As an IT manager can you recall the last system outage caused by database schema changes? Do you sometimes consider how to better serve programming staff with tools that reduce the inevitable disruption?
If not, then congratulations are in order because your change control and your communication procedures are excellent!
Unfortunately, most of us can recall recent problems stemming from database changes. We accept this though, as change is necessary and for the most part, high value. But each time a change causes a problem, we reassess how schema changes that are poorly documented or poorly communicated can be destructive.
Typically, one DBA supports dozens of database schemas, each with several environments and sometimes across more than one RDBMS. They build, they share, and they deploy database object creates, alters and drops to stay current with application upgrades and patches. Often up to thousands of DDL changes per month.
And how to prepare project teams to upgrade downstream systems?
DBAs manually document and share schema changes – they post to email distribution lists to make sure that project teams have ample time to update their code.
Unfortunately, the occasional change will “fall through the cracks”, causing some process to fail, some error or performance problem, or worse, complete system outage. Ouch!
Our post-mortem reviews often show that the change was not fully documented or was missed entirely by downstream project teams.
Often DBAs will try to solve this problem with database triggers that capture schema changes. But triggers are cumbersome and require manual preparation to filter and make sense of change. Also, it is rare that the trigger solution can automate email alerts.
Trigger solutions rarely last – at the first sign of instability, they are usually the first to be turned off and are typically discarded.
We've learned to accept the myth that a fluid database schema will occassionaly lead to system failures.
Until now. Now, we have SchemaTrack – a full stack software solution employing a meta-harvest job to detect, record and share the create, alter and drop operations on tables, views, indexes and constraints. Fully automated, without triggers and without connecting to the schemas that are being tracked.
Meta-harvest invokes high-performance queries on system views to do this work for Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 databases across the enterprise.
SchemaTrack guarantees project teams are always one or two clicks away from planned, deployed and historic database changes.
A tool that accelerates respect between IT leadership and programming staff, SchemaTrack brings new heights to project team spirit, cohesiveness and productivity.
Not sure about this? Ask any programmer what it feels like to chase a bug or a performance issue for half the day only to find the root cause was a schema change that they were not made aware of. A punch in the gut... that's what it feels like!
See for yourself how your programmers will use a comprehensive view of schema changes - without any registration delay, click Live Demo for our Amazon cloud (AWS) release of SchemaTrack web UI. Instantly see how your own project teams will gain appreciation and confidence in the new “DBA transparency platform”.