May 6, 2016

Making the Database Great Again!

Over the past decade, Database Professionals have been on the outside looking in. We’ve seen all sorts of development practices and tools to support Agile and DevOps in Development, Test, and Operations. Very few of those benefits have been realized by Database Developers and Database Administrators.

Agile is here to stay. That’s why it’s imperative we solve the Database problem NOW and make the database great again. Over two-thirds of companies identify themselves as “pure agile” or “leaning towards agile.” Yet, there continues to be a huge disconnect between Database Developers adopting Agile and the tools to support them. Application Developers get all sorts of cool tools to help them speed up their processes. The offerings for Database Developers can be described as lacking, at best.

Unlike Application Development languages, database development is script-based. This is due to the need to maintain database state. When we have a new release, we can’t just zap the database and recreate it. We must migrate and evolve our way to the desired state.

Moreover, Database Developers need intelligent debugging and code review. Although our stored procedures are script based, they are very much server-side compiled objects. They need to be run in complex environment that have lots of dependent objects. Unfortunately, remote debugging SQL via our common IDE’s is lacking, again.

Of course, none of that matters to line of business folks who set our schedules. After all, the development team has the release ready. Why can’t the Database Administrators just release those 73 scripts? Just run them in production already!!! It passed QA!!! Let’s GO GO GO!!!

If that last statement gave you anxiety, then you are in the right place. Few recognize the amount of pressure that’s placed on our DBAs; they are tasked with maintaining the integrity and safety of our companies most precious asset: the data. But, the same people who demand that also demand speed when carrying our release changes.

This leads to our DBAs spending hours and hours manually reviewing database changes, script by script. We have seen SLAs for database changes that extend to 72 hours. This creates a huge bottleneck for our release process. The end result is that all of the time and money we’ve poured into Agile and DevOps. At times, Database Administrators must choose between speed and safety.

This does not have to be our “normal.” Or put more simply: you do NOT have to sacrifice safety for speed.

We must be able to automate our review of requested Database changes. There must be a way to provide a “bill of materials” for Database changes, just like we do for our Application releases via DevOps. And, we must be able to push the enforcement of standards all the way back to Development where it is quick, easy, and cheap to catch bugs.

That’s where Datical DB and Dell Software’s Toad come in. With Toad, Database Developers can track changes over time, automate testing, and enable code reviews. With Datical DB, Database Administrators can automate the validation and deployment of database changes. Even better, the two solutions complement each other to provide full soup-to-nuts Agile and DevOps for the Database.

Join us for a webinar we’re hosting on Thursday, May 12th at 1:00 pm EST and see how Datical and Dell Software have brought Agile and DevOps to the Database.

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