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SMG Research Reveals DBA Tools Not Effective for Managing Database Change

New research from Simon Management Group reveals that despite the high percentage of companies who use DBA tools, a majority of companies still struggle with database change and configuration management issues that impede the first-time success rate of business-critical application deployments.

Commissioned by Datical, Inc., the study examines the views of application development and deployment professionals in large organizations with $100 million or greater in IT department spending. The companies surveyed have similar characteristics including a large number of applications in use, frequent database application change requests per week, adoption of agile development methodologies, and greater variation in the skills of their SQL programmers.

Findings from the analysis of nearly 100 verified responses point to a number of key issues:

  • Multiple databases, platforms – On average, companies use three different types of databases with MS SQL Server and Oracle being the most common.
  • High number of applications and changes – Companies support an average of 183 applications and IT receives requests for database application changes about four times per day. Forty-two percent of change requests require in-depth database schema knowledge.
  • Lack of skills in-house – On average, companies have 70 developers to support these applications, and only 39 percent of those organizations believe their in-house SQL programming expertise is adequate enough to manually update the schema.
  • Dependencies and change velocity – Across the board, the pain caused by database application changes is highest for managing the velocity of changes and application dependencies.
  • Application failures – Companies average a seven percent application failure rate, or 12 business critical failures per year.

However, the pain levels and types of change depend upon the use of agile development methodologies. Among 45 percent of companies using agile for development and test:

  • The pain among high agile users is greatest for velocity of changes, application dependency management and deployments that require manual intervention; whereas
  • The pain for low agile users is highest for managing dependencies, missing necessary steps in documentation and scripts, and deployments that require manual intervention.

Two-thirds of the organizations surveyed report that using DBA tools do not mitigate these issues when updating the database schema.

“Large organizations still rely on manual scripting to implement a high volume of database changes – opening themselves up to risks and errors when deploying the very applications that drive revenue for their business,” said Daniel Nelson, Datical CEO and co-founder. “By taking steps to eliminate manual scripting, automate and forecast the impact of change in production, these companies can reduce their risk, accelerate releases, speed time to market and cut cost.”

Download the infographic for a quick summary of the SMG research results.

About Simon Management Group

Simon Management Group is a management consulting firm dedicated to helping technology-based companies achieve their growth objectives. Based on primary research and compelling analysis, our work helps management teams make well-informed decisions that significantly improve business performance.

About Datical

Datical enhances, extends and fully supports proven open source projects for use in enterprise environments. Datical's flagship product, Datical DB, automates the deployment of database schema updates for large organizations that struggle with the constant state of application change across complex environments. Based upon the Liquibase open source project, Datical DB manages the database schema lifecycle for people who develop, deploy and maintain applications. Datical is led by the same experienced team that founded Phurnace Software, acquired by BMC Software. The company is privately held with headquarters in Austin, Texas and has strong venture backing from Austin Ventures, Mohr Davidow and Mercury Fund. For more information, visit www.datical.com or call 949-DATICAL.

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