in.

    Brian Lockwood
    ApexSQL - SQL Developer Essentials

    Stand up for an Independent SQL Community - be Informed

  • Steve

    To me this is a web site about SQL Server, we can ask people question, opinion and idea about SQL Server.  If someone has question about using certain third party product, they can post it under 'General' in SQL Server 7/2000 or SQL Server 2005.

    I feel you put out the third party forum, someone would use it to promote a product or in this case 'trash' a product'. I did asked you this question before why you put out the forum because I know something liked this would happen.

    If you want to put out a third party forum, why not consider to put out a forum called 'Microsoft SQL Server' and post every SP coming out or any news about Microsoft SQL Server.  It's only fair - put out a third party forum and put out a microsoft forum, so people can 'trash' microsoft !!

    Just my 2 cents.




  • Actually I was hoping for people to post comments, questions, and thoughts on products. And I was hopeing to have vendors respond, post press released, etc. I hoped to minimize some of that in the regular forums.

    I also wanted to give third party vendors a place to make notes, comments, etc about their products.

    I think Bob had a good point about the license and it's worth the debate and getting comments. I just don't think you should post inflamatory comments without disclosing who you work for.

    I don't often agree with Brian Lockwood, but he posts what he thinks and he stands behind it.

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