Last month at Jenkins World, the annual gathering of DevOps devotees and Jenkins users, I sat down with executives at Datical, a group that focuses on database deployment automation. Ben Geller, vice president of marketing, and Pete Pickerell, co-founder of Datical and its vice president of product strategy, discussed the streamlining of their continuous integration/continuous delivery process with Jenkins 2.6. DevOps is coming to the database.
As changes to applications happen faster and faster, it’s logical that database releases would contribute to delays. And as database administrators scramble to keep up the pace, error rates inevitably continue to increase. In a survey of IT managers conducted by IDG Research and commissioned by Datical, almost a third (30 percent) of IT executives reported seeing an increase over the last year in error rates in production caused by bad database changes.
“Today’s database deployment processes are painfully slow, risky, error-prone, and can take days to complete. With the combination of Datical and Jenkins, application development teams can now manage database releases in the same way they manage application releases,” Pickerell said. “This means database deployments can be transformed and automated into a simple, repeatable process completed in a few minutes.”
More than three-quarters (77 percent) of survey respondents said they’re currently adopting or planning to adopt automation to help speed the delivery of application releases. Since automation is so clearly the way of the future, Geller argued that database release processes are ready for an overhaul. “The database is, and will remain, the biggest bottleneck to delivering innovation, until the process of changing and updating the database is modernized,” Geller said.
Survey respondents who reported using little or no automation in database releases were also more likely to cite database changes as a primary factor in delayed release dates. According to Geller, products can reach the market faster when organizations combine agile database lifecycle management with deployment automation. There’s no need to sacrifice safety or control, either. “With Datical and Jenkins, organizations can optimize the entire release process by aligning database changes to be in lock step with application deployments,” Geller said. “They can also validate all database changes, generating a report specifying success or failure prior to deployment.”
The database is often the most difficult part of production to adapt to continuous delivery. Integration between Datical and Jenkins promises to help organizations “close the deployment gap” between database change deployments and application change deployments. It can create, encapsulate, and synchronize database changes, analyze the impact of database changes before deployment, simplify and automate manual database deployment tasks for increased consistency, and allow users to monitor the state of the database as changes are released across different environments.