5 September 2014
5 September 2014

The (r)evolution starts here

Sssshhh. There’s a revolution going on. Quietly, purposefully, and without fanfare, Database Lifecycle Management is looming on the horizon for every developer and DBA. A continuous, agile-based approach to integrating, coordinating and managing the different phases of database delivery.

Whoah, there. Database Lifecycle Management? Application Lifecycle Management, yes, but how on earth can you apply ALM to data? That’s tantamount to playing tennis with a hand grenade, surely.

Actually, no. The truth is, DLM has been hiding in the shadows for a while. A long while. Probably ever since Redgate launched SQL Compare. We didn’t know it then, but SQL Compare was the first stage on the long journey towards DLM. By giving developers and DBAs an easy way to compare and deploy database schemas, we gave them the power to do their job smarter and faster.

Over the years, we’ve introduced more and more tools, often after developers and DBAs have asked for help in one area or another. Every tool has replaced hours of effort with a solution that appears remarkably simple but under the hood is ingenious. And every time, we’ve moved closer to DLM.

Unknowingly and unwittingly, we’ve been leading the way. Oh, we’ve called it different things on the journey – pick your favorite combination of phrases from continuous integration, continuous delivery, automated deployment, database delivery – but DLM was sneaking up on us. All of those phrases are parts of DLM: the development processes that apply to different segments of the lifecycle.

We were concentrating on creating tools that solved a single issue or a set of issues for developers and DBAs. In fact, we were concentrating so hard that one day we turned round and there was a huge elephant in the room. We suddenly realized that in our desire to resolve all of those smaller issues, we were a gnat’s wing away from a complete DLM solution. A suite of tools that together could be used to answer the big questions in Database Lifecycle Management.

Meanwhile, of course, something else was going on. DBAs were being asked to ship faster, to shorten development times, to adopt agile and lean methodologies. DevOps people and NoSQL aficionados were emerging from their lairs, blinking in the sunlight and looking damn sexy. Microsoft were getting in on the act with their interestingly puzzling DLM diagram and curated DLM guidance page.

The message to developers and DBAs was increasingly one of ship often, ship safe. Ship often because application development times are reducing and competitive advantage comes from delivering new features to users faster. Ship safe because with live data there really is no room for error.

The blueprint for ship often, ship safe, is DLM. With DLM in place, tedious, time-consuming tasks are taken care of automatically, so that database changes can be released with a lot more efficiency and predictability. Instead of taking power away from DBAs, DLM gives DBAs the power to perform smarter, faster, better.

We’ve now launched a new suite of tools that, together, make DLM a reality.

Crucially for developers and DBAs, the whole suite plugs into whichever platform or architecture is in place as they evolve their deployment pipeline. As importantly, they can adopt a single tool to address a particular pain point like source controlling their database, a group of tools to deliver processes such as continuous integration, or every tool to enable true DLM.

Wherever they are on the journey to DLM, Redgate is there to help them. Is this a revolution? For some customers, perhaps. At Redgate, though, we prefer to think of it as evolution.

Want to talk to us about Database Lifecycle Management? Then get in touch directly with the Redgate DLM Team – just email dlm@red-gate.com

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