The Agile development teams are frequently releasing application updates. To avoid delays or failures, they focus on every aspect of the delivery cycle. The DevOps team has started involving the database code in CI/CD pipeline, which was earlier limited to application code only. By doing this, it is ensured that changes in the DB (new features, updates, or bug fixes) reach users as fast as possible.
Earlier, the DevOps team was reluctant to add a database into the CI/CD pipeline. The changes in the database had a different deployment process due to which the DB changes were handled manually. This practice had 2 prime challenges:
- It was difficult to trace the changes in the database and maintain version history for compliance.
- It reduces the impact of the CI/CD cycle and restricts from applying the cycle to the full extent.
Moreover, when the development and database team coordinate before release, it may result in miscommunication and mistakes. This ultimately creates a bottleneck in the delivery process.
To overcome these challenges, it is necessary that the database changes are timely maintained. This is done by version controlling, automating deployment, and by maintaining sync between the development and DBA team from the beginning. It should be ensured that DBAs are consulted when the changes are done to the database.
To make this process seamless, automation is the key. Apart from version controlling, automation controls the loss during any failure. Automation also reduces human intervention and accelerates the speed of response to any change in the database.
In the later segment of this blog, we will discuss the significance of involving databases in the continuous delivery pipeline and how to get started with it.
Why Include Database in CD Pipeline?
- Align the speed of database change with the application
One of the prime benefits of the CI/CD pipeline is frequent application releases. Usually, when the CI/CD of an application is processed, new builds of the application are deployed automatically. At this pace, when the database changes aren’t aligned with the application, it causes delays when the application release has to be pushed to production. That is why it is important to automate the DB delivery cycle so that any changes to the database are updated timely and the latest application release reaches the users as fast as possible.
- Bring agility in adapting to the market conditions
To ensure that the best of a business reaches the customers on time, the software development team should involve all components of the application in the CI/CD cycle. Since the changes are timely updated, adapting to new market requirements becomes a seamless process.
- Adds return value to the CI/CD pipeline
By adding applications and databases to the CI/CD pipeline, businesses can ensure that they are deriving the best possible returns from their DevOps practice. The delays in the release cycle due to database updates usually don’t let the development team make the most of DevOps. So, including DB in the delivery cycle in the first place holds utmost importance.
- Eliminates errors and improves security
Automation means less human intervention and ultimately, fewer errors. A timely check on the database prevents unplanned downtime and errors. Moreover, a thorough assessment of the database ascertains that it is safe from breaches or attacks. This may include misconfigurations, misplaced GRANT statements, etc.
- Makes the Development Team Self-Sufficient
In an agile environment, the development team keeps the work and rework on. And thus there are frequent releases that usually go out of schedule. If the updated database is ready, the development team has the privilege to proceed with the release, anytime (without having a dependency on DBAs).
ALSO READ: 5 Best Practices for Database DevOps
Database Continuous Delivery: How to Get Started?
With proper practices in place, application and database DevOps can be executed seamlessly. The changes in the database should be considered similar to that of an application and must be tested thoroughly during Continuous Integration and Software Configuration Management. Moreover, it can be assured that the changes in the database are divided into small chunks so that the risk is also divided.
The CI/CD pipeline for application and database can either be separate or can be clubbed together. To understand what works best for your organization, it is important that a consultation is set up with the industry experts and know the right practice.
We, at Daffodil, have been practicing application and database DevOps for most of our projects to get the advantage of DevOps as a practice. Our DevOps services cover many other aspects of this practice which our clients really appreciate.
To get in touch with our DevOps experts, you have a simple way out. Just fill this consultation form and the best of our team will get back to you with the right suggestions. The consultation sessions are absolutely free and have been a great source of technical understanding of projects by our clients.