Gert Drapers posted about Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals RTM being available from MSDN Subscribers. This is great news, but I am still very disappointed that Visual Studio Team Suite is a prerequisite for DataDude.
Visual Studio Team Suite is a very expensive (about $10K per seat) SKU that many developers and DBAs probably do not have access to. There is no upgrade path from Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Developers (that Gold Level ISV Partners get) to Visual Studio Team Suite. This looks like Oracle-type licensing to me…
This seems like an ill-considered and short-sighted attempt by Microsoft to drive Visual Studio Team Suite sales. I have always believed that a big reason for Microsoft’s success over the years has been how they treat developers, and how they lowered the barriers to entry into using and becoming proficient with Microsoft tools and technology. If you have ever been to TechEd or the Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC), where developers are treated like visiting royalty, you know what I mean.
Having large numbers of developers comfortable with your tools and technology turns them into unpaid evangelists for your platform, and helps ensure that more applications are available for your platform, which helps preserve the value of your platform. Microsoft makes most of their revenue from OS and Office sales, which is one reason they have always seemed willing to subsidize Development Tools in the past.
DataDude seems like a great product, that I would like to use in my day-to-day work, but I am not sure I can justify the expense to my bosses. There are much less expensive alternatives from companies like RedGate, that have similiar functionality to portions of DataDude.
Maybe if enough people complain, Microsoft might make DataDude a standalone add-in to Visual Studio 2005 Professional and above for less than $1000, or include a DataDude license with SQL Server 2005 Enterprise.
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