My version! No, MY version!

This biotech company is growing fast through acquisitions, and ends up with a merged sales operation with two groups of salesmen on one big customer database, reports a database pilot fish on the scene.

"Each group subscribed to a different information provider to get the medical specializations of the customers, who were doctors," fish says. "One provider used an abbreviation encoding scheme, and the other had a numeric scheme.

"Each group also had its own IT people, and everyone had full admin privileges on the new database.

"So when one mag tape arrived from data provider A, that crew would use a stored procedure to convert everything in the database to A's encoding in order to update from the tape.

"Likewise, the B team would do the same for their favorite provider.

"This could happen in the same day, so you had no idea what the database looked like at any particular time!

"We had to make them pick one and stick to it."

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