I'm a developer with DBA experience.

Sometimes I have questions about indexing, sometimes SQL and sometimes how a C# applications interacts with the database.

Where is the line drawn between what should go on SO and what on DBA?

  • Is DBA for pure DB administration/running/setup/design questions?
  • Should SQL queries go on SO or DBA?

2 Answers 2


I personally feel that if it's running the the database, regardless if it's called from say C# code, it's ok here. I don't think SQL belongs on stack overflow, because it doesn't work like other languages do, and if you try to write SQL like you would try to write in another language you'll end up doing it wrong and your code will perform worse, assuming it even works.

Also I voted for this site in the first place because I feel that database administration falls somewhere in between programming and server administration, and sometimes answers can apply in both programming and administration, so neither StackOverlow nor ServerFault could be seen as the right place for a database question.

Feel free to ask SQL, Administration, and Tuning questions here.

Like @Gary said in his comment to this answer I too committed to this site because I wanted a place where I could go to ask questions where Database guru's hung out.

Update: I would like to add to my statement as a Pro Tem Moderator for Unix SE. All of our questions, would have been on-topic on one of SO, SF, SU, AU, or even Programmers. We simply focussed on what we would allow. I also advise against falling into a trap of defining yourself by what you aren't. We had the initial problem of people wanting to say if it's crossplatform (with windows) it's offtopic. Do not define yourself by what you aren't Unix is not windows, but just because it works on windows doesn't mean it's not unix. Or in DBA, just because it's C# doesn't mean it's not databases, just because it's Programming, doesn't mean it's not ontopic. We also allow shell, and some Unix C API questions on our site, both of which overlap highly on SO, but the former is probably the most common type of question we get.

  • 1
    "right" is not the right write. -- Grammar Nazi
    – BenV
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 15:48
  • @BenV ah damn my phonetic typing... I missed that one. Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 18:05
  • For me the Stack Overflow was too big and crowded. I didn't really like to split searches in SO or SF. I believe it's better this way, we deserve a place here :-).
    – Marian
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 23:41
  • 2
    Do you propose a mass migration of SO and/or SF questions here? That's a few instant high rep users and some disappointed folk who answer other stuff besides database-related questions
    – gbn
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 20:29
  • 1
    @gbn we didn't do that on Unix SE, I doubt we'd do it here Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 2:12
  • @leigh that's not really what I'm saying, I'm just saying that we didn't migrate anything from anywhere en masse, so I doubt anything would be migrated here. Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 20:45
  • @xenoterracide I'm sorry, I did not mean to misrepresent your statement. I'll delete and reword. Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 21:26
  • Since SQL questions could belong on either site I see no need to migrate them. Perhaps some could be re-asked piecemeal on this site to get the DBA viewpoint, but not migrated. Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 21:29
  • "I don't think SQL belongs on stack overflow" - for real?
    – p.campbell
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 14:12
  • 1
    yes, for real... something to do with it being set oriented which is not at all like other languages. Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 19:58
  • Can you clarify what do you mean by "I don't think SQL belongs on stack overflow, because it doesn't work like other languages do". Some popular languages are set based, like C# and Mathematica.
    – A-K
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 2:06
  • 1
    C# is set based? here I thought it was an OO language, and a 3GL. Actually I'm quite confident that C# has more in common with Java than SQL. I mean that SQL is a 4GL language that is largely set oriented and is quite different from "logic" based languages. Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 3:02

I feel it's hard to tell exactly for the reason that SQL is the common boundary for both DBAs and Developers. I can come up with an argumgent for SQL going to SO and one for them going to DBA.

An SQL statement always (except for a few exotic exceptions) targets a database, and impacts it, therefore, I'd say it has to go to dba.

On the other hand, I feel there are quite a few developers that from time to time need to access something in a database, who are not participating on dba, and they can only benefit if they are given a chance to see what is actually possible with SQL and how they can improve their SQL skills.

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    Arguments can be made for SQL questions on both sites, so the questions should be allowed on both sites. SQL is programming that a DBA should know well. Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 16:19

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