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Automate the boring stuff. Simplify the tough stuff.

Pete Pickerill

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Top Stories by Pete Pickerill

All too often, database development is an afterthought in Agile Development.  Developers perfect how best to implement a solution in code, but tend to spend too little time on representing that solution in the Database.  This is unfortunate, given that 65% of your change requests require changes to the application schema, according to independent research conducted by Simon Management Group.  This finding implies that Database changes are every bit as important as the Application Code, and should be treated as tier-one artifacts in your release process. At Datical, we typically find that development organizations process Database changes in one of two ways: Developers author Database changes, which must then be reviewed and approved by the DBA team, or Developers submit Database change requests to the DBA team, who then author changes. Either scenario would work fi... (more)

The DevOps Database | Part 2

In my first post in this series, I discussed the underpinning principles of all DevOps patterns as eloquently stated by Gene Kim, author of "The Phoenix Project."  In this post I'd like to dig a little deeper into The First Way.  As a refresher: The First Way: Systems Thinking - This Way stresses the performance of the entire system of value delivery.  Instead of becoming laser focused on the part of the process for which an individual or team is responsible, the individual or team works to understand the entire process from requirements generation to customer delivery.  The goa... (more)

The DevOps Database | Part 1

Recently, the Agile Austin DevOps SIG invited Datical to talk about the impact of DevOps practices on database change management. This was a great opportunity for us to talk to folks about our approach to managing application schema change in IT organizations that have moved or are moving to more responsive and agile planning, development, and delivery processes.  It was a lively discussion with some great feedback from the audience. In framing the discussion, I relied heavily on "The Three Ways" of DevOps.  The Three Ways are the principles that underpin the DevOps patterns that... (more)

The DevOps Database | Part 3

In the third post in this series, I’d like to talk about the Second Way of DevOps: Amplifying Feedback Loops.  Here’s a refresher on The Second Way from my introductory post in this series: The Second Way: Amplify Feedback Loops – This Way deals primarily with facilitating easier and faster communication between all individuals in a DevOps organization.  The goals of this step are to foster better understanding of all internal and external customers in the process and to develop an accessible body of knowledge to replace the dependence on expertise scattered across individuals. ... (more)

The Advantages of a Model-Based Approach

The vast majority of schema management today is handled through the generation, review, and execution of SQL scripts.  These scripts can be tiny or huge; they can encapsulate the creation and relationships of several objects or they can describe a one-time alteration to a single object.  Once executed they generally leave no history of their passing other than the presence of the pieces they create, delete or modify; you can be dependent on hundreds of small scripts or on one giant script to build out new environments or evaluate existing ones.  You’re left with a schema that is ... (more)