I like to think that you can learn something about frugality by reading Worse than Failure. And if you'll pardon me while I put on my question mark suit, I'll tell you how to save a whole heap of money on SQL Server 2000 licenses with a method used by the insurance company Gordon (as we'll call him) interned at.

Most Fortune 500 companies have a certain "budget" allowed for "legal SQL Server licenses" that are "within license compliance" for "database servers." Few take the time to investigate all of the licensing options available and even fewer know about this amazing insider secret.

All you have to do to get a SQL Server license is buy SQL: The Complete Reference, Second Edition and you get a CD with a FREE SQL Server 2000 trial edition license!

Gordon was responsible for maintaining the SQL Server and automating old processes that were being done manually. Sadly, this actually generated more manual processes because of the provisions of his company's SQL Server license. And by "provisions of the license," I mean the fact that they're utterly and crazily outside of not only the boundaries of the license agreement, but common sense.

The database server (an old Dell desktop) was housed in the SQL Datacenter (on Gordon's desk). The trial edition of SQL Server was chosen because it was the easiest way to get SQL Server running on a desktop machine. Because the SQL Server trial ended after 180 days, the hard drive would have to be re-imaged, SQL Server reinstalled, production data reloaded.

This production data was fairly important, too, as it tracked all sorts of insurance policy cancellation data for a few states in the U.S. During reimaging (every 90-180 days), several applications would come offline. If a developer forgot to back up the data prior to reimaging, the data was gone and the previous version would be restored.

Now I know what you're thinking. This is fake. There's no way this could ever happen. Jake and Alex are making this stuff up. Then you may remind yourself oh yeah, I promised myself I would never read this site again after the name change! What am I doing here? Well, we changed out of our question mark suits and put on our detective hats and emailed Gordon back after his original submission for more details. As it turns out, this data had very few points of entry - three internal client applications used by three branches of the company. It had been developed under the radar by a small team and grew faster than it should've and was prematurely used as a production system. He worked in one horrendously mismanaged department, but this sort of thing wasn't common through the company.

When the company moved its base of operations, Gordon didn't follow.

Also, tomorrow will be your last day to get stickers! They were shipped to us today and they're looking pretty hot and sexy, so you'll definitely want to get some for all your loved ones.

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