We're trying to import (reverse engineer) some data from someone else's MS SQL database, without any vendor support.

We're Happy to pay a $200 USD cash bounty to anyone that can solve this in a repeatable way. Is that allowed and appropriate on dba.stackexchange.com?

  • 1
    By the way, a sensible person would charge you $100 extra just for having to unpack that file that you want them to unpack.
    – mustaccio
    Apr 30, 2022 at 0:49
  • What do you suggest is a more reasonable bounty please?
    – Delphinus
    Apr 30, 2022 at 6:52
  • Or is a 'bug bounty' type thing not really accepted practice?
    – Delphinus
    Apr 30, 2022 at 6:53
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    When I moved this question to our meta site, the intent was not to have the technical question solved here, but to discuss whether asking for a bounty is acceptable. I've modified the question as I should have done initially, and cleaned up the technical comments
    – Hannah Vernon Mod
    Apr 30, 2022 at 14:02
  • Possible duplicate: dba.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3206/…
    – Hannah Vernon Mod
    Apr 30, 2022 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


While bug bounties are an accepted form of paying researchers to discover vulnerabilities in code, this seems more like advertising for someone to reverse engineer a third party product. That is a grey legal area in many jurisdictions, and could end up with you getting sued by the vendor of the product, so from that perspective it's undoubtedly not a great idea to advertise what you are attempting.

My personal take on soliciting paid advice via StackExchange is to not allow that since we're looking for advice that can be used for multiple future visitors to the site, and paid gigs like this tend to be very narrow in scope, and specific to the problem at hand.

In this specific instance, it's fairly obvious that you've tried various approaches to solving the problem but are running up against an unknown vendor-created problem. I'd say out of the gate, that's going to make for a very localized answer that won't be subsequently useful to future visitors.

Having said all that, this is a community-run site, and I welcome thoughts from others on the acceptability of this style of question.

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    To add a bit of context, the data we are trying to reverse engineer and thus read is our clients data (medical records). They can read it in the vendors software, but cannot export it. Our client is having trouble getting their own data (that they are legally allowed) because the vendor is unhappy about losing a customer. The data is stored in a SQL server running on the clients hardware.
    – Delphinus
    Apr 30, 2022 at 22:50
  • @Delphinus - I know it's a bit late now, but (having come across a similar situation in the past) you should always build in a clause that allows you to access and/or download your own data at any time for any reason!
    – Vérace
    May 16, 2022 at 19:45

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