Database DevOps: What is it; Principles and Practices

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Oct 16, 2023

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What is database DevOps?

Database DevOps is a technique that aims to eliminate a bottleneck. It helps both development and operations teams in detecting and streamline the procedure of application development and its release.

The need for Database DevOps

  • The DevOps pipeline helps create an automated source-controlled pipeline that deals with database modifications, thereby eliminating the bottlenecks related to database administration. 
  • It enhances collaboration by adopting a precise, repeatable method, making it easier for both developers and DBAs to comprehend each other's needs.
  • Since the communication between all parties involved in the DevOps process increases, so does feedback between them. This minimises the feedback loops. Making incremental, controlled updates to databases also makes it simpler to track the changes and pinpoint problems associated with each modification.
  • DBAs can handle database updates with the use of automation without sacrificing the database's or the data's overall quality, which further helps in quicker deliveries while enhancing quality. Including database development in the CI/CD process allows one to offload tedious activities. DBAs and developers' workloads are lighter thanks to the elimination of typical human errors.

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Principles of Database DevOps

Constant Supply

 With Database DevOps, the process of deploying a change to production after being applied to several environments, utilising unit tests, is mostly automated. Major mistakes are no longer committed in the production environment using this method. By doing this, unforeseen events in the future will be prevented.

Repeated Deployments

Reliable results can be easily accomplished if small system changes can be incorporated while still following the same process.

Unit Tests

The testing phase of any release is vital. Any modifications that are created and made available must have gone through the testing phase. After all, they are required to ascertain whether the changes and advancements meet specifications, compromise the deployed environment, or both.

Source Monitoring

Through source control, changes to software code can be monitored and managed. The ability to store all database code, from the original scripts used to build the schema through each iterative change, enables a database to be understood in a specific environment at a specific moment.

Database DevOps Best Practices

For all code delivery, adhere to the same process

It is quite easy to apply the same tools and procedures for database code as one probably already has tools to migrate your application code. One can use CI/CD in the same manner for both application and database code by checking all code into source control. Further, by automating the procedure, a database rules engine and database change simulator can be implemented.

Make gradual, minor database modifications

When a software release is almost at the deployment stage, and it turns out that some bad database modifications need to be located and fixed by a DBA crushes everything to a deadlock. It might happen that team has no other option than to shut everything down if the database modification is deployed. This would cause a lot of time to be invested in trying to fix it. Therefore, the trick is to use a tool that enables the team to trace every single small change. 

Make it simple to combine database updates from different sources

Gone are those days when data could be accessed from a single location in an organisation. Events like corporate mergers and acquisitions make it necessary to adjust to new environments and outlines. Hence, it is wise to plan ahead and ensure that the set-up process is simple, even merging modifications from various sources.

Allow quick feedback loops

Effective communication is a key component in developing successful software. It's crucial to incorporate database feedback loops. Feedback loops are techniques used to validate and obtain feedback regarding the software development process. Receiving favourable and critical feedback and working on them helps enhance the process.

Moreover, automated feedback loops are embedded right into the Datical system, and the rules engine verifies the database code. So, if the code fails the rules validation, feedback is promptly forwarded to the developer to rectify. Before deployment, the Datical simulates database modifications, and developers are notified right away if anything is wrong so they can correct it before any unfavourable database modifications are implemented.

Use database change versioning to control features at the granular level

When anything goes wrong, many companies implement numerous database modifications at once, which creates nuisances. The are no clear causes that could take the blame. However, one may quickly see which database changes are connected to which feature and with which specific version.

Test early and frequently

A great approach for integrating testing into the development process is continuous testing. Tools are used in continuous testing to check in source code, run tests concurrently, and alert developers when a build fails. Since this prioritises actionable items, teams may concentrate on tasks that influence business priorities.

Use Artifacts to deploy

The best practice for Database DevOps usually looks like the following:

  • Verifying the application code and database code into source control.
  • Carrying out validation of database modification rules
  • Creating an artefact using a CI tool.
  • Storing it in a repository.
  • Maintaining the database in its ideal state and simulating changes.
  • Implementing using a CD tool.

Create a production-like environment for implementing modifications

The ideal course of action is to build and test against an environment similar to the original production environment and is quite feasible to ensure that both application code and database code modifications work well when pushed to the production platform.

Final Words

Although DevOps endeavours to bridge the gap between development and operations, it is essential to evaluate each manual step in the delivery pipeline to see if it can be automated. Therefore, database modifications should be part of the DevOps implementation as they are surely a time-consuming process, making it essential to have DevOps training. With expert trainers having 20+ years of experience, 6 Months of Certified Project Experience, and a 100% Guarantee, enrol in this DevOps Certification Online Training Course and take your career to a new height.

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