Would you like to provide feedback to the Microsoft developers who design and write the code snippets in SQL Server "Books Online" (BOL) and other SQL Server documentation sources that Microsoft provides? If so, keep reading!
The SQL Server documentation team is working hard to improve the product's documentation, including the code snippets. I think BOL is a wonderful resource, but there's always room for improvement. Microsoft representatives asked me to encourage SQL Server Magazine UPDATE readers to help improve SQL Server's documentation by completing a survey about the way you use code snippets as you work with the product. (Instructions for accessing the survey are at the end of this commentary.) The folks who write SQL Server documentation and coding examples will review your feedback, so your comments might have a direct impact on the way the team writes this documentation. In the nine-question survey, you'll find open-ended questions such as these:
- "What do you primarily use code samples for—learning, cutting and pasting into applications, or other tasks?"
- "What do you like or find particularly useful about the code samples provided in Microsoft documentation?"
- "How complete do you want code examples to be? Do you expect the code to be complete 'as-is,' or do you expect it to be very basic and to require work on your part to make it secure and robust?"
The survey also asks more specific questions that solicit your input about different examples of Visual Basic (VB) or T-SQL coding guidelines, such as, "Here are two Transact-SQL code examples that show how to create a clustered index. Which sample would you prefer to see in the documentation, and why?" (The example includes T-SQL code.)
The survey won't take you long to fill out. And your feedback will pay huge dividends if it helps the Microsoft documentation team design and write code snippets that can serve as effective examples and learning tools for us all.
Instructions for Accessing the Code Snippet Usability Guest Survey
Microsoft designed the survey for people who are enrolled in an active SQL Server beta program, but SQL Server Magazine worked with Microsoft to expand access to the survey to the general public. You can access the survey through Microsoft's beta program management site, BetaPlace, at http://www.betaplace.com. Some sign-up steps will seem odd because the login you'll use isn't part of an active beta program.
- Go to http://www.betaplace.com and log in with username "sql" and password "Survey." The password is case-sensitive and has a capital "S."
- You'll see a screen that shows you're enrolled in the Liberty 64-bit SQL Server 2000 beta program. The login you used doesn't have access to this beta program, but click the link for the Liberty beta program anyway. You'll then see the code snippet survey.
- Fill out the form and click Submit. You can ignore the text at the bottom of the page that says, "NOTE: For directions on saving your survey form, please see the 'Survey' section of 'Participation Info.'"
- Congratulations! You're finished.