The State of Database Deployments in Application Delivery
To accommodate the growing chorus of customer demands, relentless competitive pressures, and non-stop market changes, companies are moving faster than ever to release applications. To accelerate application delivery, many development organizations rely on DevOps, Agile, and Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery practices and tools. But faster application development and shorter release cycles also mean more frequent database schema and logic changes. While the application release process has been fast-tracked through modernization and automation, the database release process has been neglected.
In many organizations, database administrators (DBAs) still spend hours, sometimes days, manually reviewing database changes, script by script. By employing a slow, manual, error-prone process to update the database, application delivery is slowed down no matter how much the rest of the application release process is sped-up. This bottleneck has a significant impact on the business. So, how much of a problem are database deployments for today’s enterprises? Who experiences it the most? And, would better automation of database deployments make it easier for companies to release new application innovation faster while minimizing risks?
The following key findings are taken from the 2018 Dimensional Research survey, The State of Database Deployments in Application Delivery, sponsored by Datical.
Database deployment create challenges for application teams
One of the implications of faster application deployment and shorter release cycles is that database changes must be pushed out at a faster rate while maintaining quality and safeguarding company data. When application release stakeholders working at large companies were asked about their database deployment process, 96% say they need to do it faster. But this is challenging. Most (86%) report that this is difficult to do. This includes 40% that characterize their challenges as either “extremely” or “very” difficult.
More than half of all significant application changes require database changes
To quantify how many application changes require corresponding database changes, we asked stakeholders about the last 10 times they made application changes. An overwhelming majority (71%) report that at least half of all significant application changes also require changes to the database. What’s even more notable from a productivity standpoint is that most database changes are not one and done. In fact, 91% of stakeholders say they have to re-work database changes multiple times to get them production-ready.
Database deployments get harder as application release cycles get faster
Today’s enterprises are under pressure to accelerate application delivery regardless of industry or company size. The overwhelming majority of application release stakeholders (90%) say they face pressures to release applications more quickly to respond faster to customer demands and market changes. When we drilled down on specific steps in the application release process, database deployments are frequently highlighted as a common bottleneck in software delivery. But what is even more interesting is that the database release process becomes more of a bottleneck as release cycles tighten from months to weeks. More than half (57%) of application release stakeholders say that database releases create bottlenecks for application release cycles that are days or weeks in length.
Automating database deployments provide tremendous business value
Even though application releases are largely automated and moving at rocket speed there is hope for database releases. Database release automation can help enterprises shorten the time it takes to deliver application updates to market while eliminating the security vulnerabilities, data loss and downtime associated with today’s database deployment processes.
When asked about automating the database deployment process, 99% say it would be advantageous to their development organization. In addition, an overwhelming majority, 91%, say database deployment automation would accelerate their overall application release cycles.
About the survey
These findings are based on an online survey of 303 application development, application release, and DevOps stakeholders responsible for mission-critical applications that connected to enterprise database. The goal of the survey was to capture hard data on real-life experiences with database release.