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Re: Would you allow this?

From: Jonathan Gennick <>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 15:58:17 -0400
Message-Id: <>

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I might allow it. Now here are some questions that I would ask, and that I would want my client to think through:

  1. Is it truly just a reporting application?
  2. We don't have to install anything on the server, do we?
  3. What are the real consequences of a run-away query on the particular production database being used? If a query got away, could you stop it?=20
  4. Could the test just as easily be done using a test database?=20
  5. Is the person making the request the right one to authorize use of the production database for such a test?=20

It sounds like numbers 3 and 5 are the key items in this case. I occasionally manage a production billing database for a water utility. The consequences of a runaway query during the day are fairly minimal, and I probably wouldn't object if the client wanted to test a report against the production database. In fact, at this particular site, the client's application manager frequently runs ad-hoc reports against production, and sometimes the queries do run away. It happened just this weekend that I had to help him with one that had gone off the deep end. It was no big deal because he knew that he had run it, and he phoned me once he realized that it was going to take forever. Kill job. Run EXPLAIN PLAN. Fix query. Resubmit job. Easy.

Bottom line is that I don't think you can make a blanket statement in a case like this. It's a risk tradeoff between what can go wrong vs how long it will take to create a test database.=20

With respect to my client though, I don't think they would test a new tool against production, even though they might kick off a new ad-hoc report using a tool that they already have.

If you really don't want to test this new tool against production, you have a bit of a political battle on your hands. I would do two things. First, I would come up with a plan to create a test database (do you have one?). It doesn't need to be a detailed plan, but your manager is going to want to know how long, and when. Then I would emphasize the risk that running an untested application against production can entail. Throw in some extra risk for good measure<g>. Write a memo even, in order to generate a paper trail. If you present things properly, few managers are going to want to be seen in the position of taking cavilier risks with their company's data.=20

=46or example, you could say something like this in a memo:

"I'm worried about testing new software directly against the production database. There's a real risk that runaway queries may consume resources, and prevent our employees from accessing this database. A runaway query may even force us to shutdown the database (bad in a 7x24 shop). I'm also concerned that this tool may execute SQL statements which aren't queries, and which could damage the database, resulting in the loss of our [medical|payroll|etc] data. "

Now what manager would put their butt on the line after you say something like that?=20

Jonathan =20
Brighten the Corner Where You Are

On Tue, 13 Jun 2000 09:57:39 -0800, you wrote:

>> How many of you would allow a vendor to come in and do a demo on a

>> I am being overridden. I am being told to allow it, it's their =
database and
>> if
>> they hose it (who knows what this thing is going to do?) it's their =
Received on Tue Jun 13 2000 - 14:58:17 CDT

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