As programmers we are always on guard for disruption caused by a schema change that we were not prepared for.
Sometimes we get lucky because our code throws a compile error which points directly to the schema object that was changed. In this case, it only takes a minute to make a quick code change and we are back up and running.
Other times the change is not obvious - our code still compiles but the schema change disrupts what used to be a well performing query.
Ever had the column sequence of an index changed?
Hopefully we get lucky again by quickly identifying the full table scan, but for a complex query with over 100 tables, views, virtual queries and sub-queries, we waste precious head-down time figuring out which index was changed.
There are many kinds of creates, alters and drops that will impact what was once a stable system. If we are not made aware of them, our application code breaks down and our users suffer the consequences.
Of course, our DBAs provide documentation of changes, but this task becomes unwieldy as their DDL scripts continue to be changed.
Shouldn't there be a system that makes use of structured meta data to solve these problems? Ideally, a system that keeps track of changes without any bulky tracing or auditing.
Great news - SchemaTrack does exactly this. With a periodic meta-harvest job that invokes high performance queries on system views to detect and record creates, alters and drops on the database object types that programmers care most about – tables, views, indexes and constraints.
Without using tracing, auditing or database triggers, SchemaTrack provides web pages that allow project teams to “watch” their schemas evolve via email alerts, drill-down search, sort and compare features as well as useful counts and summary links.
With SchemaTrack Web UI, you can “describe” an index or constraint just like describing a table or view. Additionally, all four object types have new features never before seen in a database tool – like an audit dropdown that shows for example…
1. Here is what MY_TABLE looked like when it was first created during the application 1.0 installation.
2. Next, we see before and after definitions of MY_TABLE when it was altered during the 2.0 upgrade. The yellow highlights draw our eyes directly to columns that were added or removed as well as columns that had nullable change, data type or length change, etc.
3. Lastly, we see the definition of MY_TABLE when it was dropped during the 4.1.2 patch.
Programmers are never left out of the loop as SchemaTrack’s automated email alerts provide notification of changes by schema and by database environment.
There are two ways to sample these features right now. Without any registration or delay you can use Live Demo, or your DBA can download a free trial of SchemaTrack and be up and running in about an hour in your organization.
We are software engineers in California’s Silicon Valley, and we invite you to share this introduction with your DBA. You might want to include a note that they will want to “get ready to be happy”.