I spend a lot of my time working with ISVs (or software houses) and with individual developers. For SQL Server to have a long-term future, we need to be appealing to more and more new developers, to get them to understand that SQL Server is a great platform for building their applications above.
One of the most important aspects of this right up front, is making it really frictionless to get started with SQL Server.
In the past, it has at times been very difficult to purchase SQL Server Developer Edition. To me, that’s been ridiculous if we want to attract new developers to the platform. I have a friend who, a year or so back, wanted to get Developer Edition and spent weeks (literally) trying to find out how to buy it. In the USA, it was available in the Microsoft store. You could pay $40 and download it. If you had an MSDN subscription, it was also just available for download. But for some reason that I’ll never fathom, it wasn’t available in the Australian Microsoft store and you had to purchase it from a license vendor instead.
Because Developer Edition was a low-cost item, the license vendors weren’t interested in it. Even when I spoke to the local Microsoft sales subsidiary, after two weeks I couldn’t find out how to buy it either. The local sales team seems to be basically goaled on Enterprise Edition sales, so a Developer Edition license didn’t even feature on their radar.
Sadly, by comparison, my friend downloaded PostgreSQL and was using it 15 minutes later. This situation could not continue.
The Visual Studio team had been rightly proud of their Visual Studio Community Edition and how well it was going. It was just a free download.
I was a very vocal member of a crowd asking “Where is the SQL Server Community Edition?”.
Well this week, our pleas have been answered. Any developer can just join the Visual Studio Dev Essentials program and then download SQL Server Developer Edition for free.
I’ve got much more to post about what else we need to do to help get the new developers but credit must be given where it’s due. Thanks for listening Microsoft !