While database development differs from traditional software development, developers and DBAs can and should treat databases just like any other part of the application. The following four solutions are a must for a modern database development life cycle.
- Database Release Automation: Automating database branches and merges, as well as consolidating changes into an integration environment is necessary to deploy to production, with a safety net eliminating the possibility of overriding critical changes implemented in the target environment.
It also breaks down silos between development and operations, enabling continuous delivery for the database while automatically generating deployment scripts, saving hours and hours of valuable development time otherwise spent on manual processes.Database release automation also helps avoid human errors that can lead to devastating crashes and cost your company thousands — even hundreds of thousands — of dollars to rectify. For that reason, it is a must for a modern database development life cycle.
- Database Merge and Build Automation: Continuous integration and delivery is becoming the norm for application code, particularly in today’s agile environment, but databases are frequently being left behind. Your database development life cycle should include bridging the gap between application code and database development, enabling true merge and build automation for the database.
The benefits of merge and build automation include the ability to deploy database changes in accordance with business requirement as well as the ability to utilize impact analysis — not damage control — with three-way, baseline-aware analysis. It also allows developers to merge database code with unparalleled ease.According to a 2015 survey, only 13% of companies reported that they are able to automate the continuous delivery process for the database, with the rest plugging the automated process with various manual steps. This lack of automation means substantial deployment risk and the increased risk of database downtime.
Manual Development and Deployment Process
- Database Enforced Source Control: A database configuration and change management platform, enables software developers and allows DBAs to add real Source Control Management functionality to their database world.Your source control should interface with leading SCM software packages, to enable a complete and safe collaborative development process — akin to the processes you’re accustomed to working with and have proven effective for native /application code development (Java, C#, C++, etc.).
Your source control solution should also guarantee a single source of truth for your database development assets. This enables teams to work safely and simultaneously within the same environment, eliminating the possibility of overriding critical changes made by another developer.Skipping out on DESC as part of your database development life cycle can mean lengthy development cycles that include time-consuming, frustrating manual processes.
- Database Enhanced Security and Regulatory Compliance: Security and regulatory compliance are increasing concerns for companies in today’s complex business climate. Unauthorized database changes can spell disaster and your database deployment life cycle should include enhanced security mechanism to control changes to database objects and enforce roles and responsibilities.
Your enhanced security and regulatory compliance should define and enforce database change policies through the assignment of roles and responsibilities and prevent unauthorized and undocumented changes to the database, with the ability to define access levels down to the individual object and data level.It should also provide a complete, reliable audit trail while minimizing manual documentation requirements for your development team and prevent team members from straying from the defined, efficient process, ensuring smooth development and deployment as well as provide segregation of duties (SoD).
Database Development and Deployment Automation
While it is possible to adopt a single tool or solution to address a particular pain point — like source controlling their database — all four of these solutions are necessary to enable true database deployment automation.