Top 4 Reasons to Combine Database Release Automation with ARA

Software is reshaping industries, from healthcare to finance to retail and beyond. The pace of change is accelerating, and companies must master their applications to survive in the digital era. In the software economy, speed is the new standard.

To get a faster time-to-market, companies are adopting quicker, more iterative development methodologies. They have replaced age-old waterfall development methodologies with agile practices. From an infrastructure perspective, they have also invested in modern architectures and cloud technologies to achieve higher efficiencies. Some companies have even combined these 2 approaches by adopting DevOps—investing in new tools and processes such as infrastructure automation and continuous integration—to clock even faster speeds.

As companies have adopted application release automation (ARA) technologies to help increase software delivery rates, a new constraint has emerged: data. Data has long been the neglected discipline, the weakest link in the tool chain. In fact, most companies are still managing and deploying DB changes manually, anchoring development teams. Many organizations attempt to support modern, agile development environments with decades-old database management processes. The result is like mounting a modern Ferrari on Model T tires. It’s a great way to get nowhere fast.

The costs of ignoring the database release process accrue on many fronts. For your organization to survive, you must employ database automation. Let’s examine the impact upon four key areas.

1. Cost of Adding DBAs

Are you relying on DBAs for all release-related upgrades? Then you’ll need more DBAs as you increase the rate of application releases. If 10 DBAs can handle 100 changes per week, then you’ll need at least 20 DBAs to handle 200 changes per week.

And, as you hire more DBAs to keep up with the work, you’ll also have to hire more managerial people. You’ll have to devote more resources to support infrastructure. You’ll have to invest more in training. And you’ll have to account for the months/years of on-the-job experience that the 10 new DBAs will need to become as efficient as the original 10. The costs add up fast, especially compared to the substantially lower cost of scaling through automation.

2. Mistakes and Increased Risk:

No matter how large your staff of DBAs, you’re always just one human error away from a mistake. Every DB schema change review and deployment relies upon the skill, reliability, and dedication of a human.

The result is the inevitability of mistakes and less-than-machine-like reliability. The carryover can be an application that significantly underperforms, or mis-performs, or that crashes altogether.

The human touch also increases the risks to data integrity and security. For example, grants embedded in stored procedures offer a huge opportunity for human error. Either that or malicious intent will happen to derail an application and expose its data.

3. Diminished Productivity

The DBA logjam can continue a backflow of delays that echo throughout the development process. It’s quite common for both development and QA teams to idle while waiting for DB changes to be reviewed and deployed. Our own customers tell us that, in the past, 5% to 10% of their developers’ time was spent waiting on schema changes. Database release automation. when compared to a manual database version control, can help increase your productivity.

4. Opportunity Cost

All the above adds up to delays. Slowdowns in development, slowdowns in testing, and delayed releases. And applications simply can’t do what they’re meant to do until they’re released into production.

Whether an application is new, or it’s an upgrade of features and functionality to an existing application, it’s costly not to have that application in production.

If you think application release cycles are moving at a quicker pace, you’re correct. But the pace of application release is nothing compared to what it could be when combined with database automation.

Database deployment automation with application release automation helps companies break the logjam created by today’s manual DB deployment processes. These combined solutions can improve performance, allowing development, test and DBA staff to focus on more important projects. Database deployment automation also helps cut down human error while increasing data security and application performance and reliability. Put simply, database deployment automation helps speed up the delivery of better performing applications into production.

The benefits of combining database deployment automation with ARA are massive. The typical organization can save millions by using Datical DB with existing ARA tools.

To learn more about the benefits of using database deployment automation and application release automation read our white paper, The Evolution of Application Release Automation.

Seeing is believing.