The Customer Interview

This afternoon I’m presenting with Mike Walsh ( b | t ) and our session is Who’s Responsible? The Vendor or the DBA? One of the topics we cover is Vendor and Customer interviews. Mike has blogged about this previously here, and the post has some great questions to ask a Vendor before the third party application is installed.

Not to be left out, I have created a list of questions for Vendors to ask customer DBAs. The list is dynamic and I will eventually move it to my resources page. But for now, read through the list and let me know what you think. For any Vendors out there, if I’ve missed anything, feel free to leave me a comment!

Questions for Vendors to Ask Their Clients

These questions are a guide and may or may not apply to your environment. Use them to help guide customer discussions as appropriate.

• Do you have a DBA?

• What is the experience level of the DBA? (this is a tricky question to ask, sometimes you have to talk to the DBA and just figure it out via conversation)

• Have you read the database-specific documentation?

• Who are all the people on the application team (DBA, app administrator, infrastructure/storage, network, PM, sponsor, etc.) and do they all know each other?

• What is the infrastructure on which the database resides?

• What are your corporate policies with regard to database infrastructure management?

• Can our software work within those policies?

• Who has access to the database and how? What privileges do they have?

• Do you plan to implement a High Availability solution?

• Do you have a Disaster Recovery plan for this solution?

• Will you be doing any custom reporting against the database?

• Will the database integrate with any other database/applications in your environment?

• Have you established performance baselines?

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