Development teams are under pressure to deliver reliable releases faster to meet business needs and user requirements in a timely fashion.  DevOps supports this by encouraging better collaboration, and introduces practices like continuous integration and continuous delivery to speed software delivery. The result is improved productivity, agility and performance across teams, and the business, but the database is commonly a bottleneck.  

Without the right processes in place, and the additional safeguards needed when dealing with business-critical data, database change management slows things down while adding risk and uncertainty.  With Redgate, the database can be included alongside the application to make sure that business-critical data is kept safe.

“We uniquely solve the problem of incorporating your database in your DevOps processes,” said Stephanie Herr, product manager at Redgate. “Redgate is the leading Microsoft SQL Server tools vendor with an established solution for Database DevOps.”

Redgate helps DevOps teams remove the database bottleneck by giving them a reliable, scalable and repeatable process for building, deploying and maintaining SQL Server databases, in the same way they do for application code.  With Redgate, DevOps processes can be extended to SQL databases and Azure SQL databases using the same tools already in place for application development, including Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and Team Foundation Server (TFS).  Now application and database changes can be made in unison, providing a single source of the truth.

In addition, database provisioning plays a key role in DevOps as development teams require up to date, realistic environments to develop, test and fix code.

Redgate Partners with Microsoft

Redgate and Microsoft introduced a partnership at the recent Visual Studio 2017 launch event.  Together they are extending DevOps to SQL Server databases and enabling higher levels of productivity when working with SQL Server databases in Visual Studio.

“We’re excited about the partnership announced with Microsoft at the VS 2017 launch event,” said Herr. We’re working together to extend DevOps to SQL Server databases and improve productivity when working with SQL databases in Visual Studio.”

As a result of the partnership, Redgate Data Tools are now included free in Visual Studio Enterprise 2017.  At Build, Redgate will showcase its tools for Database DevOps, which include ReadyRoll Core, SQL Prompt Core and SQL Search.  

Redgate launched SQL Clone earlier this year, which is a new database provisioning tool.  At Build, Redgate will announce a new Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) extension for SQL Clone. The company will also demonstrate how teams can leverage SQL Clone within their automated delivery pipeline to run builds and tests against full-sized realistic datasets.


“The new extension allows you to include provisioning in your pipeline so you can use realistic copies of production databases quickly without taking up much disk space,” said Herr.  “That way you can make sure that you’re testing and finding issues sooner before going to production.”

Understand the State of DevOps

Redgate published a report in late 2016 entitled, “The State of Database DevOps Report.”  Of the more than 1,000 survey respondents, all of whom are SQL Server database professionals, 80 percent said their companies want to adopt DevOps, which supports DevOps’ status as a mainstream practice.

“Big companies are doing it, small companies are doing it, new companies born in the cloud are doing it.  Legacy companies are moving this way too,” said Herr.  “Working with Microsoft to bring Database DevOps to Visual Studio helps with that.”

The report also revealed that 75 percent of companies have developers working across the application and database, which underscores the importance of having a database solution that incorporates developers’ existing processes and tools, including Visual Studio, TFS and VSTS.

“If 75% of people are working across both the application and the database, we don’t want to make them learn something new or require a different process that’s not aligned with development,” said Herr.

The report also revealed that increasing the speed of delivery was the main reason people want to include the database in their DevOps processes.  That way, they can prevent the database from becoming a barrier to delivering value quickly.

“It’s been great developing a deeper relationship with Microsoft and partnering with them to enable Database DevOps” said Herr. “Being acknowledged as a great way of enabling Database DevOps really validates what we’re doing.  We’re solving the very difficult problem of delivering changes to the database.  So many companies have terabytes of customer data now, they can’t just drop their current database and recreate it. They need to make sure the data is protected and secure when releasing, and Redgate helps this.”

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