DevOps & IT Processes

How to Persuade Your Company to Change

Like a lot of developers and database administrators, I do a fair amount of short-term problem solving during the course of my normal work week. I get to join some Redgate sales calls, often during Proof-of-Concept exercises, and this frequently involves helping brainstorm about the best way to use our tools to solve a specific need for monitoring, database development, or automation. I also pick up customer questions from the #Redgate channel in the SQL Server Community Slack and answer forum questions for Redgate when I can. Inevitably, when you do a regular amount of troubleshooting and brainstorming with customers, you start to notice patterns and have ideas about how to make things easier, faster, or better in some ways. Sometimes this is an idea for a new process or a new product, or it might be a big change to existing processes or products. The challenge is getting it…
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Managing Cross-Database Dependencies in Builds (Redgate video)

Building your database code is an essential practice to ensure that it compiles from source and that dependencies are met. But things can get tricky when you have objects in some databases which is dependent upon objects in other databases — or even circular dependencies. In this 20 minute video, I give an overview of the two most popular options that Redgate customers use to manage cross-database dependencies when building SQL Server databases with Redgate’s SQL Change Automation.
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DBAs: Stop Denying Sysadmin to Developers

I recent chatted with some folks who have a permissions problem in SQL Server. The permissions problem isn’t technical — it’s a process problem. The issue is that these folks are trying to configure a build for their SQL Server databases using Redgate tools, but they aren’t allowed sysadmin permissions on any SQL Server instance in their organization (even in development environments), because of a policy set by the Database Administrators in IT. Why do DBAs deny sysadmin permissions in development? You may find this type of policy puzzling — and for good reason. After all, if you don’t trust developers to keep their own development environment running, why would you ever trust any code they’ve written enough to deploy it to production? In that question is a bit of an answer: this policy occurs when there is a fundamental lack of trust between development and operations. The policy that…
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Paying down technical debt

One of the cool things that I do as an Evangelist at Redgate is to periodically visit company headquarters in Cambridge. The other Evangelists and I get to meet with every software developer, product manager, and UX designer at Redgate over a series of meetings. That’s really cool. We talk about things that they’ve released lately, what they’re looking at doing in the near future, and we get to give feedback based on what we hear from the community and from folks in the sales process. We also get to share what we personally think should happen in these products now. As you might imagine, I have a wish list for features in a variety of different Redgate products Our products are great, and one of the things about great products is that users are always inspired to want to use them in new ways, so I never lack for…
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What is Automation?

Photo by 수안 최 on Unsplash Today I got a bit closer to a meaningful definition of automation, as it applies to the software development process. I’ve been turning this concept over in my head for a while, which is partly related to the dreaded question of licensing. Why should licensing an automation product be related to the number of users? A few weeks ago, I was chatting a bit in the SQL Server Community Slack Channel.✣ One community member was frustrated with running into situations with per-user licensing for monitoring and automation products. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard grumbling about per-user licensing, of course — with any licensing model, you’re going to hear grumbling about it, that’s just how licensing goes. But I think per-user licensing can make a lot of sense when it comes to automation products, because of the nature of automation. I work for Redgate, which does…
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Should release cadence be slowed if you don’t have database load testing?

I got a question recently about a panel discussion on Database Development Disasters at SQL in the City Streamed. I had framed a question as, “how fast should development go without load or performance testing?” I got a follow-up question from my friend Chris Randvere at Redgate: he asked for more information about what the question meant? I realized that my wording had been pretty unclear. I had meant to ask the panelists what their thoughts were on release cadence when a team lacks tooling to do automated load and performance testing outside of production. Should the lack of automated performance testing ability change the rate at which we deploy software? In other words, if we can’t do performance and load testing, does that mean that we should or shouldn’t deploy a change to a database every weekday? I don’t think we covered this super-well in the panel because I…
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