The Age of Software

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Age of Software

  • There's little reason why a test matrix couldn't support more platforms if they wanted to. If the matrix encompasses more platforms at the expense of features, then they should increase resources. It's a shame to hold the market at ransom, but the companies get away with it because users are powerless. Unfortunately the market is not a good way to hold the corporates to ethical account for their actions. If push|shove then I'm sure we'd rather include XP and drop vista from the support list!

    Old seems to be a perspective issue. For the user, it would suggest that old means the product is not providing business value anymore. Old (as was put in the OP) is a 'version behind the current operating system' which for the software company means you're not a revenue stream anymore (and should be forced into one).

    Ever since the dawn of computing, users have been pushed onto increasingly smaller upgrade cycles, while users naturally want to get as much out of their investment as possible. New features, bells and whistles seem to be the enticing bait that hooks us into upgrading; where the focus should instead be on security, support and longevity.

  • Very well-thought post Steve.

    I think you hit one of the bigger issues with us as a generation of "spoiled" kids.

    Lots of people expect "it all" from all other people/companies, and seem to lack the insight to realize or accept the fact that all other companies have some sort of limit on their resources. Even Microsoft need to prioritize and doesn't have unlimited funding or resources.

    And every choice to do something is inevitably a choice to not do something else. I think the discussion can be taken to a whole other level and be expanded to everything else than software.

    We want everything. But seems to lack the ability to prioritize and accept that other prioritize their business.

    As Dallas writes though, then it doesn't necessarily cost MS much more to run the test suite on another OS. But I would find it pretty likely that IF they chose to support XP, then some issues would arise with the XP platform, and thus they would be using resources on fixing those bugs, instead of fixing bugs that could affect the majority of developers or putting new features in that could benefit us all.

    Small disclaimer: I live in Denmark, and as such some of my observations for the population in general might not fit all other countries. That's just what I sometimes see here. We are spoiled and not used to settle with less than the best.

  • I don't have a problem with this. XP has already gone out of mainstream support, and I'm sure most DBAs would rather people were *not* connecting to vital databases from an OS that potentially has security holes in it that will *never* be fixed.

    I mean, what's the alternative here? If Microsoft have to support Windows XP, should they also support Windows 2000? What about NT 4? There has to be some sort of cutoff point for support declared, and I think basing it on whether the actual operating system is in mainstream support or not is a pretty fair way of doing it!

  • I doubt it will be an issue for us because we're only just completing the SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005 migration!

    We are just starting the XP to Windows 7 migration which will be mainly next year's task along with more virtualisation of work stations. Like many businesses we take one major upgrade at a time and for the past two years it has been the new ERP system which has also got us started with SQL Server 2008 (not R2 due to cost). We are behind so many firewalls and security levels and the network is not outward facing so connecting from XP is a lower issue. I think many major businesses will be in a similar situation - by the time it does matter we'll be off XP.

    SQL Server 2011 will be far too new and expensive for some time as we have to have software rigorously tested and approved by a central security dept of the civil service before it can even be installed on the network.

  • If they don't support SQL 11 on Windows for Workgroups 3.11 NOW then I for one am taking my computer and going home. Bah.

  • Feels like fundamental flaw when a database server is highly dependent on it's operating system..

  • IceDread (6/23/2011)

    Feels like fundamental flaw when a database server is highly dependent on it's operating system..

    call.copse (6/23/2011)

    If they don't support SQL 11 on Gentoo NOW then I for one am taking my computer and going home. Bah.

  • If you do any work in the manufacturing arena, as we do, you might be shocked to find that one of the OS's still running, and running well out there is DOS. Yes, DOS. Many of today's machine tools benefit from the lightweight old dependable operating system that appeared decades ago when my hair was a lot less grey.

    As well, Microsoft is earning no friends with a recent rumor/announcement that Windows 8 is coming out. On my last business trip I visited with a large international company whose VP of Information Technology was truly well, pissed off, that Microsoft bungled Vista badly, finally got what seems to be a good OS back on the market (Win 7), and then (!!!) announces another version coming.

    It seems the number of people sick and tired of Microsoft is growing. Office 2007 was largely a bust and finally, as companies start the move to Win 7 / Office 2010 its becoming more and more apparent to people that Microsoft is less interested in "improved technology" and much more concerned with creating revenue streams.

