This past week I had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face with several TAP (Technical Adoption Program) customers. These customers agree to deploy pre-released of SQL Server into production environments and give us feedback. It's an incredible program for the both us and our customers. They get a chance to work with the product in production environments before we release it. And we get incredible feedback. Each release we go through nomination and acceptance phases. This ensures we get coverage of different types of applications. But given the program is high-touch we can only accept a limited number of customers. For Katmai we limited it to about 40 customers.
We had ~10 of them on campus this past week. We presented what changes we're making prior to RTM. They presented their feedback on the product. For manageability we spent two hours on this discussion. In addition I got to spend a focused hour with two different customers.
Policy-Based Management was a big topic of discussion. Aside from a few minor items the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It's very satisfying and exciting hearing the value customers find in a feature I've worked on for over two years. It makes all of the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile. After all, the most important aspect of my work is making SQL Server the best possible platform for our customers. This likely sounds a little "motherhood and apple pie" 'ish; But it's true.