Monday, October 7, 2013

Product Suggestion: Local Docs

For the first time in the history of SQL Anywhere, a major software release does not include a local copy of the documentation:

The SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, On-Demand Edition is accompanied by documentation that exists only on the DCX website.

Relying entirely on the internet is a bold decision for the company that created MobiLink, a synchronization solution that allows customers keep operating during internet outages by maintaining local databases at each remote site.

A bold decision that should be revisited; yesterday's extended DCX outage meant the entire On-Demand customer base was without access to product documentation...

The argument might be made that because On-Demand software is run "in the cloud" it depends entirely on the internet being operational, and therefore it's OK to provide the docs on internet as well. However, the On-Demand software is not operated as a service by SAP, it is installed by the customer, and the customer is responsible for their own internet service levels. DCX, on the other hand, is a service operated by SAP, and as such is beyond the customer's control.

Here's a suggestion: Always ship documentation "in the box" with products that are installed by the customer as opposed to being run as a service by the vendor.


Justin Willey said...

Is that bold as in courageous in <a href=",_Minister#Episode_Six:_The_Right_to_Know>Yes Minister?</a>

(Apologies to non-viewers of 80's UK sitcoms)

Unknown said...

Or when I am flying and trying to work on my app during the flight...

Vest said...

The documentation can be downloaded from the help web site as a pdf file:
Theoretically, this file is generated each time when the documentation is changed. And for people, who do not have Internet, they can download the file on demand.

I do not think that this is a big issue to download the installer without the "in box" documentation. This approach reduces the file size.