I am on SO a bit, and about ten times a day I see questions that are purely DBA questions. I flag them every time, but it doesn't seem to be getting better.

What is causing this and what can we do, as a DBA community, to promote this site so DBA-type questions end up here?

  • 1
    can you provide some examples? remember only expert level questions should be here. Oct 1, 2011 at 3:09
  • @Jeff - One that just came in stackoverflow.com/questions/7619426/oracle-repcat-tables Oct 1, 2011 at 10:20
  • I migrated that one, since it seemed reasonable. Oct 1, 2011 at 22:18
  • 2
    @jcolebrand DBA is for database administration questions. SO is for database development questions. A pretty clear cut line to me, not leaving much to interpretation. It shouldn't depend on the level of the question. A quick and easy question about database administration should be here, not SO. Oct 3, 2011 at 0:22
  • Just so long as we can clearly define what makes an "expert DBA Q". I agree that there are plenty of dba Q on SO, as well as SF and SU, and those if unanswered should probably be migrated here. The ones which have been answered, as a general rule, should be left alone. IMO.
    – jcolebrand Mod
    Oct 3, 2011 at 0:27
  • 4
    @jcolebrand if a user has posted a DBA question on SO/SF/SU and it has been answered correctly, we're doing a disservice to them and the DBA community. That user, the next time they have a question (and you know they will) will go back to the source where their question was answered. It's a never-ending cycle unless we actively move DBA questions to the respect site...here. Do you agree? Oct 3, 2011 at 0:29
  • 1
    I bow to Meta Stack Exchange lore with this Q: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/61311/… wherein the answers are two-fold: Is it worthwhile to migrate questions that already have accepted answers? -> Yes, absolutely! and Caveat: if the question could belong on another site, but is still on-topic for the current site, leave it be. .. what this means to your Q is "I could go either way. If it's accepted and on-topic, leave it, otherwise migrate away". Hope this helps.
    – jcolebrand Mod
    Oct 3, 2011 at 0:41

3 Answers 3


Another thing to consider is "will I get a better quality answer if I migrate?"

The answer is yes, without question. There is less noise here, and existing answers are more likely to be scrutinised rather that randomly upvoted because they look vaguely correct to one of the 10 million people that're currently browsing the front page of SO. it can be its own worst enemy at times.

  • Actually from what I've seen, questions on SQL seem to be getting better answers on Stackoverflow than on DBA.SE........
    – Pacerier
    Apr 9, 2015 at 21:07
  • 3
    perhaps that's because the level of difficulty of the questions on SO is lower than those that we accept on dba.se. one subjective criterion when evaluated in a vacuum can be easily opposed by another subjective criterion evaluated in a vacuum.
    – swasheck
    Apr 9, 2015 at 21:54
  • 4
    @Pacerier Also please be careful not to confuse "more" with "better."
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Apr 9, 2015 at 23:07
  • 2
    @Pacerier No, you are simpy wrong. The average SO answer has usually much less explanations and details compared to the average DBA.SE answer. See this answer for example (ok, it's not the average answer, but still:) What's the difference between a temp table and table variable in SQL Server? Apr 10, 2015 at 9:44
  • @swasheck, That sounds pretty recursive ;)
    – Pacerier
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:51

Flag 'em.

My last dozen flags on SO are for "Better on DBA.SE?" and almost all are accepted.

This site is possibly the only one of it's kind: a multi-platform DBA (be it production or developer flavour) resource that is useful.

Let's make it better by redirecting traffic here.

The line is harder to draw on ServerFault though: SO is fairly clear

  • +1 and agree 100% about SF. We just need to keep working at being a good destination for what they migrate and let them decide IMO - I think eventually awareness will grow and they'll be glad to send some Q's they currently keep. Oct 4, 2011 at 17:05

I am on SO a bit, and about ten times a day I see questions that are purely DBA questions. I flag them every time, but it doesn't seem to be getting better.

What is causing this

Continue to flag them, that's what that mechanism is for. Additionally, leave comments on the question referring to [dba.se] (that's the comment shorthand to provide a full URL to this site properly decorated) and asking if they've seen this site, so that they can be made aware of this site.

One reason they are posted on [so] is because that's what people know. They know that they can ask those sorts of questions on Stack Overflow and get answers pretty quickly.

and what can we do, as a DBA community, to promote this site so DBA-type questions end up here?

You can do just that, promote this site.

However, I want to go back and ask you to clarify what Jeff Atwood already asked you to clarify in the comments above. How do you know they are "purely dba questions"? Is it because the questions are about database configuration? Is it because they are about how to write a query? Is it because they are about how to design a table/schema?

The reason I ask is because, while I don't consider myself a dba during the day (I have two absolutely smashing dba's that know stuff I won't even pretend I know, and they can tune things to do phenomenal things) I do exactly those things you're referring to above.

I design my initial schemas (because I know the source data) and I ask my fellow coders if the schema makes sense according to the design/scope of what I'm doing, and I take it to the dba's after and make sure it makes sense.

I install the software on occasion, so I run into config errors too. Errors is errors, anybody can usually help you sort those out. Runtime configuration errors made by a user (programmers are users too) doing something wrong may need expert help, and for those, yes, I may ask my dba's.

Writing queries is our forte as programmers, that's what we do best. If you need help writing a query then you probably need help writing code (since queries ARE code) so you should ask those questions on Stack Overflow. But when you need help optimizing your queries, this is the place to come to get immediate feedback.

So here's my little rule-of-thumb: If I would have to go and interrupt my dba's at the office to ask a question of them, it probably is fair game here. If it's something I could figure out without stopping their entire workflow (dba's are programmers too, they can't suffer a 15 minute interruption without hours lost either), then I will do my best to figure it out on my own.

Do you agree or do you think that this site should be about every thing that might even only involve databases a little bit?

Because I'll remind you that iOS applications also store everything in a custom database structure on the device filesystem, so that would mean this site would be wide open to all iOS problems as well. I think you can see that "anything even remotely related to databases" is the way madness lies.

So instead, we should apply my little rule of thumb. If you have to go and ask your dba's everytime you write a query, or everytime you design a table, or everytime you install some software ... then yes, ask everything here. Otherwise, let's leave coding on Stack Overflow, architecture on Programmers and app software issues on Super User

  • 2
    I understand your rule of thumb. In my opinion, it's an easier segregation aspect. There's either code logic and data access layer design/troubleshooting/recommendations, or there are administrative questions regarding how everything works, security, high availability, etc. etc. etc. On SO I see a lot of Administrative questions. These are not development questions at all, they are administrative questions. Simple as that. There's plenty of them there, too. Oct 3, 2011 at 0:20
  • 1
    If you leave a comment in addition to flag/VtC, please advise them to wait for the migration to occur. In most cases the OP just copies/pastes the question onto dba.se while it still exists on SO. If the question gets migrated, this is just a bunch of close/merge work for moderators; if the question doesn't get migrated, this is potentially just a bunch of extra work for anyone who answers either (or both).
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Apr 10, 2015 at 14:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .