During my two decades in IT, I’ve seen the demand for Agile and its associated methodologies grow. At the same time, however, I’ve witnessed the database being left behind.
DBmaestro, where I am co-founder and CTO, recently conducted a survey titled, “Database Deployment & Development Risks,” to gain insights into the risks associated with various database development practices. The survey focused on manual processes used throughout the development cycle.
The results revealed two divergent realities: Despite respondents, from diverse sectors, overwhelmingly recognizing the risks associated with manual process for the database, many organizations continue to use processes and solutions that don’t fully automate the development cycle.
One area where this was particularly apparent was with the source control. It’s imperative that development teams are able to trust their source control. But even when standard source control solutions are being utilized, 70 percent of those surveyed are still interjecting manual processes.
What that means is that even though many of these professionals have some type of solution, they still see a clear and present risk because:
1. When integrating changes, it’s possible for one developer to wrongly override valid changes with older revisions from other development branches, a potential concern that nearly 90 percent of survey respondents associate with risk. Still, more than half (53 percent) of the IT professionals surveyed integrate changes, creating the possibility that such overrides may occur.
Nearly three-fourths (70 percent) reported having a database source control, but 53 percent reported that they continue to have problems that a more adequate source control solution should resolve. In this case, there is a problem with the source control tool implemented.
2. The database may not be in sync with the version control repository. Ninety percent of the IT professionals surveyed associated the potential for these sources to be out of sync with risk. What’s more, 72 percent of those surveyed admit that their database may not be in full sync with the version control repository.
3. Introducing changes without first verifying each database object vs. its version control revision to ensure each database object is up to date is a process that nearly 90 percent of survey participants associate with risk. Despite a widespread awareness that failing to verify accuracy between database objects and database source control before introducing changes is a risky practice, 53 percent continue to do so.
That means that the remaining 47 percent of respondents do not trust their source control solution regarding the database code and are implementing steps to validate it matches the database before introducing changes.
While interjecting manual steps can help alleviate the risk associated with the possibility of overriding critical changes in the database, it’s time-consuming, and manual interruptions to the continuous delivery cycle introduce risks of their own. When you can’t place full trust in source control, two developers working on the same database code or objects can easily override or revert critical changes introduced by the other developer when the script is updated in the database—sometimes with disastrous consequences.
Only a Database Enforced Source Control solution that covers database lifecycle management (DLM) from development through build and deployment can create a “Single Source of Truth” for your database development assets. This allows you to gain trust in your source control and implement the rapid changes today’s development cycles demand—without plugging the process with time-consuming manual steps. Database Enforced Source Control promotes complete trust in your source code, allowing developers to work simultaneously on the same database objects without the risk of overriding important changes when scripts are updated, promoting true synchronization across dispersed development teams.
Download the complete results of the 2015 “Database Deployment & Development Risks.”
About the author:
Yaniv Yehuda is the Co-Founder and CTO of DBmaestro, an Enterprise Software Development Company focusing on database development and deployment technologies. Yaniv is also the Co-Founder and the head of development for Extreme Technology, an IT service provider for the Israeli market. He was a captain in Mamram, the Israel Defense Forces computer centers, where he served as a software engineering manager.