RECAP: Thou shalt not touch my databases!
Apparently some people, who shall remain nameless, still haven't gotten the memo that clearly states that if you modify the WSS/MOSS databases in almost any way your farm will be rendered unsupported. What memo am I referring to you ask? I am referring to KB841057. This KB article represents our best efforts to spell out the kinds of changes that are and are not allowed to our databases.
I'll try to add a little clarity from the perspective of someone who is often put in the position of telling customers that they have violated the rules laid out by this article. Before I begin let me state for the record that these statements do not establish the official position of Microsoft Corporation. Recommendations and advice are those of the author or people and organizations the author trusts. The contents are provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confer no rights.
Lets take a look at a couple of key points of this article and see if we can make it a little clearer. When the article says:
The products that are listed in the "Applies to" section were tested by using the existing structure and were approved for release based on that structure. Unless Microsoft protocol documentation is followed precisely, Microsoft cannot reliably predict the effect to the typical operation of these products when parties other than Microsoft support change the database or run stored procedures. Parties other than Microsoft support would include, but not be limited to, changes that are made by customers, by third-party vendors, or by consultants.
I read this to say, "When developing custom solutions using our protocol documentation, unless you do things exactly as we do them there is a very, very, good chance that bad things will happen. We may make exceptions for specific updates to specific datasets at specific times for our support personnel. Support personnel are those persons employed by the Microsoft Commercial Office Support Systems group with the following titles: Support Engineer, Support Escalation Engineer, Escalation Engineer. If you do not work in the Microsoft Commercial Office Support Systems group AND posses one of the aforementioned titles then you are not permitted to directly modify our databases."
Having said all of that I can tell you from lots of experience that we in the SharePoint support team very, very, rarely make direct modifications to the database. Even when it does happen it is only when the problem was introduced by the product itself and after all other means of correcting the problem have been exhausted.
The article goes on to describe some, but not all, of the things that are not permitted:
Examples of such database changes include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Adding database triggers
- Adding new indexes or changing existing indexes within tables
- Adding, changing, or deleting any primary or foreign key relationships
- Changing or deleting existing stored procedures
- Adding new stored procedures
- Adding, changing, or deleting any data in any table of any of the databases for the products that are listed in the "Applies to" section unless Microsoft protocol documentation is followed exactly
- Adding, changing, or deleting any columns in any table of any of the databases for the products that are listed in the "Applies to" section
- Making any modification to the database schema
- Adding tables to any of the databases for the products that are listed in the "Applies to" section
- Changing the database collation
I think this list is pretty clear and while we specifically state that this is not an exhaustive list I'm pretty hard pressed to come up with something I might want to do to my database that is not covered by that list. In short, Do not touch the databases for the products associated with this article!
The article goes on to describe in pretty solid detail what happens if you decide to violate these prohibitions so I will not bother with interpreting them here.