Study Cases Howto

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The following procedure should be followed by people completing a case study. The goal is to ensure maximum efficiency and that the person being case studied is not frustrated by the process.

So, as a first step ensure that you send the company a list of case study questions. Supplement them if you think the company's situation warrants it. Once you've received the answers to the questions, form it into a case study as follows:

  • Background on who the company is
  • What they are trying to do
  • How their application achieves it, useful technical details particular about how PostgreSQL has helped them achieve it

Write a short conclusion

  • This should be interspersed with quotes from the company
  • Be sure to get images, titles of the people you are quoting

Once you've written a draft; re-read it, write and pay particular attention to writing style. If you are uncertain about grammar -- and I believe most people should be -- please refer to a simple English language style guide, such as:

Once you have read it, checked for spelling, etc., forward it to another person on the project to read. Once they have done this and you're happy, forward to the company for permission on the text.

Then forward to "Name to be added" <> for layout. You will receive the case study back in a draft layout. This needs to be approved by the company.

Once approved, upload to the press module on pgfoundry and mark ready for publishing.

Case Study Questions


General background

1) What industry is your organisation involved in?

2) How many staff does your organisation retain?

3) Where is your organisation based?

4) In which countries does your organisation have offices? or, how many countries does your organisation have offices in?

5) Is your organisation publicly listed? Fortune 1000?

6) If publicly available, what were your organisation's revenues last financial year?

7) URLs to recent press announcements/press coverage relating to your company

PostgreSQL background

8) How long have you been using PostgreSQL?

9) How many systems/CPUs do you have PostgreSQL deployed on? or, how many PostgreSQL backed products have your sold?

10) Approximately how much data do you/your clients have stored in PostgreSQL? How many transactions per day?

11) How many support staff are required to administer your PostgreSQL systems?

12) How many applications use your PostgreSQL system(s)?

13) How many developers regularly develop PostgreSQL backed application code?

14) If any, what is the annual cost of support contracts for your PostgreSQL system(s)?

15) Which software and hardware platforms is PostgreSQL deployed upon?

Environment background

These questions are about other database systems your organisation may use.

16) Which other database systems are used in your organisation?

17) How many systems/CPUs do you have those database engines deployed on?

18) Approximately how much data is stored in those systems? How many transactions per day?

19) How many staff are required to administer those database systems?

20) What is the licensing cost of those systems? (over one to three years; you may give a cumulative figure of all systems if you wish)

21) If any, what is the annual cost of support contracts for those systems?

22) How many developers regularly develop application code for these systems?

Application specific questions

To provide useful information to readers, it would be good to look at specific applications. Please answer the following for each application you would like me to write about (limit to 4).

23) Broadly speaking, what does the application do? What problem does it solve? Please provide a thorough description of the architecture with detail which technical readers will find interesting.

24) Is the application used

  • (a) Only by internal staff
  • (b) by customers/clients who purchase a copy/license and run it on their own systems
  • (c) by customers/clients but hosted on your systems
  • (d) a combination of the above/other (please detail)?

25) How many users does the application serve?

26) Does your organisation need to meet a service/availability/performance level with this application? For example, it must be available 99.999% of the time; it must be available to up to 200 users at a time; the response time of the application must not exceed 800ms, etc.

27) What language(s) is your application written in?

28) If any, what other software packages are used as a component of the application? For example, the Apache web server; a J2EE application server, etc.

29) Approximately how long has the application been in development?

30) Approximately how many lines of code makes up the application?

31) When selecting a database for the application:

  • (a) Which database systems were considered?
  • (b) Why did your organisation select PostgreSQL? or,
  • (c) If the application was originally using another database system, why did you migrate to PostgreSQL? How did this affect the TCO for you/your customers?

32) What features of PostgreSQL does your application rely on most heavily? For example, transaction throughput, scalability, data integrity, etc.

33) If applicable, how has PostgreSQL enhanced the quality of your application?

General impressions of PostgreSQL

34) Has your organisation found PostgreSQL to be reliable?

35) Has your organisation found PostgreSQL to be a viable alternative to other open and closed source applications?

36) Has your organisation been able to more easily solve problems with PostgreSQL due to its being open source? For example, have you contributed a bug fix or feature enhancement?

37) Has your organisation benefited from the community surrounding PostgreSQL in a way it would not/may not have benefited if you used a different database system?

38) Any other comments about PostgreSQL? In particular, remarks which sum up the experience you've had with PostgreSQL and how it has enhanced your application(s) and your business.

General questions

39) Can quotes from your answers be used on the front page of

40) If so, would you like a URL to your home page to accompany it (please provide)?

41) Can a larger quote from your answers be placed into a 'Testimonials' section of the web site?

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