Ha… did that get your attention? Well, what I really hope to do is make everyone aware of what’s made the Developer Community rounds this week. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced “Data Dude” (aka the Visual Studio sku for Database Developers). This was an announcement that may be glanced over by many DBAs thinking it’s just another tool for developers…what can it offer me? And, well, that’s where I think there are some VERY cool things to point out. I’ve been following Data Dude for a couple of months now (ah… a little birdy told me :) and at first I wasn’t sure how much it would impact me. However, after starting to get a better feel for their future directions, I’ve realized that even though I’m not their initial and/or direct target audience that I’ll definitely find some great uses for their product. In fact, in getting ready for their announcement and in chatting with a few press folks, I wrote up a small amount of text. Some of this was quoted in the eWeek article here but there’s a few more things that I really think you’ll (yes, even DBAs) be interested in. This is the second half of the content that was quoted:
For Administration and Operations, I especially like their direction with regard to unit testing and sample data generation. I work with a myriad of customers who do not let development/operations perform testing/tuning on real production data (even a copy) due to data sensitivity requirements/policies. As a result, performance testing can be horribly flawed. With the ability to generate large sample volumes of statistically “real” data, real-world tuning will be possible without compromising data sensitivity. This is the area that I’m most interested in initially but refactoring and schema comparisons are very interesting as well. One of my favorite sayings is “The sooner you start to code, the longer the program will take.” (Roy Carlson) as schema changes can be challenging at best and often things can be missed (data types, columns names, etc.). Often the changes are made on alternative systems and then they need to be integrated in – often through comparing schemas and with hand-created alteration scripts. With the ability to have intelligent refactoring, application and database logic can be fixed through a straightforward and flexible interface. This will help to minimize later errors or even harder to recognize performance problems caused by implicit conversions.
So, in the end, I’m not their primary target but I think I’ll probably get really into it and try to consider a variety of ways to leverage it for Operations/Administrations teams for “after the fact” tuning cases. However, I do think teams will be even more productive if they adopt it earlier in their production lifecycle.
Microsoft Press Release: Microsoft Enhances Collaboration for Database Professionals With New Addition to Visual Studio Product Line
eChannelLine: Microsoft adds database edition to developer tools
SpotlightingNews: Microsoft Visual Studio TE To Cover Database Development
Techtree India: Microsoft Expands Visual Studio ‘05
BetaNews: Visual Studio Gets Database Edition
ComputerWorld: Microsoft rolls out new tool for database developers
Redmond Magazine: Microsoft To Release Visual Studio for Database Developers
ComputerWire: New Microsoft tools aim to unite developers and DBAs
Internetnews.com: Visual Studio Adds Database Developer Support
WebProNews: Visual Studio Has Database Developer Client
And, if you’re going to be at Microsoft TechEd 2006 – in Boston in a couple of weeks, there’s a LOT more information coming. In fact, my pre-conference workshop co-presenter Brian Randell has authored some Hands-on Labs for Data Dude and those will be available in the HOL area. He’s on DotNetRocks this week (to be released on DNR’s site next Tuesday) and he’s chatted with them in the past about Virtual Server/Virtual PC (for hours…now you know how I feel ;). Honestly though, we use VPC/VS a lot in our HOLs and Brian is REALLY knowledgeable about how to optimize them, compact drives, etc. Anyway, here’s the link to his last show on DNR and here’s Brian’s blog entry on Data Dude. And, just as a small hint… you should consider making a Sched+ for the “Live from TechEd” show from DNR. All I have to say is that it might have some great guests on it (maybe even related to Data Dude, hint, hint)!
Now, the last thing that’s the most exciting for me to announce is that there are some new bloggers as a result of the Data Dude annoucement. FINALLY, one of my best friends – Gert Drapers – has started blogging (don’t forget his already awesome content site: http://www.SQLDev.Net). If you’re at all interested in geeky database development stuff, subscribe now! And – many of his team members are great friends too (Richard and Matt!) and I’m very excited to see them blogging as well (it’s just that I’ve been begging Gert to do it for the past couple of years ;)). Anyway, it will be great fun watching this team grow and watching this product evolve.
Here are the Data Dude team blogs:
- Gert Drapers’ Blog
- Cameron Skinner’s Blog
- Richard Waymire’s Blog
- Thomas Murphy’s Blog
- Database Professional’s Team Blog
Here’s the official Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals site.
The times are changing…………. for the better!