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Here's a statement from the recent thread "Records not being uploaded" in the MobiLink newsgroup, followed by my rant:

>I didn't know that SQL Server 2000 is not supported with SA 11.

And how WOULD you know, unless you make a habit of reading ALL the documentation INCLUDING reading and comparing web pages EVERY time you upgrade?

This is not your fault. The fact that Microsoft SQL Server 2000 was dropped as a supported MobiLink consolidated database with version 11 is NOT mentioned in the Help "behavior changes" section. That is a glaring omission, especially since the fact that MSS 2000 support was ADDED with version 8 IS mentioned in the version 11 Help... so nobody can use the excuse "that's not what the Help is for".

Someone made the decision to drop support for MSS 2000... did that same person make the decision not to advertise it?

IMO if "behavior changes" sections aren't going to be complete there's no need to bother with the rest of the Help... "read the behavior changes sections" is the NUMBER ONE piece of advice given to anyone contemplating a database upgrade. If that advice can't be trusted let's just go home now.

For the record, the web pages that IMPLICITLY document MobiLink consolidated database support changes are here: http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1011880

I say "implicitly" because you have to COMPARE web pages for different versions to see what got dropped.

That's just not acceptable.

asked 25 Jan '10, 10:39

Breck%20Carter's gravatar image

Breck Carter
26.6k418575824
accept rate: 21%

Should I add the tags "rant" and "conspiracy-theory"? :)

(25 Jan '10, 10:41) Breck Carter

@Breck: Someone might make a distinction between "NOT SUPPORTED" and "NOT WORKING". I guess lots of older SA versions are running on "officially not supported platforms" and are running fine - though clearly on one's own risk. (Yeah, we are running V5.5.05 on Windows Server 2003 SP2...). - But I fully agree with your rant: In a ML environment with its particular pitfalls, one might dislike the notion of running an unsupported platform. And MS SQL 2000 doesn't seem to be that old (in terms of usage, not of features:)).

(25 Jan '10, 12:50) Volker Barth

@Volker: There's nothing better than a rant first thing Monday morning... unless it's getting three up-votes before 9 AM (yes, I know the pubs are open where you are :)

(25 Jan '10, 13:38) Breck Carter

@Breck: "Yes, I know the pubs are open where you are" - part of the rant, too? - Volker still inda office

(25 Jan '10, 16:07) Volker Barth

@Volker: Not part of the rant, just a joke about timezones and how people in GMT-05:00 generally think of themselves as being at the center of the universe ( what, we aren't? :)

(26 Jan '10, 09:40) Breck Carter

@Breck: Ah, I see - you're about to use spatial data support fo find out about the centre of the world, aren't you:)

(26 Jan '10, 13:41) Volker Barth
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We did drop support for MSS 2000 in 11.0.0. However, we still support MSS as a platform. Typically with MobiLink we attempt to support two major versions of a platform based on our development cycle (i.e. in 11.0.x we support 2005 and 2008). Had we dropped all support for MSS as a platform in 11.0.0 then it would have been listed deprecated and discontinued features list section of the documentation. This is done on purpose to ensure we do not provide mismatched information between our documentation and product support pages.

Given the documentation is static upon release, had we listed we no longer support MSS 2000 in the deprecated and discontinued features list, then had sufficient customer demand to add support for MSS 2000 back into 11.0.0, we would have mismatching information regarding our platform support and what has been removed in our documentation. We approach our listing of product support on our website to ensure it is completely dynamic and can change as our testing does. We have had sufficient customer demand in the past to go back and add version support back into our product. We also have added new support between minor and major releases as they have become available on the market.

Yes our supported platform pages are implicit.

permanent link

answered 26 Jan '10, 16:19

Josh%20Savill's gravatar image

Josh Savill
510135
accept rate: 27%

Thanks, I get it now! "In order to serve you better we did not tell you that support for Microsoft SQL Server 2000 was dropped from MobiLink Version 11."

(27 Jan '10, 09:26) Breck Carter

@Breck: Still learning business talk:)

(27 Jan '10, 09:31) Volker Barth

@Josh: I'm not personally concerned with this change as our company has stopped from using ML between SQL Anywhere (8.0.3) and MS SQL 2000 (just because we could get rid of the MS SQL 2000 database lately...). But besides that, I would have been really disappointed when a planned migration to SA 11 would have been undoable just because the MS SQL support had changed. - Yes, and I have read the docs quite intensively.

(27 Jan '10, 09:38) Volker Barth

Breck,

For MobiLink we have both a Supported Platforms page (http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1002288) and a Recommended ODBC Driver page (http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1011880). Both of these pages are updated frequently, as new platforms are added and new drivers are tested and recommended.

We do provide information in our "What's New" section when we add support for new consolidated database types (i.e. adding MySQL) and remove support for old consolidated database types (i.e. if we were to drop a platform all together). We do not provide minor version information because documentation is only released with Major and Minor version releases of SQL Anywhere (it is not updated in an EBF). If our development cycles do not match up with other RDMS vendors, then we will add platform support for a consolidated database and OS in an EBF for MobiLink. This is why we provide the information on our website, as it is more dynamic than the documentation.

I do thank-you for pointing out missing information in the documentation. We now will include links in the "What's New" section that will point our customers to the Supported Platforms page and Recommended ODBC Driver page so this information can be found when reviewing the new features and what's been deprecated and discontinued in SQL Anywhere.

Cheers, Josh Savill Sybase Product Manager

permanent link

answered 25 Jan '10, 18:29

Josh%20Savill's gravatar image

Josh Savill
510135
accept rate: 27%

edited 26 Jan '10, 15:07

First of all, it was NOT an EBF, it was a major release (version 11.0.0) that dropped MSS 2000 support. That part of your response is a complete red herring, and I suggest you take the opportunity offered by the SQLA software to edit your response.

(26 Jan '10, 09:28) Breck Carter

Second, those web pages might be updated frequently, but I can find NOTHING ON THEM to indicate what the CHANGES are... am I supposed to remember what was on the pages yesterday so I can see what changed today?

(26 Jan '10, 09:29) Breck Carter

Third, when you say "We do not provide minor version information" are you talking about MSS 2000? Because most folks would consider that to be a MAJOR VERSION... and dropping support for that is BIG NEWS. Huge.

(26 Jan '10, 09:31) Breck Carter

Fourth, including links is not sufficient. You MUST SAY when support is dropped, and you MUST SAY IT in the Behavior Changes sections.

(26 Jan '10, 09:32) Breck Carter
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Fifth, IMO the RTM comment is out of line. YES, people read the Behavior Changes sections when they upgrade. It may be the ONLY section of the manual they read. I tried (apparently unsuccessfully) to make both points in the question.

(26 Jan '10, 09:43) Breck Carter
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question asked: 25 Jan '10, 10:39

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last updated: 10 Feb '10, 14:05