Thinking outside the box

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do people want help? I mean, real help?


Or do they just want to continue with their old habits?

The reason for this blog post is that I the last week have tried to help people on several forums. Most of them just want to know how to solve their current problem and there is no harm in that. But when I recognize the same poster the very next day with a similar problem I ask myself; Did I really help him or her at all?

All I did was probably to help the poster keep his or her job. It sound harsh, but is probably true. Why would the poster else continue in the old habit? The most convincing post was about someone wanted to use SP_DBOPTIONS. He had an ugly procedure which used dynamic sql and other things done wrong.

I wrote to him he should stop using SP_DBOPTION because that procedure have been marked for deprecation and will not work on a SQL Server version after 2008R2, and that he should start using DATABASEPROPERTYEX() function instead.
His response was basically “Thanks, but no thanks”. Then some other MVP jumped in and gave him a solution using SP_DBOPTIONS and the original poster once again was a happy camper.

Another problem was posted by someone who wanted a unique sequence number like “T000001” to “T999999”. I suggested him to use a normal IDENTITY column and add a computed column and concatenate the “T” with the value from the IDENTITY column. Even if other people several times proposed my suggestion as an answer, the original poster (OP) unproposed my suggestion! Why?

The only reason I can think of, is that OP is not used to (or even heard of) computed columns. Some other guy posted and insinuated that computed columns don’t work on SQL Server 2000 and earlier. To that I just posted that computed columns did in fact work already back in SQL Server 7.

Are people so stuck in their old habit and inept to change for whatever reason that might be? Could it be they are not qualified, or lack enough experience, for their current position? Do they lack basic education about relational databases?

My question to you is, how do you really help people with these mindsets?

posted @ Sunday, July 24, 2011 8:08 AM | Feedback (14) | Filed Under [ Miscellaneous Denali ]

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