    As ever, SQL Server seems to stand alone and apart from these shenanigans, but that viewpoint is also 'melting'. For guys who spend most of their time with SQL maybe driving huge databases for web sites or vast businesses, sure SQL 2008 R2 is an "improvement" - but there are thousands (maybe more) of other companies who just want a good database and for them, SQL 2008 comes off as just another upgrade to fill Microsoft's coffers with little to offer them.

    This is the price we pay for a lack of good competition in the business OS and Tools arena, but as ever, whatever OS and software gets the job done is often what people stay with - especially in this time of tightening corporate outlays for huge upgrade projects that in the end, upgrade users to basically the same thing they already had.

    There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
  • call.copse (6/23/2011)

    If they don't support SQL 11 on Windows for Workgroups 3.11 NOW then I for one am taking my computer and going home. Bah.

    I was thinking more along the lines of Windows ME. :w00t:

  • My company uses an AS400 as the main server with many, many other servers including SQL 2005. We are still primarily on XP because many of us require the "green-screen" interface to do our programming for the AS400. Some users are now going to Windows 7, but it has been discovered that the iSeries Access to Windows does not work with 7. I guess we are stuck with XP until IBM comes out with a compatible version to Windows 7. It seems stupid that Microsoft would eliminate support for this which gives the users the best of both worlds.

  • However, in my mind, the age of the OS isn't an issue. If the OS still works for you, there's no problem running it.

    Well, hey, why the heck doesn't MS support my Kaypro II running CP/M? It's a perfectly fine OS and hasn't got any viruses or other malware, and absolutely 0 security problems since 1982!

    Bah. Steve, with all due respect, you're part of the problem. The fact is XP *DOES NOT WORK* anymore. Why? Security! It's out of support, meaning no more security fixes. So if another Melissa or Conficker comes along, XP users are *toast*.

    Still think XP works just fine?

    Having said that, yes, there are a lot of vertical market apps that even now don't support Vista/7. These apps are, of course, monopoly applications and have no replacements, or are so horribly expensive it's never going to be replaced. The code doesn't follow guidelines MS set up in 1991 and the vendor is ok with that, because, after all, where else are you going to go?

    And people wonder why so many hacks have been happening lately. Sigh.

  • I guess it depends on what exactly is meant by "will longer support". If that means they will no longer make extensions or big fixes to the code base to accomodate XP or take support calls from XP users, then that's OK. However, there is no reason for the install to abort with a message "operating system not supported". I also don't see why the client tools like SSMS (or especially the data access components) should rely on some API that exists only in Windows Vista / 7. Just let the XP users (myself included) continue using XP with SQL Server Denali until it breaks. If the Denali client tools are developed entirely using the .NET framework, then that shouldn't be a problem.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Software is typically built upon a platform, and therefore what the software supports is determined by what the platform supports. If the software has to go beyond this boundary and support multiple families of platforms & underlying technologies, the complexity in the software would increase due to the increase in the number of "IF..." conditions branching the logic based on the platform. (This branching is essential in cases of completely different platforms, eg. Windows XP and up is one block, and Windows 2000 and below would probably be another block for client-side softwares).

    There have been a lot of changes in the platform - on the server end, we got DEP, UAC, and a lot more. Software has to be re-written to comply with these rules, and therefore phasing out support for "old" software is required.

    In fact, we do this at the micro-level in SQL Server also. For example, TIMESTAMP is being deprecated for the much better ROWVERSION or DTS is being removed for SSIS. Once a feature is flagged, it still sticks around for a version or two - that gives users time to switch over to new technologies, while ensuring that your software continues to work untill the swtich is made.

    Concluding, while "old" software is not bad (DTS was not bad), at some point, the switch has to be made (due to improved features, efficiency and performance) and we should be prepared to make that switch in bits and pieces with each release of the software.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Nakul Vachhrajani.

    Follow me on
    Twitter: @sqltwins

  • Regarding the client tools specifically (SSMS, BIDS, DAC, etc.), if the user's version of Windows has the latest .NET framework installed, then it shouldn't matter what version of Windows it is. We don't need any Windows Vista flash in the tools we use to manage or query the database. The whole idea of .NET was for software developers to stop making low level Windows API calls.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

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