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Database deployments still act as bottlenecks to software delivery

Database deployments continue to be a software delivery bottleneck, a process that hasn’t improved within the past year, according to a recent study by Dimensional Research that was commissioned by software automation provider Datical.

The growing pressure to deliver application updates faster is greater than ever, the report said. Companies with the fastest application release cycles suffered the biggest impact from slow, manual deployment of database schema changes.

For the research, Dimensional surveyed 307 application developers, application release managers, enterprise architects, and DevOps professionals at large enterprises in March 2019, and found that 92 percent reported difficulty in accelerating the deployment of database schema changes in an effort to match the pace at which they deploy application code changes.
The finding showed there has been no improvement, as the same statistic was reported in a similar report the previous year.

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Trainees attend a class for the Government e Marketplace (GeM) website at the National Institute of Financial Management in Faridabad, Haryana, India, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to move all government purchases, from paper clips to power plant turbines, to an Amazon-like online marketplace that could eventually be worth a fifth of the country's $2 trillion economy. Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg

The process of deploying database schema changes is complex and demanding, the report noted. It frequently involves spending hours and even days manually reviewing and validating every database change script and schema change within those scripts. A majority of survey respondents (91 percent) said they have to re-work database changes multiple times before they’re ready for production deployment, and 80 percent said it takes longer to deploy database code changes than other types of code changes.

The research also found that 84 percent of application stakeholders had serious production issues due to database change errors, with 57 percent of all application changes requiring a corresponding database schema change; and 88 percent of respondents saying it takes more than an hour to resolve these schema change issues.

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