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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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