DevOps & IT Processes

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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Take the 2019 State of SQL Server Monitoring Survey: Here’s What’s in It For You

Calling all Database Administrators, Developers, Analysts, Consultants, and Managers: Redgate has a survey open asking how you monitor your SQL Servers. Take the survey before April 5, 2019. Your time is valuable. The survey will take 5 – 10 minutes to complete. That’s not a ton of time, but it’s a noticeable part of your day, and there should be something in it for you. Here’s why it’s worthwhile to take the survey. Database use patterns and monitoring trends are valuable to everyone in the community — and we’ve been missing out on this trend information! This isn’t the only survey from Redgate — you may also have heard of the annual State of Database DevOps Report. But this survey is different in important ways: it asks how you manage and monitor your SQL Server database environment, regardless of whether you think about DevOps at all. Redgate shared the results…
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Contest: Tell Your Database Development Disaster Story (5 winners get $150 USD or more each)

Redgate is building a library of real-world stories about database development disasters. Your mission: Tell us a true story in 500 words or less about a time when you were involved in an Agile or DevOps project that went full steam ahead in speeding up delivery of application code, but didn’t modernize database development practices. Did trouble follow? Check out the prizes and give us the scoop here before March 20, 2019. Enter today, time’s almost up! Share your story using the form hereThe story must be true – but never fear, we will anonymize all stories and the names of the winnersEnter as often as you’d like (but each person may only win once) Need inspiration? Grant’s sample entry (the short version) “Our organization built a new application using an Object Relational Mapping (ORM) tool. The team worked without any DBAs or database developers for speed. We ended up…
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Bust of Developocritus, the Forgotten Greek Philosopher

State vs Migration for Database Source Control – decide based on one question

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Bust of Developocritus, the Forgotten Greek Philosopher One controversial topic in database development is how to properly store and deploy database changes. This is generally described as choosing between two options, which are approximately as easy to understand as Greek philosophy: State based – A Platonic view of the database as a snapshot of a set of forms in a given state at a point in timeMigrations – An Aristotelian view of the database defined as a series of scripts which generate change over time Yeah, I never really liked arguing about philosophers, either. Scratch all that. There’s a simple question that you can use to decide whether a state-based or migrations-based approach is right for a given database. Here’s that question: Do you want at least 95% of your database changes to deploy using auto-generated code? There you go, that’s it. Look back on your life-long experience with Clippy,…
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