25 May 2006

SQL Developer is Free, so how is it supported?

Following my last post I was asked a very important question. "...care to comment about the support process for SQL Developer?"

Yes, absolutely, I'll comment. Firstly though, I'm going to point you the Pricing FAQ. Ahem..., how is it we have a Pricing FAQ if the product is FREE? It's because we have so many questions on what FREE really means that we put a small note onto OTN.

FREE means it's free to download and use. We have every intention of keeping things that way. On that point, just the other day someone said, while it's free, no-one will take us seriously... That's another can of worms I'm not going into just yet.
When it comes to support, many users are using the forum to ask questions and post comments, which is fine. Actually it's great. The snag with a forum is that, as the poster, you have no guarantee your questions will be answered in a timely fashion. The wonderful thing about the forum is that not only are the Oracle SQL Developers responding, more and more of the user community are also responding. This is good, because it means the developers can get on with adding functionality to the product!
But, as the comment states, if you log an issue on the forum, be it a bug, enhancement or feature request, how can you be sure it's tracked? You can't. We have many posts to the forum each day and we're tracking as many as we can.
You might be interested to know that a group of forums have an application as a front end to list those questions that have remained unanswered. Due to the huge volume of posts on our SQL Developer forum, we have joined this group to ensure, where possible, all questions and comments are attended to either by us or the community. Where there are issues or requests, we add them to our bug and task lists. So we are pretty confident that we have a good grasp of the feature requests and issues.

Another route is Oracle Support. In this instance, even though the product is FREE, you ARE supported through Oracle Support if you have a valid Database support license. So you can create a ticket (iTAR, or online Service Request...Technical Assistance Request (TAR) via MetaLink. ;-) ) and the issue is tracked. Members of the development team work with Support on these tickets too.

I must mention that Oracle Express Edition (XE) is only supported through its forum. So if you are using XE and SQL Developer, Oracle Support will direct you back to the SQL Developer forum for your questions.

I hope that helps!

1 comment:

Doug Burns said...

"Another route is Oracle Support. In this instance, even though the product is FREE, you ARE supported through Oracle Support if you have a valid Database support license. "

That's a useful piece of information, Sue because I assumed it was forum only. Cheers