DBAs: Don't Be a Bottleneck in Agile Application Development

Michael Vizard

With the rise of agile development, NoSQL databases and the whole concept of platform as a service (PaaS), the ability to develop and launch new applications has never been faster. The problem this creates is that the speed at which developers now want to create these applications is moving faster than more traditional IT functions can keep pace.

Most famously, this has led to a divide between developers and IT operations teams that is known as the “DevOps” crisis. But according to Mike Jones, vice president of OutSystems, a provider of an application development platform for building enterprise applications, that same issue now also applies to database administrators (DBAs).

As DBAs look to exert control over how data is used across the organization, Jones says the processes many DBAs want to put in place are slowing the pace of application development. That’s creating a conflict because the whole reason organizations invested in agile development and technologies such as NoSQL and PaaS was to speed application development. Almost by definition that means giving developers more control over the data being used.

This doesn’t mean that the role of the DBA is eliminated entirely. But Jones says it does mean that DBAs will need to rethink how they apply data governance policies in a world where there is always going to be multiple copies of data sets being used at any given time. Otherwise, Jones says the DBA becomes a major bottleneck in the application development process because of an insistence to have their fingers and hands on all the data management knobs.

DBAs obviously have some legitimate concerns about how data is being used. But the fact remains that as application development methodologies advance, DBAs are going to have to find new ways of governing data that don’t get in the way of the application development process.

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Aug 13, 2012 2:09 AM Dba Dba  says:
Dba is responsible for data integrity and often production environment. We can see more and more production problems due to dev cycle shorter and shorter. Time cost killing in the dev cycle for dba is not a good way for me. DBA is often an experimented employee, this is not the case for developers... More quality in devs could lead to less dev cycles, for me it is the way to go... Reply
Aug 12, 2013 1:08 AM Ipac Ipac  says:
It would appear you havent grasped the concept here dba. The idea of shorter dev times does not mean less quality. You get shorter dev time by improving the dev process so you can do more with less. If you think devops is about cutting corners then your a dba who should read a little more. Reply

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