Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!

And that’s what SQL developers and database administrators will be able to count on beginning today as Quest Software makes live its “Project Lucy” social media experiment to provide the SQL community with performance data and best practice guidelines.

“The problem today is that people often don’t even know the question to ask,” said Ari Weil, senior product manager at Quest. Project Lucy, he said, will allow users to upload information from SQL Trace files and see where gains could be made “if they only did X, Y and Z.”

The project, which will be hosted on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-based operating system, is perfectly suited for cloud-based use because Quest doesn’t yet know how many users will need access, how much infrastructure would be needed to build out the community, or how many hours a day will become “peak” usage times, Weil said.

The other advantage to a cloud-based solution is that Quest can continually upload data to the site on the fly without impacting end users by requiring downloads. “We’re doing 10 to 20 builds a day, and users are totally unaffected,” Weil said.

“The long-term goal is to create a community around the output, to have a common ground of information to start from,” said he added. “For instance, Microsoft says, ‘Metric A should process at or below value B.’ Users could see what other companies are doing and how it’s working, even if it’s not the best practice Microsoft suggests.”

Once enough data is amassed, Quest hopes to create a data subscription service so users can verify what they’re hearing from analysts or vendors regarding the database.

Users looking to get data on their SQL-based applications can access Project Lucy via Quest’s SQLServerPedia wiki site.