Sep 2, 2021 3:43:25 PM by John Pocknell
Quest® Toad® DevOps Toolkit has won the Computing DevOps Excellence Awards for the second year in a row! This year, we won the Best Continuous Delivery Product category.
Computing is a UK-based magazine published by Incisive Media for IT managers and professionals and has a circulation of over 100,000.
With organizations today under tremendous pressure to be flexible enough to respond quickly to market demands, collaboration is required across departments to build, test and release new software and updates as fast as possible.
Database development has not traditionally been included in DevOps processes because of both its complexity and the sensitive nature of large amounts of data residing in the databases. Therefore, database development is a time-consuming process that can require extensive script writing and testing which, when included in the DevOps pipeline, can cause huge bottlenecks in the workflow. The solution to this issue is finding the right tools to remove such bottlenecks and improving workflow efficiency without compromising quality of systems and with minimal disruption to DevOps processes.
Toad DevOps Toolkit makes it easy to remove the time-consuming Oracle database development speed bump from your DevOps process by enabling automated synchronization of schema changes across multiple environments.
Like many IT awards, you must be able to provide evidence that customers have gained real business value from using your product.
In this case, we chose a US-based customer in the paper manufacture and distribution business who had successfully used Toad DevOps Toolkit to solve a number of difficult challenges.
In the competitive world of paper manufacture and distribution, agile software development has become a requirement. When faced with the task of integrating their Oracle database change management into their new DevOps initiative, a US global paper manufacturing company with offices around the world, including Western Europe, chose Toad DevOps Toolkit to keep thousands of Oracle database schemas synchronized across dozens of sites.
A small group of database engineers within the company had seen schema synchronization eat into the time they could spend keeping app developers productive. The group had spent years trying to improve the process of synchronizing thousands of schemas in databases across those sites, but the process was still labor-intensive and prone to error.
After making its vital first steps towards automating database DevOps, the company realized it could be doing even more to simplify and speed up the process. The engineer downloaded a trial copy of Toad DevOps Toolkit and put together a proof of concept comparing it to multiple DevOps automation tools, including Redgate Schema Compare for Oracle.
“Toad DevOps Toolkit got the nod,” says the engineer. “First, unlike the other products, it’s primarily PowerShell focused, and I had already invested a lot of time and effort in using PowerShell to call automation jobs in Toad."
“Toad DevOps Toolkit got the nod,” says the engineer. “First, unlike the other products, it’s primarily PowerShell focused, and I had already invested a lot of time and effort in using PowerShell to call automation jobs in Toad. Next, it now takes much less time to execute our tasks, especially the work involving the snapshots. Then, Toad DevOps Toolkit makes it easier to recreate or add new environments. That helps free up my time from having to tinker with every little task in Automation Designer. Now, I only have to tinker with the schema generation task. And finally, I can customize, which is necessary for synchronizing schemas in one database to differently named schemas in the other databases. None of the other products I tried offered that level of customization.”
With Toad DevOps Toolkit, the database DevOps process flows smoothly. The consultant and the PL/SQL developer make all their changes to a main, “gold” set of schemas. Toad DevOps Toolkit, integrated with the company’s build automation tools (TFS and now Azure DevOps), takes those changes, compares the schemas across all databases and synchronizes them automatically.
Download a free, trial version
Want to try before your buy? If this customer story inspires you, as it did us and the judges at Computing, why not give Toad DevOps Toolkit a try?
Questions? Volume discounts? Want a demo? Talk with an expert.
The release engineer no longer has to maintain scores of scripts and tasks. “The maintenance has been minimal since we moved to Toad DevOps Toolkit,” he says. “The work of adding and updating environments is quick, easy and painless.”
On the business side, the consultant’s group has created a product team that includes a dozen process and management people in addition to a few dozen developers. “The big benefit to the business is that there are fewer headaches and issues with databases being out of sync,” says the consultant. “That’s because it’s easier for us to find and troubleshoot errors that come up during a synchronization.”
By accelerating database DevOps, Toad DevOps Toolkit has helped automate plenty of work done by the consultant and his fellow developers. “It has saved us an enormous amount of time,” he says. “It’s nice to know that, whenever we add a column to the table, we don’t need to create a script and run it in thousands of schemas. Being able to make a change in one place and have Toad DevOps Toolkit synchronize it across 7,600 schemas in all databases is great.”
Instead of managing objects in the database, the PL/SQL developer can now spend more time creating database views and procedures for six different application development teams. “In any sprint,” the consultant says, “our developers need us to make database changes so they can complete their tasks. But because we had a database bottleneck for so long, developers were putting off changes or rolling them to the next branch.
Before Toad DevOps Toolkit, we used to have a two or three-week backlog of requests from developers. Now it's just a few days.”
E-book: DevOps for Oracle Databases
More blogs: Read more blogs about CI/CD and DevOps
If you have any questions about this topic, open a discussion in our Toad DevOps Toolkit forum.
If you think your colleagues would benefit from this blog, share it now on social media with the buttons located at the top of this blog post. Thanks!
Written by John Pocknell
John Pocknell is a senior market strategist at Quest Software and part of the Information Management business unit. Based at the European headquarters in the U.K., John is responsible for synthesising analyst data and customer interviews in order to create and evangelise solutions-based stories and messaging which relate to major IT initiatives for our extensive portfolio of database products, worldwide. He has been with Quest Software since 2000, working in the database design, development and deployment product areas and spent over 10 years as product manager for the Toad product line. John has been successfully evangelising Toad and other database solutions at various conferences and user groups around the world for the last 19 years as well as writing blogs and technical papers both internally and for the media. John has worked in IT for more than 30 years, most of that time in Oracle application design and development. He is a qualified aeronautical engineer with more than 10 years of experience in provisioning IT consultancy services and implementing quality assurance systems to ISO 9001.