This course follows on from the Developing and Deploying SQL Server ISV Applications course and describes how to effectively support your application and provide the best experience for your customers and your company, whether you work for a large or small ISV and are creating a complex or simple application. The course discusses how to give customers recommendations, how to best support customer implementation of your application, and how to maintain the application database. It then explains how to deal with customer performance issues and overly-persistent customers, plus the importance of capturing usage information from customers and how to make use of it. The course wraps up with a discussion of how to build good relationships and a community with your customers, and how to create meaningful and useful documentation. This course is perfect for anyone involved in supporting applications that use SQL Server for data storage. The information in the course applies to all versions from SQL Server 2005 onward.
Erin Stellato is a Principal Consultant with SQLskills and a SQL Server MVP. She has worked as a SQL Server professional since 2003 and her interests include Internals, Performance Tuning, High Availability and Disaster Recovery. Erin is an active member of the SQL Server community as a presenter and blogger.
Providing Recommendations Hi, this is Erin Stellato from SQLskills. com and I'm recording this course for Pluralsight. This course is about supporting SQL Server ISV Applications and this is Module 2: Providing Recommendations. If you watched the first course, you hopefully remember that we discussed requirements and recommendations in Module 6, and we specifically covered hardware and software and SQL Server in that module. But providing good recommendations is about more than just what you say. It's about more than just the specific recommendations. To set your company apart from your competitors, which is something that you probably want to do, think about how you provide those recommendations to your customers, and also make sure you're clear on why you're sharing those recommendations with them. So in the next few slides we're going to talk through the how and the why, to make sure that you have a good plan for you company.
Addressing Customer Performance Issues Hi, this is Erin Stellato from SQLskills. com and I'm recording this course for Pluralsight. This course is about supporting SQL Server ISV Applications and this is Module 5: Addressing Customer Performance Issues. I think it goes without saying that no application, no environment, no implementation, no system is perfect. There will always be problems in one form or another. It's inevitable when you have multiple moving parts, such as the application itself, the database, the hardware, the storage, and of course SQL Server. Problems can occur with any one of these or with the integration between them. Expect that there will be problems and then be prepared to handle them. I'm not trying to be Doctor Doom here, at all, but your ability as a software vendor to quickly respond to and address a customer problem, is a huge win for your company in the long run. Customer issues, customer problems, they are not fun. When a customer has a problem it can affect their ability to use the application. The problem might limit what they can do or it might prevent them from using the application entirely. They will of course, want the problem to be fixed immediately. And any time a problem limits user productivity, emotions can quickly escalate and that can make troubleshooting and resolving the problem even more complicated. If you as a vendor haven't found yourself in this situation already, then you're lucky, but I don't want you to get caught unprepared. It's time to develop a strategic plan for how handle the technical problems that customers encounter.
Capturing Information From Customers Hi, this is Erin Stellato from SQLskills. com and I'm recording this course for Pluralsight. This course is about supporting SQL Server ISV Applications and this is Module 6: Capturing Information from Customers. So as I'm recording this course, I often wonder if I'm talking to vendors that have been in business for years or vendors that are just starting out. I think the suggestions I'm providing can be implemented at any time for a software company and that's especially true for this module. Whether you have 10 customers or 10, 000, and of course I'm hoping you have thousands, realize that you have a gold mine sitting in front of you. I know that's it very easy to look at customers in one of two ways, as revenue and as frustration, but I truly believe that customers are more than that. They are partners in this adventure and even though you're mostly steering the boat, I want you to think of them as a source for you. They have so much information that you can use to make your application better. I'm talking about technical information that you capture from the actual solution, and I'm also talking about non-technical information that you get from the people that you work with at the company. The possibilities are endless, so let's take a look.
Documentation Hi, this Erin Stellato from SQLskills. com and I'm recording this course for Pluralsight. This course is supporting SQL Server ISV Applications and this is Module 8: Documentation. I had to start out this module with something to get your attention, because I know that very few people like writing documentation and we are on Module 8 of a 9-module course. I am one of those people that like writing documentation. I admit it and I have no problem telling people that. I'm also aware that my enthusiasm for the written word might annoy some of you, so I will add humor where I can, starting right here. How many times have you either heard or said RTFM when someone has asked how to do something? And if you've never heard it, let me clarify that RTFM stands for Read The (insert swear word here) Manual. Documentation exists for a reason. It's there so that people can read it and figure out how to do something. Therefore it makes complete and utter sense that you as a vendor will create documentation, and not just documentation for your customers, but also for your own company. In the support module I talked about creating a troubleshooting guide. You can expand that and document common support issues and their resolutions. This could be something that's both internal and external, maybe a common issue section on your website where customers could look first when they encounter an issue. And I know that you have all sorts of information about your customers, their address, who works there, titles, email addresses, notes from calls and visits, maybe even documentation about their installation. It doesn't have to end there, but I hope you recognize that documentation is valuable to your company and your customers on multiple levels. So that's what we're going to talk about in this module.