'Tis the season for surveys! Last month in "Speak Your Mind, Data-Modelers!" (http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/44560/44560.html ), I encouraged you to participate in Microsoft's latest data-modeling survey. This week, I want you to participate in Microsoft's new survey. The company wants to improve its customers' application-development experience with data-oriented platforms. According to Microsoft, the survey has the following objectives:

  • to determine developers' data-handling priorities.
  • to understand the existing and upcoming challenges that potentially hinder the optimal performance and productivity of those who develop applications and software components.
  • to direct software manufacturers and partners toward building products that enable greater success among software-development professionals.

Microsoft says you can complete the survey in 10-15 minutes. However, the survey weighs in at a whopping 80 questions, several dozen of which ask for thoughtful feedback about priorities. I suspect it will take most of you more than 15 minutes to give the questions proper consideration, so plan your time accordingly. You can't save your answers to come back later, so you'll need adequate time to finish the survey in one session. You can participate in the survey at https://www.datstat.com/illume/WSS-Collector/Survey.ashx?Name=SQL_Dev_Marketing . I know that the URL doesn't look like an official Microsoft survey link, but I assure you that it's a real Microsoft survey. I've confirmed the survey's existence with senior people at Microsoft-this link is genuine.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Don't blast Microsoft for not building what you want if you won't take the time to tell them. We owe it to ourselves to give Microsoft feedback—not just to help Microsoft, but also to help Microsoft build products that better meet our needs. Most of the time, a survey like this is geared toward a particular area or occurs early in product planning. So I can't say how the survey will affect SQL Server products in the short term. Also, you'll find that the survey covers a variety of topics. I can't imagine that Microsoft will be able to incorporate all the feedback it receives into the SQL Server 2005 product cycle. At this point in the development cycle, the feature sets are mostly fixed. Still, I invested my time and shared my ideas with Microsoft—I encourage you to do the same.