Don’t call it SQL Express, please !

How many folks are running Windows.NET ? How many folks actually remember that over usage naming bungle ?  Well folks here we go again with SQL Express.

First ask, is it “express”. Well not really, the download and install is smaller, but the actual product runs at the same speed or slower than full blown SQL.
Next ask, is it learning orientated, like the other express products?  A: No, it is designed to be used as the free version of SQL.
Finally, ask does it come with the same kind of development experience as the Visual Studio Express products (VB.NET, C# and C++). A: No, it really is designed to be used in conjunction with those tools, not *instead* of those tools.

Perhaps this is why Sam had a different *expected* view of the product than what Brian thinks he should. A marketing name can mislead and confuse, especially if applied to products it should not be applied to. If it was as an extra to the other express products, rather than marketed as a stand alone *express* version, people would be focusing on the integration of the tools and the integration of languages with SQL etc.  As stand alone, it really is just MSDE.Next.

So how about a different name, one that actually reflects what to expect.   If it were up to me, I’d call it SQL Lite.

 And I’d market the Express porducts as including SQL Lite (optional download during install)

Oh, as to Brian and Sam’s POV’s, well I agree with both of them to some extent.  I think that early Betas are good. For too long MS has kept the early stages to a too inner circle, IMO. Inner circles are great for brain storming//think tanks etc, but when you want product feedback you need to get feedback from the outer circles.  MS still has a long way to go there.  They should try to indicate in their betas what is intended if it is not implemented.  That is, Betas should be for feedback, not just sneak peeks. As such it’s important they communicate one way or another what is in there.  And beta testers also need to learn to read between the lines, and not get too hung up on what isn’t there. Maybe we all have some growing to do 😉

4 Comments so far

  1.   Onur BIYIK on July 8th, 2004          

    Sql Lite marketing name would sound like Oracle Lite.

    if they did not want to go along with the name MSDE, they would name it

    Microsoft SQL Server Portable Edition.

    I would name it MSDE 2005 (CodeName WhetStone).

  2.   Bill on July 8th, 2004          

    Portable edition ? I think folks would think that one is for Pocket PC, aka Windows Mobile.

    MSDE is okay, but it doesn’t really indicate that it is a cut down version of SQL. The ability to scale from one to the other is a plus which the name should imply.

  3.   Greg Low on July 8th, 2004          

    Hi Bill & others,

    Yep, they wanted to lose the MSDE moniker because the name itself introduced too much confusion ie: oh is it really sql server?

    Maybe something like SQL Server For Small Workgroups or something? (note to self: stay out of marketing)

  4.   Bill on July 8th, 2004          

    Hey Greg,

    Yeh, stay out of marketting <g> The problem is that will become SSSW, just like how MSDE was the short form of Microsoft SQL Desktop Edition. (or something like that)

    So what we need is a short name that keeps the "SQL" and does not encourage acronym building. Maybe we could give it the VB touch, that’s be My.SQL right ? 😉