It’s no secret there’s been a lot of contention between application developers, who are under pressure to build applications faster, and database administrators (DBAs), who are charged with providing those developers with access to data. Historically, developers have been dependent on DBAs to create schemas that would allow them to access data. But it takes time to build schemas, which is why many developers as of late have opted to employ a NoSQL database that don’t require a schema to access data. While that provides developers with some much-needed flexibility, most of the data stored in an enterprise today is still inside a relational database.
To make it possible for DBAs to respond faster to developer demands, Quest Software has unveiled the Toad for DevOps toolkit, which makes it easier to include relational databases such as Oracle within a larger continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) process managed by frameworks such as Jenkins, Bamboo and Maven.
Greg Davoll, executive director for product management and marketing for Quest database management solutions, notes the DBA traditionally has been the last holdout in embracing DevOps—DBAs didn’t really have access to tools that would enable them to participate in an agile development environment. The Toad for DevOps Toolkit address that issue by enabling them to test PL and SQL code during the application build process and ensure schema, data and database integrity with the context of a DevOps pipeline process, Davoll says, adding DBAs participating in a DevOps process can now also perform static code reviews and promote artifacts into a target environment to see how they perform in a production environment.
The arrival of Toad for DevOps Toolkit is scheduled to coincide with the release of Toad for Oracle 2017 R2, which will add pass/fail status notifications within the Code Analysis code review process, a redesigned multi-schema compare and sync function, and an enhanced REST API as part of the Benchmark Factory testing tool to help automate performance testing within a CI/CD workflow. Over time, Quest Software will add similar capabilities across the full range of databases it supports, Davoll says. Quest Software just announced a Toad for MySQL offering to complement its existing support for Oracle and Postgres databases.
Many of the decisions over the years concerning what database to employ have come down to which platform incurs the least amount of friction for developers to deploy. That hasn’t always resulted in the right database decision being made. In fact, it’s usually not too long before a developer wants to offload the management of the database back to the IT organization. Invariably, that results in DBAs having to manage multiple database platforms. While there may be a perfectly rational reason to employ something other than a relational database, that decision should be based on the attributes of the database rather than internal IT politics and purchasing processes. The challenge facing DBAs now is how to re-engage developers who have developed a bias against specific classes of databases, no matter how much critical data they may hold.