Now officially included The scope of DBA.SE has been adjusted to include Business Intelligence and the B.I. proposal has now been closed. Thanks to all concerned.

Edit from JColeBrand - current moderator -

We were approached as a group about merging the BI proposal into this site. As moderators we approached the community and asked how to proceed (you see the full post below) and we have held several round tables in chat regarding this topic, since that is where the more "site steering oriented" individuals hang out regularly, after this meta site. As you can see, many of your site-colleagues have already given their input here and below, and at this point we are opening it up to the site to get more visibility.

As a general rule, for the group, we agree that this is a good proposal, to merge the two sites. We are looking for further feedback, preferably in the form of:

Please vote for which of the two FAQ edits you feel help define this site better

And if you have further commentary, this is the time to share it. In one week (on Friday January 27th, 2012) we plan to make the decision in final, so that SEI can work to distribute that decision to the committees of the BI proposal. As a result of that, pending widespread favorable opinion on the site, we are going to start seeing more BI oriented questions here. There will be a period of adjustment, with new "on-topic questions", so I encourage you to consider adding those topics to this post: What kind of questions are allowed on Database Administrators ?

Everything below the following rule is part of the original discussion, and is where you should start.


I had a conversation a few days ago about merging the Business Intelligence proposal with this site. There are a few ongoing conversations about the direction of this site, so I'll add another item to the mix. Should the definition of this site be expanded to include Business Intelligence topics, such as:

  • Data warehouse design and development

  • ETL tooling

  • Report development and tooling, and general B.I. tooling and development questions

  • OLAP

  • B.I. related front-end development, maybe

. . . and so on.

There are a couple of proposed FAQ wordings in the answers Here and Here. Please vote for which one you prefer, or add another answer if you have some ideas on how to improve them.

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You know what I think. –  Nick Chammas Dec 4 '11 at 0:22
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I'm with @Nick Chammas –  gbn Dec 4 '11 at 10:20
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Well, I think it's a good fit in principle, although you probably would want to change the name so it implies something a bit wider. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 4 '11 at 15:42
    
I've put up a discussion question on Area51 as well to see what the committers think, but I haven't heard a squeak from them yet. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 4 '11 at 16:03
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Very much in favour of all of the above being part of dba.se. –  Mark Storey-Smith Dec 5 '11 at 15:11
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Fits in with "Data Gurus" –  gbn Dec 5 '11 at 17:57
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I'm all in favor of including this, the splintered proposals I've been seeing. IMO Data warehouse design and to a degree reporting are already in our scope implicitly. –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 19:40
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Bunches of proposals never make it out of commitment, but I think this is the sort of issue to be brought up ASAP. Personally I somewhat doubt BI alone will have enough interest for a full fledged site, but I think it's perfectly welcome here and would likely not overflow the site with BI questions. –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 21:34
    
@Ben Brocka - I think it's a natural fit and there seems to be a body of opinion to that effect within the heap regulars. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 7 '11 at 21:49
    
@Ben Brocka - I'll give the committers a week or two to speak now or forever hold their peace, and get JD to update the FAQ if there is a consensus here to do that (which seems to be the case). –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 7 '11 at 21:51
    
I am also in favor of having the BI be a part of dba.se –  Adam Wenger Dec 14 '11 at 6:15
    
@ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells I like the proposal, but I think we will probably want the BI/DW changes to the faq to be slightly lower key - to reflect the volume of questions we are likely to get. I've posted another answer with proposed changes to the faq –  Jack Douglas Dec 26 '11 at 10:42
    
I think think 'Data Technologies' is a good name change (see meta.dba.stackexchange.com/questions/270/…), as this focuses on the broad area of data technologies. –  Chris Aldrich Jan 13 '12 at 14:01
    
@ChrisAldrich - Is this the thread you intended to post on? –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Jan 13 '12 at 14:07
    
Yes, just pointing over to the other question as it does relate to this one. (ie, if we are merging, then a name change makes even more sense). Plus, being a developer and an architect and not a DBA, but a user of dba.stackexchange.com, my concern is for a friendly environment for people like me to come to ask questions and learn from those who work with these technologies day in and day out. –  Chris Aldrich Jan 13 '12 at 14:14
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4 Answers 4

After a chat conversation, scope of this merger/proposal

  • Reporting tools in scope (yes/no):
    depends on complexity but would tend to "no" for layout but yes for config, setup, scheduling, delivery
  • OLAP in scope (yes/no)
  • Data warehouse design questions in scope (yes/no)
  • ETL tools in scope (yes/no)
    Yes because ETL is about data, not programming
  • B.I. tool and application topics (analytics such as dashboards, master data management etc.) in scope (yes/no)
  • Advanced spreadsheeting (yes/no)
  • APIs for reporting tools (e.g. AMO, the SSRS web service API) etc. (yes/no)
    This is proper client code monkeying
  • APIs for ETL tools such as SSIS in scope (yes/no)
    This again is proper client code monkeying ("no"), but things like SSIS are embedded into code ("yes"). See comments too
  • Server hardware configuration for database platforms (yes/no)
    We already to this but it'd be nice to broaden scope to DW/BI load patterns
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I have some sympathy with pushing client APIs to Stackoverflow, but I think there is quite a grey area here. For example, 'How can I programatically clone a SSAS partition's aggregation design to a new partition?'. Is this a code monkey question, or an SSAS question? –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 14 '11 at 13:23
    
Spreadsheeting is an area pertinent to B.I. but not really related to databases as such. However, I don't think SU does a terribly good job of this and I don't think that 'Advanced Spreadsheet Jocks' is broad enough for a SE site. I mainly floated this because I think that the SE world doesn't really do this well. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 14 '11 at 13:25
    
