Over a million developers have joined DZone.
{{announcement.body}}
{{announcement.title}}

3 Ways the Right Database Speeds Up Your Release Cycle

DZone's Guide to

3 Ways the Right Database Speeds Up Your Release Cycle

Your database can be as agile as every other layer of your development cycle. It can give you the flexibility and performance to keep up with your strategy.

· DevOps Zone ·
Free Resource

RavenDB vs MongoDB: Which is Better? This White Paper compares the two leading NoSQL Document Databases on 9 features to find out which is the best solution for your next project.  

Did you know that your database can be as agile as every other layer of your Development cycle? The right database can give you both the flexibility and performance to stay on pace with your agile strategy.

Here are the top 3 must-haves for a database to keep your release cycle efficient:

1. Dynamic Indexing

When you make the first version of your application, you are structuring how you will call the data. A button on your app is the users’ way to query the database. A click here or a swipe there will send data back and forth from your database to your user. Your DBAs will slave over the optimal set of indexes to answer these queries efficiently and speedily.

What happens when you make your next build?

You end up writing new queries that can request different types of data, or the same data in new ways. This renders your indexes obsolete and may require your database to iterate through every record to fulfill user requests. One day your 1.0 version is working just fine, and the next, your 1.0.1 moves like it’s 1994.

Releasing builds frequently forces your DBAs to be on their toes constantly, monitoring the database activity and ready to change indexes on the fly (if that is even possible). The wrong database solution will cause a successful DevOps process to work against you by hampering your application’s performance.

The right database ensures that the right indexes are there before executing queries, creating them for you automatically. In this way, you avoid expensive table scans and horrendous latency. Dynamic indexing actually uses each query as a teaching opportunity to provide the database more information about the operation environment. The database can use the indexes already created, improve on an existing index, or create a new one. The more you use your database, the more the database can deduct about your application and optimize the indexes to bring you faster performance.

It can do that without having a full-time babysitter watching everything. It can do that with automated speed, reacting to changes before your operations team even notices new query patterns showing up.

Very few databases have this function. One of them is RavenDB, a fully transactional NoSQL solution. RavenDB is able to introduce indexes in production in a safe manner, without taking any locks or consuming excessive resources. Gone are the days you had to schedule an offline maintenance window just to make the most minute of changes. Now you can do this online without interrupting operations.

2. Schemaless

Schemaless enables you to rebuild your engine while still in flight.

Today’s data comes in different shapes, sizes, and especially scope. To keep your application fresh, you need to constantly adapt how you receive and classify your data. That demands continuously evolving your schema.

For a relational database, modifying the schema is scary. The process of updating a schema can take days, and your database will be unavailable throughout that time.

NoSQL databases were designed for the future. With a JSON-based Document Database you can add new data types, columns, and labels at will without breaking your application or having to perform reconstructive surgery on your database.

You can make new improvements to your application without disturbing the user experience or the pace of your release cycle.

3. A Transparent System

QA and monitoring are integral parts of an Agile DevOps process. Keeping an eye on your database performance is like keeping an eye on how fast your entire application is working.

If your app is working too slowly, people will think it’s broken. 20% of shopping carts are abandoned simply because it takes more than 3 seconds to process the order.

The right database gives you a full diagnostic of every node, every operation, every process within each operation to show you in real time what is and what isn’t performing right. The challenge is to pinpoint the problem. A transparent and thorough database dashboard shows you exactly where the red lights are flashing and guides you precisely to that loose screw that needs to be tightened.

You don’t have to resort to arcane monitoring tools and oral tradition to keep your cluster up. The right database is self monitoring and self optimizing, capable of analyzing its environment and adjusting accordingly.  Instead of trying to figure out what is wrong, the right database will tell you. Operational alerts and health monitoring is part of the basic package and can save you hours and days of trying to figure out what is going on inside the system, saving you from unnecessary pit stops on the way to your next release.

Conclusion

The best database for oiling the gears of your agile development is a NoSQL database that’s easy to install, simple to learn, schemaless so you have the flexibility you need to retune how you work with your data, and transparent in letting you know instantly how you are doing — and what, if anything, needs to be improved for your next build.

Get comfortable using NoSQL in a free, self-directed learning course provided by RavenDB. Learn to create fully-functional real-world programs on NoSQL Databases. Register today.

Topics:
devops ,release cycles ,agile ,database ,nosql

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}