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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    How would you handle this situation?

    I am the only the only database administrator/analyst for my 1,500+ member employer. I have about 10 years of experience as a dba, but have only been with this company for a little under a year.

    One of the more senior members of the company that is outside of my office, department, and chain of command asked me to create an MS Access Database specifically for his department. I cordially told him no and politely explained that we have a more robust solution with our IBM DB2 and SAP Business Objects implementation that corporate has dictated we use and that I would be more than willing to help him utilize it.

    Months go by and I get occasional calls wondering why his department's work isn't showing up in the db. I check everything, there is no issue with our DB2 database or even the API he and his office would use to input their data...

    A few days ago, I find out he decided to go ahead and have one of the people in his department build a ms access db anyway. Now, I am receiving non stop calls and emails about their ms access database failure and his office expects me to promptly fix it.

    I take one look at it and it is a complete mess...and 95% of the information in the database is already housed in the consolidated DB2 database that he was asked to use to begin with!

    I have informed my boss, who has said that he would talk to him about it, but hasn't even after several subtle reminders...

    Should I take the bull by the horns and roll what relevant information there is in his ms access db into the DB2 db and delete his?

    I get the feeling that his resistance to using the API for the DB2 database is because he is unfamiliar with it as we have recently rolled out our new system back when I was hired on. His office (as well as this company) has always had a series of disjointed ms access databases that is always out of sync with every other department in the company...

    His office is nearly 100 miles away from mine and I am not about to drive up there and show him how to use it...

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Screw 'em. He broke the rules and started his own little IT department. Ultimately if his work is not in the corporate solution, that is his problem and the fallout of his decisions. Let him pay the cost. I would either A) force him to enter everything in the corporate solution as it should have been in the 1st place B) give him a data transfer template and clearly establish the ground rules for what will be imported and what will not.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    5,800
    Someone made the decision to go to DB2. Probably a CFo, or something. Go to them, and see if they can help the rogue office "come to Jesus".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Jersey
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    10,322
    ...and the answer is

    You will get screwed over
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

    dbforums Yak CorralRadio 'Rita
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    I'm Good Once as I ever was

    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2003
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    Only if his job description includes the phrase "Acts as scapegoat for unspecified problem."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
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    12,592
    Refer the offending manager to your manager, and inform him that your time and budget will need to be allocated through the proper channels. Do not volunteer to do anything (but have a solution ready for when your manager approaches you).
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Ohio
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    ....and by the way, who created the Access database?
    Really, all issues and concerns should be referred back to the developer.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    19
    Yeah, the guy who built the access database did it because he was just doing what everyone in this company seems to do, bully around until they get their way. There are no rational or logical arguments here.

    When I asked the gentleman a few basic things about the access db he had built, such as "Can you give me some insight on how you constructed the relationships for the tables?" to which he replied "What's a relationship?". I so wanted to retort "It's what your grandpa's children apparently had..."

    But, I play nice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Ohio
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    Do not be an "enabler" for bad policies and procedures.'
    Toss it back at them. They developed it, they support it. Period.
    If they want an enterprise-level application, then tell them you'd be happy to help them develop one.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Jersey
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    Ask for Vaseline
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

    dbforums Yak CorralRadio 'Rita
    dbForums Member List
    I'm Good Once as I ever was

    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    19
    Yeah, I'm just glad I was able to catch this as early as we did. This was the sales and client relationship side of the house. I can only begin to fathom the reprucussions of being out of sync with the rest of the company. Sales would be lost on a large scale and layoffs would have surely ensued...

    ...and I bet dollars to donuts the wrong people would have been laid off as a result.
    Last edited by Major_Data-Miner; 01-26-12 at 17:50.
    Database Server = DB2/LINUXX8664 9.7.3
    RHEL 5.5 (kernel 2.618-194.e15)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    I'm climbing up onto my soap box, but I see a fundamental problem here...

    When a business unit works around the IT department, it means that from the perspective of the business the IT department has failed utterly. Whether this perception is right, wrong, or both doesn't matter... The fact that it exists points out a serious problem that is often "the beginning of the end" for many IT departments and even some companies.

    The IT department owns its own budget and resources, and it uses those resources to provide service to the business. The data belongs to the business, and in a very large part to the folks on the street that are working with and for your clients.

    If the IT department adds value to the business, then they are a profit center just like production, marketing, and sales. If the IT department is a problem that the business needs to spend any resources to work around, then the IT department is a liability like insurance and taxes. When IT addes value, they help the company to make money and when they don't add value they are simply a cost that must be borne.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd be doing everything I could to help the user creating the database, their manager, and everyone associated with the project to understand how you as the IT department can add value to their project and why they ought to use your services instead of "rolling their own" and working around you. Spend some time, understand their needs, work to "wow" them with how you can help.

    As an observation borne out by repeated experience: The business departments can make do without the IT department, the IT department can not make do without the support of the business departments. You need to understand and embrace this concept soon, or prepare for your next job transition. I have never seen a "plan b", this is the way that that the universe that I live within works.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    19
    I fully agree with you Pat. The strange thing about this particular situation is that this is an IT company.

    This company has developed the software that the sales department and client relations department is currently working around with their inferior and dysfunctional MS Access solution.

    So my line of thinking is, that it would make sense to say, that if the software that has been developed in-house does not facilitate their needs; they should inform the software developers that a change is needed in order for the company to successfully streamline our operations as a whole.

    In the meantime... Until that solution is delivered, I am apparently obliged to deal with their ill-conceived MS Access solution until the robust solution has come to fruition.
    Database Server = DB2/LINUXX8664 9.7.3
    RHEL 5.5 (kernel 2.618-194.e15)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
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    I'd agree with you, Pat, were it not for the fact that an offer was made to create a robust, enterprise, supportable solution, and this was shot down in favor of an Access Database.
    Its not IT's job to support user requests that involve bad practices.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    19
    Quote Originally Posted by MCrowley View Post
    Only if his job description includes the phrase "Acts as scapegoat for unspecified problem."
    I have always been under the impression that DBA stood for "Default Blame Accepter"
    Database Server = DB2/LINUXX8664 9.7.3
    RHEL 5.5 (kernel 2.618-194.e15)

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