With this example, I don't know enough about using APIs against SSAS to comment... –  gbn Dec 14 '11 at 13:27
    
APIs for reporting would be used for embedded into a web page or desktop app –  gbn Dec 14 '11 at 13:31
    
You can do this programatically through AMO and might quite reasonably want to do this sort of thing in administration scripts - at least, I did once :) So, it could be either a development related question or an administration related question. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 14 '11 at 13:46
    
Other uses for report tool APIs might be automated deployment of reports, automated scheduling and bursting of reports (SSRS doesn't do this properly out of the box), running security audit reports and suchlike. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 14 '11 at 16:31
    
Maybe it's evil bias but I really don't think spreadsheets, no matter how advanced, should be in the scope of the site. –  Ben Brocka Dec 14 '11 at 21:19
    
It's in there more as an edge case than anything else. I don't think it would matter to exclude it, as I've discussed earlier. However I don't think it really has a natural home in the SE pantheon - SU doesn't really do a good job of it. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Dec 14 '11 at 21:26
    
This looks like a well-thought out analysis, and I'm for it. –  Jonathan Van Matre Dec 21 '11 at 14:29
    
I'm deleting this answer temporarily so we can focus on the FAQ changes - hope you're ok with that :-) –  Jack Douglas Jan 21 '12 at 6:18
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Changes to the FAQ - Something like:

Database Administrators - Stack Exchange is for database professionals needing expert answers on all advanced database-related topics concerning either traditional SQL RDBMS or NoSQL databases.

Why are database developers' Q&A migrated to DBAs site

Although the site is called 'Database Administrators' there is a substantial grey area between database administration and development. Database professionals are well qualified to answer questions on these topics and this type of question is encouraged on dba.se.

As a guide, if your primary interest is related to client-side code for an application then you should ask the question on Stackoverflow. If you are asking about server-side code or questions specific to APIs exposed by DBMS platforms or related tooling then you are probably on topic for dba.se. Questions relating to system internals, infrastructure or automating administrative tasks are also on topic here.

If you have a question about...

…then you're in the right place to ask your question!

but, dba.se is not the right place to ask questions about...

  • Client-side application development. Questions on this should be asked on Stackoverflow although specific API related questions are on-topic here.
  • Basic SQL, particularly relating to application development. - ask on Stackoverflow instead.

Career advice, including

  • general workplace issues.
  • What platform you should learn next, including which technology is better in general terms.
  • Salary or compensation.
  • Résumé help.
  • What project you should do next.

Questions of this sort are highly subjective and unlikely to be of interest to anyone but the poster. For a good starter, try Patrick McKenzie's Don't call yourself a programmer.

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The link to the meta question and paragraph about the site name are topical but IMO will not be helpful to most FAQ visitors –  Jack Douglas Jan 21 '12 at 6:34
    
I prefer this one. The thing about migration can be used a pre-canned answer... –  gbn Jan 21 '12 at 9:22
    
@gbn - I suppose it's worth noting that (a) this assumes that we retain the 'dba' name in the forseeable future and (b) it's actually causing a real problem. I did want to emphasise in the FAQ wording that advanced database development topics are definitely in-scope for the site. However, the issue of confusion over this may go away with time. –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Jan 22 '12 at 23:12
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@gbn I'm thinking we should deal with that another way - see here on The Heap for how we could do it. In any case it is not directly related to the BI merge so I feel it should be given it's own space in another meta Q –  Jack Douglas Jan 23 '12 at 16:04
    
@JackDouglas - do you mean something like meta.dba.stackexchange.com/a/556/2092 –  ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Jan 25 '12 at 17:39
    
I appreciate that you are concerned with this as having lots of questions that are closed as off topic gives an unfriendly look to the site however FAQ's are the last things users read. –  kevinsky Feb 7 '12 at 17:22
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Robert@SE gave this advice: "They'll want to make sure the FAQ doesn't "over sell" the change. FAQ authors have a tendency to do that: make the most recent additions into the most prominent part of the site". Hence I'm suggesting a change that will be relatively subtle but still open up all the relevant BI areas:


Database Administrators - Stack Exchange is for database professionals needing expert answers on all advanced database-related topics concerning either traditional SQL RDBMS or NoSQL databases.

If you have a question about...

…then you're in the right place to ask your question!

but, dba.se is not the right place to ask questions about...

  • Client-side application development. Questions on this should be asked on Stackoverflow.
  • Basic SQL, particularly relating to application development. - ask on Stackoverflow.

Career advice, including

  • general workplace issues.
  • What platform you should learn next, including which technology is better in general terms.
  • Salary or compensation.
  • Résumé help.
  • What project you should do next.

Questions of this sort are highly subjective and unlikely to be of interest to anyone but the poster. For a good starter, try Patrick McKenzie's Don't call yourself a programmer.

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How about with a developer question after the main introductory blurb:

@JackDouglas - do you mean something like this?

Database Administrators - Stack Exchange is for database professionals needing expert answers on all advanced database-related topics concerning either traditional SQL RDBMS or NoSQL databases.

If you have a question about...

[ . . . ] Same content as other FAQ drafts

Questions of this sort are highly subjective and unlikely to be of interest to anyone but the poster. For a good starter, try Patrick McKenzie's Don't call yourself a programmer.

Why are database developers' Q&A migrated to DBAs site

This site covers all advanced database topics, including server-side development. Questions on advanced database or server-side development are definitely on-topic for this site. If your question relates to client-side application development it is probably more appropriate to Stackoverflow, but specific questions about APIs exposed by database systems and related tooling are considered appropriate for dba.se.

[ Other specific FAQs ]

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