The future of deployment is not going to be so bright if we focus only on application code and leave the database side of things to fall behind. It is true that changes to application code happen more frequently but you will also frequently need to deploy changes to your database schema and reference data to keep delivering customer value.

At these points it is vital that you don’t mess up: arguably the data behind your application is your most important asset and very few apps will even work at all if the DB is borked.

At Red Gate we’re constantly coming up with ideas and doing work  to make working with databases and delivering changes to them ingeniously simple. As part of our aspiration to make delivery of database changes easier and easier we’ve recently done – and shipped – two very important bits of work.

Databases are First Class Citizens

Its always been possible to deploy database packages from Deployment Manager, but over the last couple of weeks we’ve put in some grunt work and re-architected bits of DM under the hood. The net effect of this work are the following three things:

  1. It is now possible to add database servers directly to environments which also means you don’t need DM agents to make database deployments
  2. Creating database deployment steps is now significantly easier. Check out our announcement blog post for all the details.
  3. The internals of DM now recognise database servers as first class objects. This will not mean much to the casual user, and indeed the UI doesn’t look much different. However it means that DM now has a better foundation on which to build further improvements that make database delivery and deployment better and better – and we intend to be doing a lot in that area over the coming months.

Link to Source Control

For a few years now Red Gate has made it possible for SSMS users to easily version their databases using SQL Source Control. Now, to make it easier to deploy database packages directly from SSMS we’ve shipped some functionality that lets you, directly from SSMS, package any revision of your database for deployment. Check out Alex’s post for the detail of how this feature works.

These may seem perhaps like two small(ish) and independent features. However we see them as taking us further down the path of instrumenting what’s needed to make the process of automating and simplifying database delivery ever more achievable.

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