Continuous Integration for Databases: Getting Buy-in

You want to implement Continuous Integration for Databases and you know why, but you need to get buy-in from your managers and colleagues. How do you convince them to implement Continuous Integration for Databases in your company? Here’s some advice which can help you. 

Show your managers how it saves your company money

Yup, money talks and it’s the language your managers speaks. You don’t have to bring up exact numbers, but if you tell them that having Continuous Integration for Databases implemented saves a lot of precious development time, i.e. money, thus enabling your company to deliver software faster. I doubt you won’t have their attention. You can estimate the time the new process saves and multiply it by the average developer salary and multiply that by the number of developers you have. For example: 15 minutes * $80.000 * 10 developers = $25.000. In reality the savings will be much higher, this is just a conservative calculation of savings on developer time. Testing and deployment processes will also improve, thus saving money. Ask them permission to set up a proof of concept to demonstrate how Continuous Integration for Databases can make everybody’s life at work better. Here’s how I set one up.

Show your developers, testers and system engineers how it saves development time

Depending on how your company’s Database Delivery processes are right now, they can become more efficient with Continuous Integration for Databases. Developers can make changes to databases in their local work environments (sandboxes), commit those changes to source control and in the background your build environment is triggered to automatically create a new build of the database including the change just made. Then it’s only a matter of deploying this build with a push of a button from within your Deployment Environment. Demonstrate this with a proof of concept.

Show everybody how you as a DBA are better able to do reviews faster

Reviewing database changes can be cumbersome. With Continuous Integration for databases, you now have the tools to do this in 3 clicks:

1) You receive an automatically created email or ticket with a link to the release in your deployment environment.

2) Another click will get you the database changes instantly in a handy web interface or script.

3) Finally, with a last click you can approve or abort the deployment.

Traditionally DBA’s are seen as blockers, but now you can be less of a blocker in the software delivery process or no blocker at all. Instead of blocking, you now have the opportunity to pave the road for your colleagues!

Finally

There are numerous reasons for implementing Continuous Integration for Databases. Think of the problems it can solve in your situation, like conflicts developers might have with each other because of the way they are working now. Think of how the collaboration between your colleagues will improve, because you are all working on the same software/database delivery pipeline and which in turn leads to a more DevOps culture. Don’t forget to mention Continuous Integration is a key part of Continuous Delivery: if your company wants to implement Continuous Delivery, you have to implement Continuous Integration as Continuous Delivery is an extension of Continuous Integration.

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