Agile Database Development: What You Need to Know
For years, most people thought of databases as huge server rooms that only large companies could pay for and correctly use. That assumption, though valid for long years, no longer holds. Nowadays, a business of every size can set up a database and have the tools to maintain it. The time has come for business owners to learn what it takes to keep a database running. Small business owners never had to think about the small details that go into database management.
However, it can be more crucial to do so than most people might imagine. There is far more to keeping a database alive than saving information on the server running in the corner of the office. Keeping an accurate and valuable database takes work and regular maintenance, even if you use monitoring programs like the one in the PI system. The more complicated your databases are, the more continuous work they will need. Taking care of data and databases requires a fast and adaptable approach, which is why agile structures work so well. You want people working on your database to respond fast with the right tools for the job. Here are a few points to consider:
Benefits Of Professional Agile Developers
Business owners can run their own database and keep the system running if they have the technical skills. It is alright though to bring in outside help to ensure everything is done correctly. The agile structure is not a novel idea as software developers have been using the methodology to great success for years. The agile structure and methodology are not limited to software and development. The general idea can be tweaked to fit any project management team. The agile system includes regular meetings, rapid testing, and the ability to change directions if needed quickly. All of these make it an easily utilizable system for database management.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with database management is only keeping one version of your data. If you only have one version and it happens to be the live version, you run the risk of one mistake irreparably messing up your data. Keeping multiple versions of your database also lets you test changes before pushing them live. Besides, you can compare all versions side by side to see if the changes worked. Storing past versions can save you time in various ways. You can reference old procedures or borrow parts of older versions for a new idea.
Even if you hire the best developers to work on your database, they will never be as fast as automatic testing. Computers can think through specific problems far faster than a human can. If you give the computer the correct parameters, it can test multiple solutions to figure out which one works best. The extra speed from automatic testing means you can launch the tested versions faster. You will also get feedback faster, so developers can fix issues more readily. At the end of the day, all this saves you money.
Static Code Analysis
The best developers always check their codes and have co-workers look for errors before it is deployed. It is just natural that there will be mistakes or something in need of fixing. We are not talking about a blatant error in the code necessarily. It may well be an inefficiency or logic error that will pass the compile test but may not produce the desired results. Thankfully, there is now static code analysis. Software developers can set the rules to scan code and find issues faster than a manual review would do. With tight deadlines for writing codes, this analysis tool helps developers as much as it helps business owners paying for their services. Developers do not need to manually screen code when a computer can quickly handle the task. Human employees are free to focus on the tasks a program cannot perform yet.
Smaller businesses will need to keep up if they want to continue using the newest consumer-level technology. There is no shame in asking for outside help as technical systems like database management need to be run by an experienced hand. As agile development is popular in the software world, it only makes sense that it would work for database development and management too. Along with the agile method, you should also consider using the best practices and tools of the trade. These include version backups, automatic testing, and static code analysis. Make your database the best it can be.