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History of TeamSybase

The TeamSybase group in the Sybase newsgroups originally started as the TeamPowersoft group (usually abbreviated as TeamPS), which provided support on CompuServe primarily for PowerBuilder users. At one time, PowerBuilder developers looking for peer-to-peer support were limited to a subsection of one of the Windows Developers section on CompuServe. In mid-1993 PowerSoft established a separate CompuServe section. By early 1994 that section was quite active.

PowerBuilder -- which until this time was only available in an Enterprise edition -- was also about to be released in Professional and Desktop editions. PowerSoft anticipated that this would increase the traffic on the section significantly more. (Eventually the PowerSoft section became one of the highest volume sections on CompuServe.) In order to ensure that that traffic was responded to, PowerSoft began investigating the formation of a volunteer team of advanced PowerBuilder users to monitor the section. This was highly patterned after "TeamB", a group of volunteers recruited by Borland to monitor their section on CompuServe (and which still monitor Borland's own moderated newsgroups).

PowerSoft began that effort by watching for the existing users in its section to find those who were already spending a significant amount of time addressing questions correctly and in a courteous manner. They then invited 15 of those users to come to PowerSoft's offices in Boston to discuss this volunteer team concept. All fifteen of the users invited expressed interest in the program, and thirteen of those were able to attend that first meeting. That trip involved meetings with Joe Mens (the original manager of the team), Coleman Sisson (the head of customer service), David Litwack (the creator of PowerBuilder and the head of development at the time), Mitchell Kertzman (CEO of PowerSoft at the time) as well as lunch with the PowerBuilder development staff.

Shortly after the TeamPowerSoft launch in 1994, PowerSoft acquired Watcom and its products: the Watcom database (later renamed SQL Anywhere, ASA and then SQL Anywhere again) and several languages (including a C++ compiler) and additional TeamPowerSoft members were recruited to cover those products. In early 1995, Sybase acquired PowerSoft and shortly thereafter S-Designor was also acquired by PowerSoft. While forum members were also recruited to cover those products as well, the ones supporting the Sybase database were called TeamSybase whereas the ones supporting the PowerSoft product line -- including ASA (SQL Anywhere) and soon to be renamed PowerDesigner -- continued with the TeamPowerSoft moniker. With the Sybase merger there was some concerns among the users of PowerSoft tools that Sybase would drop support for non-Sybase databases. Concern that changing the moniker for TeamPowerSoft to TeamSybase would add fuel to such concerns resulted in TeamPowerSoft continuing to use that moniker for some time. In fact, it was only in mid-1999 that the two teams were eventually merged into a single TeamSybase.

With the growing popularity of the internet, Sybase moved their peer-to-peer support forums from CompuServe to their own moderated NNTP newsgroups in 1997. (They also experimented with a forum on MSN, which did not turn out to be as popular). In 1999, InfoWorld gave Sybase a Best Technical Support award for the quality of the newsgroups, particularly for ASA (SQL Anywhere) support. As the reach of the newsgroups has expanded, the number of team members has increased to 30. Only five of those are from the original members. A number of others have also come and gone over the years. New members are invited to join as demand in a product area requires and when a forum member has distinguished themselves by posting responses to questions in the newsgroups that are copious, correct, concise and courteous.

In March of 2013 the Sybase newsgroups were closed down permanently. A web archive of the messages on it is available at http://nntp-archive.sybase.com. Instead, the various developer centers on the SAP Community Network provides similar functionality (http://scn.sap.com/community/developer-center). You will find TeamSybase members contributing there, as well as through their blogs, website, social media, etc.



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Chinese Edition...

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