A user community can (and does) certainly influence product direction - I assure you, the companies whose products you're buzzing about know it. We pay attention - the good, the bad and the ugly - even if you think we don't. ;-)

Anyway, one of the biggest user communities I've been exposed to while working at Quest is the SQL Server Community. It's massive, global, active and very influential. This community can make or break you. Powerful. To me, this is the perfect community to try what we feel is an interesting experimentt hat uses collective intelligence and analysis to answer the question: “How Does My SQL Performance Data Stack Up?”

So, this initiative is auser-driven service,code-named ‘ProjectLucy,’and is essentially part infrastructure analytics, part social media experiment, and part market analysis data warehouse. The goal is to test the best ways we can help users learn and understand what their performance data really means and how they should act upon that data, if at all, in a collaborative, meaningful way.

And people are talking about it!

Check out this blog by Jason Crider. And this one by KevinKline. And this one by “SQL Ninja” Scott Herbert…You get the idea.

The more people that use it, the stronger and more meaningful the data gets – which means an individual can help himself, but the rest of the community as well. Not a bad idea. It’s like sharing your toys, and in turn, you get better toys. Analysis isn’t really a toy, so maybe that isn’t a good analogy, but I like toys and I like my “stuff”working the best it possibly can. So, either way – I’m happy.

By the way – you can find out more and upload SQL Server trace files toProject Lucy at www.projectlucy.com orif you’re a Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise user, you can link to it straight from the product. We’ve also just released Project Lucyfor Oracle too, so it isn’t just for SQL Server anymore.