General discussion of SQL Topics; aimed for the novice-intermediate level Microsoft SQL Server User. Currently focuses on using SQL Server 2005.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Books Online could be better...and we, the users, already can make it better!

Yesterday, Kalen Delaney wrote a small article discussing if MS should or shouldn't build in more warning messages or taking better actions in warning users about potential problems from performing tasks/commands within SQL Server. You can read her article at:

I agree that to a certain extent the DBA is responsible for the database and should know how to use the software ideally the database would never be at an unknown risk of data loss. Unfortunately, SQL Server has jumped from the realm of an application to the realm of a data platform! This changes things quite a bit; there is no realistic expectation that a single DBA (or even a small team of DBAs) can possibly know the database software and all of its commands and internal workings 100%. So there is some portion of relief that Microsoft must provide...rather it is a method of warning the DBA from messages, errors, or warnings I don't know or speculate a foreseeable method. I do agree that Books Online (BOL) is considered the SQL Server documentation and it is Microsoft's responsibility to ensure that the documentation provides all of the information (including inner workings where necessary) of commands and features that have potential unsafe effects.

The question is where does this responsibility end? Also, where does it fall onto the DBA (or end-user) shoulders to piece together all of this information and understand how they are utilizing the data platform and the data loss potential is created by this usage?

The first thing that comes to my mind is that Microsoft has taken a step in adding a way for the user's of BOL to add in their content that can point this type of stuff out. Why is it that we DBAs aren't doing this? I hope after reading this maybe our community will take a moment or two to place a useful comment (especially warning of potential data loss areas) in BOL for the other less knowledgeable DBAs.

Until next time, Happy Coding!

No comments: