Upcoming Events

Weekly Database DevOps Live Chats – a new experiment on YouTube

How to Make Your 2020 Monitoring Strategy a Success – Wed, Nov 20th – 8 AM Pacific / 11 AM Eastern – Register

Essential Practices for High Performing Database DevOps Teams – Tue, Nov 26th – 8 AM Pacific / 11 AM Eastern – Register

Why the Database is at the Heart of DevOps Success – Fri, Nov 29 – 6:00 AM Pacific / 9:00 AM Eastern / 3PM CET – ScaleUp 360 online conference – Register

Managing and Automating Test Datasets for DevOps – Weds, Dec 4 – 7:30 AM Pacific / 10:30 AM Eastern – Register

Recent Recordings

Redgate Evangelist YouTube Channel: Tutorials on Database DevOps -New videos each week – Watch

Fast and Reliable Development with Redgate Solutions for SQL Server – Watch

Implementing Data Masking for NIST Compliance – 1 hour – Watch

How Developers and DBAs Collaborate in a DevOps World – 40 minutes – Watch

How DevOps Keeps DBAs Safe from Being Automated Out of a Job – 1 hour – Watch

DevOps: What, who, why and how? – 1 hour – Watch

Can This Team Succeed at DevOps? Panel discussion – 1 hour – Watch

Setting a Custom Variable in an Azure DevOps Pipeline with PowerShell

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Here’s a quick post on something simple which stumped me for a while, in the hopes that search engines help someone else who gets confused in the same way. Recently, I was doing a bit of work in Azure DevOps Services, preparing a demo for an upcoming webinar about Redgate’s solutions. (Shameless plug: the webinar is free.) Part of the demo does the following magic, using a branch policy and pull request automation trigger, combined with some of Redgate’s extensions: Builds/validates database codeCreates a lightweight clone of the “production” database (I’m using a copy of StackOverflow, thanks Brent & the folks at Stack)Creates a release artifact summarizing the changes that’ll be deployed to the clone, exports it, then deploys the changes This combination of actions is lovely — reviewers of the pull request have validation that the code builds, they know it deploys successfully, and they can even look at…
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Git Command Line Tutorial with SQL Change Automation for SSMS (video)

I’m really excited for Redgate’s new SQL Change Automation plugin for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). SQL Change Automation lets DBAs and developers use a migrations-first approach to create precise scripts to apply changes to your database. If you’re curious about what I mean by “migrations-first”, read more about this approach, and how it compares to a state-first approach here. I’ve been working with SQL Change Automation with Git for a while in Microsoft Visual Studio. Visual Studio contains a lot of integration by default with Git and Azure DevOps, so I’ve been using its graphical tools, for the most part. The new SQL Change Automation extension for SSMS works with the Version Control System (VCS) of your choice, but this initial release provides only “working folder” support That means that you set up your version control outside of SSMS, then point SQL Change Automation at your working folder. This…
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Key Findings for Database Professionals from the Accelerate State of DevOps Report 2019

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The Accelerate: State of DevOps Report 2019 has just been published. This report is the latest in six years of research. With more than 31,000 survey responses, Accelerate is the longest running study of DevOps in academia or industry. In the 2019 edition, research continues to show that DevOps drives business value: high performers at DevOps are “twice as likely to meet or exceed their organizational goals.” While this isn’t a new finding, it’s very important that this continues to be true: why invest in improving at DevOps if it doesn’t drive business value? While there are a ton of valuable insights in the report, in this post I will focus in on the findings which I believe are most relevant to those of us who work “close to a database.” There are three very interesting aspects of the research which hit close to home: Speed and stability are not…
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Azure DevOps: How to Set a Custom Release Branch Folder Filter in Build Pipeline Triggers (video)

This is the first in a series of posts about simple things that I had a hard time figuring out in Azure DevOps services. It can be very useful to enable Continuous Integration for multiple folders in your DevOps pipeline — say, for every branch created under releases/ or features/. But configuring this can be strangely confusing! In this video, I show how to get a custom release branch folder set in your triggers for both build and release pipelines. Then I show a quick test of the automation at work in my demo pipeline. Spoiler: the fix is to type directly into the filter box and hit enter. It looks like that box is only for filtering existing branches, but you can use it for edits! The fix starts in the video at 1:50 if you only want to see that bit.
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SQL Server Management Studio is as Relevant as Ever

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Sometimes you keep a classic around After almost fifteen years of heavy usage by developers and database administrators (DBAs), it might seem like Microsoft’s free tool, SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), is about to go out of style. After all, SSMS is no longer the cool new kid on the block: Microsoft has shown consistent effort to develop their new tool, Azure Data Studio (the artist formerly known as SQL Operations Studio), since November 2017. Azure Data Studio is built on the modern foundation of Microsoft’s VS Code, whereas SQL Server Managed Studio is related to the legacy Visual Studio Shell. Based on this overview, it might seem like a new SQL Server DBA or developer should primarily learn Azure Data Studio, not SSMS. And it might similarly seem like vendors should focus on developing new tooling only for Azure Data Studio. But when you look into the details of…
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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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