Database Lifecycle Management

More and more companies are recognizing that agile practices such as continuous integration and continuous delivery are as applicable to databases as they are to applications.

Implemented correctly, they reduce risk, improve efficiency, and deliver value to customers sooner.

Quite simply, they enable organizations to proactively manage the processes involved in the application and database lifecycle, including planning, development, release, and maintenance.

What is DLM?

Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) refers to the processes that cover the database as part of the wider lifecycle management question.

Just like Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), DLM takes a wide-angle view across the software lifecycle, encouraging teams to use a range of processes and technology infrastructures to manage database changes.

The 2014 State of DevOps report found that:

  • IT performance strongly correlates with practices such as version control and continuous delivery
  • Firms with high-performing IT organizations are twice as likely to exceed their profitability, market share and productivity goals
  • Such IT organizations are more agile and reliable, deploying code 30 times more frequently, with 50% fewer failures

Redgate provides DLM products that enable your organization to include databases alongside applications in agile processes, and become a truly high-performing IT organization.

To learn more, download our DLM whitepaper or arrange a free consultation.

“The journey of managing a team-developed application and its database involves many stages and it is vital a process is put in place to manage all these people, their code, and their environments.”

Grant Fritchey,
SQL Server MVP

See our DLM diagram for an overview of organizational principles, processes, and tools for DLM.

One step at a time

The key to the successful introduction of DLM is to see it not as a single, rigid, rulebook process that forces you to change every aspect of the way your organization works.

DLM is a staged process that can be implemented in your own timeframe, depending on what’s right for your organization. You can choose where to step into the lifecycle, and where to stop or move forward. Each step offers benefits in its own right.

5 steps of DLM


No version control, or manual, ad hoc version control

Version Control

Automated version control solution


Continuous integration

CI and version control for the database


Release Management

Version control, CI, and automated deployment



Drift checking and performance monitoring


How can Redgate tooling help?

To enjoy the benefits of more advanced agile practices, moving from no version control to version control is the first step (and the best way of doing this is by using a proper version control tool).

As you move on, you can then choose to implement continuous integration and release management to establish a continuous delivery process.

Redgate’s DLM solution offers tooling to support each process, which can be used individually or together to deliver the whole range of DLM benefits.

Redgate’s DLM products plug into the infrastructure your organization already has in place to cover application lifecycle needs – your version control system, your CI server, and your release management tool.

SQL Developer Suite

Take your first steps in DLM, with version control and manual deployments

The SQL Developer Suite includes SQL Source Control, a plugin that lets you use your version control system to version control your database: the first step in managing your database lifecycle.

It also gives you seven tools for development and manual change management – everything you need to get started with DLM.

See how to get started with the SQL Developer Suite, or arrange a free consultation.

Looking for Oracle tools? Try the Deployment Suite for Oracle, which includes Source Control for Oracle, a standalone tool which lets you use Subversion or Team Foundation Server with Oracle databases.

DLM Automation Suite

Complete your DLM journey, with database CI and automated deployments

The DLM Automation Suite works with your existing CI and release management infrastructure, so you can include your database in both processes. It also provides you with the review and approval steps you need to make sure your process is safe.

With it, you can make automated deployments – and even continuous delivery – a reality for your database.

See how to get started with the DLM Automation Suite, or arrange a free consultation.

Looking for Oracle tools? Try the DLM Automation Suite for Oracle, which lets you add your Oracle database to your CI process.

Download our DLM whitepaper

"We predict the return on investment to be in the order of 700% over the next 5 year period."
Carl Davison, Software Development Team Leader, Yorkshire Water

Find out how major UK utility company Yorkshire Water switched from manual database deployment to Redgate DLM tools – and gained a significant financial advantage.

Read the case study

Why Redgate?

Redgate has specialized in database software for 15 years.

Our products are used by 650,000 IT professionals, in more than 100,000 companies, including 91% of the Fortune 100.

Our philosophy is to design highly usable, reliable tools, which elegantly solve the problems that development and operations teams face every day.

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DLM Coffee Break Webinars

Our latest webinar

When it comes to designing and apply database changes, it’s not always clear whether a state-based or a migrations approach is best. Some argue that the simplicity and declarative nature of a state-based approach is the most effective way to update database structures. On the other hand, there are plenty of folks who feel that the steady evolution and change-capturing nature of of migrations is the only way to effectively manage changes to your database.

The reality is that both approaches have pros and cons, and you'll probably end up using different methods depending on the project you're working on. Grant Fritchey and Steve Jones each have different preferences, and Alex Yates sits squarely on the fence, and between them they're going to work out what's the best way to manage database changes.

Join Grant, Steve and Alex as they discuss the pros and cons of each approach to database change management, and learn which might be the right method for your needs.

Grant Fritchey is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP and a Product Evangelist at Redgate Software. Grant has authored books for Apress and Simple-Talk, and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences.

Steve Jones is the editor of, a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and over the last decade has written hundreds of articles for, SQL Server Magazine, and other industry sites.

Alex Yates has worked exclusively with database change management tools for four years, collaborating closely with users and dev teams along the way. As a pre-sales engineer, he gets to see a huge variety of server and dev environments, and helps folks solve their database development and delivery problems in whatever way works well for them.

Previous webinars

The Biggest Database Lifecycle Management Challenges and Predictions for 2016

Database version control – optional or required?

Where's the database in DevOps?

Should your database be Continuously Delivered?

The definitive guide to embracing Database Lifecycle Management

How to safely manage application and database changes with continuous delivery

Patterns and Practices library

Visit the Simple-Talk Patterns & Practices library

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Arrange a free consultation

If you have any questions about DLM and where Redgate’s tools can help you, please contact us to arrange a consultation.

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