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Are manual deployments causing bottlenecks in database delivery?

Jane Elizabeth
© Shutterstock / Bjoern Wylezich

A crucial part of microservices is automation. Being able to “set it and forget it” makes it easier for teams to release production ready applications on time. However, recent research shows that manual deployment causes significant delays in the deployment release schedule.

It’s not surprise that the shift from monolith to microservices has caused downstream consequences. According to a research study conducted by Dimensional Research, the increased release schedule has unsurprisingly led to an increased pressure to speed up database deployments.

An astonishing 90% of developers surveyed faced pressure to release applications more quickly. Why so much pressure? Well, it turns out that a vital part of accelerating project deployment includes database changes. Yet a majority of enterprises are still manually reviewing, validating, and deploying database changes.

What’s the problem here?

So, it’s not exactly rocket science: faster app deployments and shorter release cycles mean that there is less time available to make database changes. Less time makes it harder to maintain quality and data security. Right now, database administrators have to manually review changes to make sure everything A) works and B) keeps all that precious data safe and secure.

Unfortunately, 71% of developers report that more than half of all significant application changes require database changes, leading to multiple reworking’s of the database before they are deployed. A whopping 93% face challenges related towards accelerating database deployments.

Most developers have reported that accelerating the database deployment process has been a challenging one. Of the 86% of developers who reported difficulties, 40% characterized this as extremely or very difficult.

Here are some of the most common challenges that developers face when they’re trying to speed up deployment:

  • Dealing with a very manual process with too many steps that can fail
  • A lack of tools available that would help developers automate the process
  • The database script review process takes too long
  • The changes are not made correctly the first time, requiring multiple cycles to fix it
  • It takes too long to get change requests, so developers forget what they’ve done
  • And even a lack of urgency in the DBA team

The current system relies on a risky, labor-intensive and time-consuming process to update pertinent databases. Am I wrong or is that the perfect kind of problem to solve with automation?

SEE MORE: “Moving database development to DevOps won’t happen by taking shortcuts”

Can we fix it?

The good news for all those database administrators out there is that there is a solution. Automating database deployments would benefit an astonishing 99% of organizations. With automation, companies can shorten the time needed to release application updates. However, automation should also eliminate some security vulnerabilities, data loss, and downtime.

According to the survey, some of the top benefits would include making it easier for developers to find and fix errors in the database changes, as well as reduce downtime thanks to a decrease in bad changes.

Additionally, developers believe that increased automation would mean that database deployment would no longer cause a bottleneck in the production release cycle. This would make it easier for innovative changes to make it from conception to production faster.

“These survey findings validate that if we continue the status quo, we will fail,” said Robert Reeves, co-founder and CTO, Datical. “It is beyond time to automate the database release process, just as we’ve done for the infrastructure provisioning and application release processes, to create a seamless and unified application delivery pipeline.”


If you’re interested in learning more about the survey findings, download the full report here.


Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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