As you modify and redistribute your software and database, it is important to keep track of the changes that are being made throughout the program using a version control system (or VCS). This can help you by saving you from making extremely costly mistakes or by simply allowing you to learn from the changes you have made over time.
One of the most efficient open sourced VCSs is Git, which is now available to be used for the database. This VCS is prepared to handle any sized projects, and does so arguably quicker and more efficiently than any of its competitors. For this reason, it is quickly becoming one of the most talked about VCSs on the market.
There are a number of reasons why Git for database and your general software sets itself apart from its competitors:
- The way it looks at the data differs tremendously from its competitors — by storing it as snapshots instead of as files. What this means is that, as changes are made, the system takes a picture of what all of the files look like at that time and then determines which parts have actually changed. Whatever has changed will be stored again, and the ones that haven’t will be referenced to in a link that’ll take you back to the previous file. This method of storing changes makes Git consider each aspect of version control that other systems simply copy from previous generations. Therefore, Git acts like a mini filesystem that includes many powerful tools.
- Git only requires local files in order to operate, allowing it to perform much more quickly than other VCSs. Instead of each action having to access the server, which takes a bit of time, they can be done instantaneously, shaving off precious seconds for each command, which combines to many minutes per day and a far smoother and less frustrating overall experience. Plus, this allows you fully operate while offline, which is extremely beneficial.
- It is impossible for any change to occur without Git knowing about it and storing it. This is because everything that goes on in Git is check-summed before it is stored and then referred to by that checksum. This is a key aspect to Git’s underlying philosophy, ensuring that no information gets lost in transition or becomes corrupted without Git being able to detect it.
- Instead of deleting information that is no longer relevant, Git stores everything, only adding newer data. It is actually difficult to do anything that is undoable (many mistakes simply require you to hit ‘command+z’) or to delete information. This allows you to sleep well at night, knowing that nothing is undoable and no huge mistakes can occur. Once anything is published it will always be stored by Git.
While developers across the board acknowledge the importance of version control, so often the database gets forgotten about. Not putting in place a VCS for your database may lead to deploying a new version of an application using an old version of a database, which can have many negative consequences.
Therefore, when it comes to storing the changes you have made to your database generated by DBmaestro TeamWork build process, it is extremely helpful that DBmaestro now has integrated Git. This ensures that Git can utilize DBmaestro TeamWork’s source control to successfully store the database objects’ revisions.