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the right tool for the job

The right tool for the job…

I wrote a post yesterday extolling the virtues of UltraEdit (my favourite editor). Yesterday evening I was at a friends house who was struggling to clean up some data prior to loading it into a system. I showed him the macro functions and column based editing in UltraEdit, which went some way towards easing his pain. Unfortunately the data was so random it was not possible to fully automate the clean up process, but that’s life.

That got me thinking about a blog post I wrote 5 years ago where I referenced a company called Net 2000 Ltd and said, “The thing I like about this company is that they have specific tools for specific jobs. They’re not throwing out the one-size-fits-all type of stuff that everyone else is doing.”

That in turn got me thinking about the guys from Red Gate, who I met at Open World 2010. They’ve been writing SQL Server tools for ages, but have now started moving into the Oracle space. They did a demo of their Schema Compare for Oracle tool, as well as a Data Compare tool that was still in beta. Both tools looked great and did what they claimed to do and did it well. That’s exactly what I like.

So what am I rambling on about? Well, I’m just repeatedly reminded that I like tools that perform a specific task well. I find myself avoiding products with too much bloat and feature creep in favour of simpler alternatives. With the continuing rise of portable devices, apps are getting smaller and more focused again, which I think is a good thing. Hopefully this will have a knock-on effect and maybe we will get back to something a little more sane than 40,000 tabs on a page.

Notice I’ve conveniently forgiven Oracle for their continual feature creep and bloat in the database. It’s my blog and I’ll be as inconsistent as I like. :)