Business needs are the most significant driver of change. Delivering better with less (all the while delivering it sooner) differentiates leading and successful companies from the rest. Clients demand (and your competitors deliver) more valuable and reliable features on faster schedules than ever before.
The Agile approach was born to deal with these needs. Agile presents a development approach that lets companies move more quickly and deal with ever-changing requirements, all while assuring the highest quality output with fewer resources.
Yet, as Agile delivered shorter and smoother development cycles, operations struggled to keep up. Accelerated schedules only increased the stress and risk of a new software release where multiple teams, handling and considering hundreds of changes to dozen systems and sub-systems, and created the potential for a catastrophic mistake.
Operation’s chief interest to maintain a stable and healthy application conflicts with development’s main goal to constantly upgrade applications in response to changing business and customer demands. A way to balance the competing interests of development and operations so they could work more closely together was required, hence: DevOps.
As more and more companies practice Agile development and have to deal with operational challenges, the emerging movement towards DevOps is seen everywhere.
To practice DevOps, you need to follow a list of best practices, but most important are these three:
- Version control: should be well-defined, enforced, and allowing traceability.
- Automated testing: including egression testing, unit testing, etc.
- Automated deployments: should be predictable, repeatable, safe, and time-saving.
Without these three, you can’t really automate your Development into Operations and you can’t have DevOps.
Solutions to deal with version control, testing, and deployments have been around for a long time now, but while they play well with code like Java or .NET, they don’t when it comes to databases.
With that in mind, you should familiarize yourself with the following three concepts:
- Database-enforced source control to support collaboration and ensure development best practices are enforced.
- Database testing solutions for dealing with high-frequency changes while making sure we didn’t break anything else.
- Database release automation for dealing with different development branches, conflicts, and the special challenges of the database world.
These solutions will play a key role in bringing your database up-to-date with the application and improving speed and efficiency.