Using the SQL Developer Bundle in the Cloud

At Trading Games Ltd., we're developing an online stock trading platform called TradeChase.com. It combines elements of social gaming, online tournament game-play, and the stock market to make virtual stock trading a less lonely affair.

As a new start-up, we're partly following lean start-up methodology – if we find that one idea isn't working well, or a new product idea isn't well received, we 'pivot' to a different idea based on what we've learnt. Consequently, we often find ourselves developing and releasing iterations more than once a day.

Our site is run on SQL Azure and one of our requirements is committing changes to the live database with minimum fuss. We also need regular, automated backups of both our live and development systems for safekeeping – we backup from SQL Azure to a locally hosted SQL Server 2008 R2 for that.

We invested considerable time making sure we couldn't solve these two problems in-house, and also looked into plenty of open-source software, but we couldn't find an adequate solution.

Red Gate's tools were recommended on a number of support forums when we were researching possible solutions. In our company, development and management are almost one, and so we took a whole team decision to take on the SQL Developer Bundle. Primarily, we're using SQL Compare, SQL Data Compare, and SQL Dependency Tracker, which let us commit changes with minimal downtime and without losing any data.

From a development perspective, the benefits are clear. The tools save time and allow us to stay agile. From a management perspective, they provide peace of mind. We know our work is properly organized and safe. That means the hours we would have had to spend performing the task manually can be spent actually building features our users want.

For me, Red Gate tools are a necessary addition to any development suite, especially if you're looking to work in the Microsoft Cloud. There are few companies working on tools that mesh perfectly with SQL Azure, so it's particularly great that Red Gate's software is of such high quality.

Hopefully, we'll be growing over the next 18 months. When we do, we'll be looking for more software to keep us lean and agile. We hope that Red Gate will be there with regular updates, in-line with new releases to our cloud-based SQL version.

James Tromans, director and co-founder, Trading Games Ltd.

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