It seems very fashionable to buy in technology these days, and some of you must if anyone is actually writing their own stuff these days. I have met quite a few of the product team and they are real people, Like Boris Baryshnikov who wrote resource governor, and nearly all of the stuff in SQL Server 2005 and 2008 is home grown, the only exceptions I can think of are the charts from Dundas and the rendering to Word from SoftArtisans in the 2008 version of reporting services.
But it’s also important to understand what to develop, feedback from MVP’s and the SQL community can help and of course it’s important to see what features are appearing in other platforms in order to compete.
But thought leadership is also needed; for example nobody asked for text messaging indeed it was widely ridiculed when it came out, but who would buy a phone that couldn’t sms now?
So in order to stay ahead of the game Microsoft has started up a dedicated R&D centre for database research the Jim Gray Systems Lab.
If you haven’t heard of Jim Gray, he was a Turing prize winner who was a technical fellow at Microsoft before going missing last year off San Fransisco in his boat Tenacious. The new lab is to be headed up by another database guru David DeWitt who has published numerous works on high performance databases.
So just like my vegetable garden at home, it’s much more rewarding to grow your own than go out and buy stuff in.