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The Rules


September 14, 2009 by Mike Hillwig

I’m somebody who believes in absolutes. My old boss used to tell me that I saw the world in terms of black and white while ignoring the gray. He’s probably right. I think being anal-retentive about things makes me a better DBA.

There are a few rules that I believe in and don’t like to budge on.

  • Developers don’t touch production. Ever.
  • We don’t install objects in the MASTER or MSDB databases. It’s too easy to create a database opposed to polluting system databases.
  • We don’t make system changes during peak use times. Changes go in during off-hours or maintenance windows.
  • The fewer people who have the SA and service account passwords, the better.
  • If you need a login to a database server, it’s going to be your active directory account.
  • Use triggers sparingly.
  • Triggers don’t send mail. Ever. Your users will have a bad experience should the Exchange server go down. Instead, use the trigger to write to a queue table and use a scheduled task to send e-mail.
  • Database servers and web servers can be friends, but they shouldn’t live together.
  • If I can’t justify something to an auditor, you can’t do it.

Those are some of my rules. What are the rules in your environment?