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SMG Research Reveals DBA Tools Not Effective for Managing Database Change

Database Schema Changes Rank High Among Contributing Factors

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. 42 percent of change requests require in-depth database schema knowledge.
  • Lack of skills in-house - On average, it takes 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 7 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 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."

 

More Stories By Pete Pickerill

Pete Pickerill is Vice President of Products and Co-founder of Datical. Pete is a software industry veteran who has built his career in Austin’s technology sector. Prior to co-founding Datical, he was employee number one at Phurnace Software and helped lead the company to a high profile acquisition by BMC Software, Inc. Pete has spent the majority of his career in successful startups and the companies that acquired them including Loop One (acquired by NeoPost Solutions), WholeSecurity (acquired by Symantec, Inc.) and Phurnace Software.

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