Brent Ozar

What if Microsoft Open Sourced Books Online?

Careful observers may have noticed a few little icons at the top of Books Online pages recently:

Click to see Books Online, because I know you can’t get enough of that

The little round contributors icons take you to their Github profiles, like Rick Byham’s.

The all link – well, that doesn’t actually work, because it goes here:

https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/sql-docs-pr/blob/live/docs/sql-server/what-s-new-in-sql-server-2017.md

Which isn’t visible to the public.

Yet.

But note that not only is .NET open source, but even Azure’s documentation is open source. That’s right – you can make a pull request and update Azure’s equivalent of Books Online.

So it’s entirely conceivable – nay, I say probable – that SQL Server’s Books Online will end up accepting pull requests from mere mortals like you and me. It won’t save Microsoft money by any means – imagine the junk “contributions” they’re going to get – but in the age of running SQL Server on Linux, they’re going to need all the help they can get. The Linux community already understands how open source works, and they’re going to expect to be able to give back to the documentation efforts as folks learn what it takes to run SQL Server successfully on Linux.

It’s a brave new world. I love it.