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2004 May 14 18:02

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Re: [vox] [OT] Budget Surplus - How Do I Spend It?
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Re: [vox] [OT] Budget Surplus - How Do I Spend It?

On Fri, May 14, 2004 at 08:42:06AM -0700, Marc Elliot Hall wrote:
> So, My boss's boss called me into a meeting yesterday to announce that
> our organization has found $200k remaining in the fiscal year budget. 
> That means it must be spent before June 30, or we lose it. The funds
> must be spent on training, software, or consulting - No hardware or
> other capital equipment.
> As a consequence, I have until Monday morning to compile a wishlist of
> all the stuff I think we ought to acquire. The list must include cost
> estimates; and all costs must be incurred and goods delivered by June
> 30. 
> Our organization (unfortunately) develops Windows-based software for
> medical recordkeeping. Our front-end client is built in Delphi with a
> back-end using either MS JET or MS SQL Server, depending on the
> customer's needs. 
> We have a development staff of six (located in Berkeley) and a help 
> desk staff of eight, three of whom share office space in Sacramento 
> with the rest distributed geographically around the US. Currently, the 
> help desk staff is using Act! to manage its operations - non-optimal.
> Organization policy is to use MS SQL Server for all data storage, 
> wherever possible. However, there has been some recent interest on the 
> part of our development manager, web designer, and other staff in 
> using Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP for some internal operations. 
> This brings me to my question: given these facts and criteria, what
> recommendations for training, software, and consulting (with an emphasis
> on open source and Free software, wherever possible) would you have for
> our organization? Suggestions of specific vendors and programs are
> welcome, although direct sales inquiries are *NOT*. 

Judging by this, I doubt free software would be all that helpful to you. 

Even the DB aspect would be helpful, but you're still stuck with the MS SQL
server.  So Id ask myself this:  Is there a good chance you can move off of
MS SQL ?  If there is not, or its just marginal, I wouldn't even bother with
mySQL or the ilk.  Reasoning would be that if I can avoid supporting multiple 
DB engines I would do my damndest to do so.  So if you cant move off MS SQL in 
a timely fashion, then accept the fact that you are stuck with it and move on 
with life.  

Assuming a no on this, I would in order: 

1) Update all software in development to latest version.  
2) Use it to investigate moving to latest technology for your app
3) Maybe some kind of blanket training pass for classes ?  

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