Database Versioning

We all know the importance of incrementing version numbers with software releases. But what about the database? Database objects are just as important to a web application as any front end page, code behind, JavaScript or web service.

Most companies I have worked for have very strict control over source code versions. Many have stricter policies for database access. But where are the controls for database design?

There are some very excellent pieces written on database versioning at

  1. Three rules for database work
  2. The Baseline
  3. Change Scripts
  4. Views, Stored Procedures and the Like
  5. Branching and Merging

After reading through these articles I can definitely see the merit of database source control and versioning, and I hope you can as well. But how do you implement these features? No one likes change.

First decide the scope of control that will be implements and the access needed for each role on your team(s). (WARNING: Please don’t read one article and take that as gospel.) Once that is decided, create a plan of action and a timeline to implement the new policies. Please keep operational tempo in mind as no once wants to change processes right before an impending release.

Do your research and come to a consensus on what will work well in your environment. What works well in one environment may not work well in another.



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