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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

DLM (Database Lifecycle Management)

As I type, SQL in the City Streamed is running on another monitor, and Alex Yates [DLM Consultants | @_AlexYates_] is screaming (almost), “Don’t do that!”

I know a lot of data professionals. I know some of you read this blog. And I know some of you who read this blog are concerned about Database Lifecycle Management or DLM.

It’s ok for you to be concerned about DLM.

Why is it ok to be concerned about DLM? Because it’s new and different and complex and difficult to learn. I want to encourage you to invest the time and brain cycles required to learn DLM.

As my friend Mike Fal [blog | @Mike_Fal] says, “We’re all developers now.”


You’ve Done a Good Job

As database professionals, we’ve honed our craft over the years (decades, for some of us). We’ve designed and documented best practices to make certain NothingBadHappens® during deployments to Production environments. Our solutions are good; some are great and some, awesome. I have a few questions about your processes and procedures:

  • Are your processes and procedures repeatable? (Do you tweak the functionality in process and procedures for each deployment or is the functionality stable?)
  • Are your processes and procedures automated or “automate-able?” (Tweaking functionality is awesome if you are consistently reducing the amount of manual intervention required – that’s actually a great way to get started with automation.)
  • Can you shut off your phone when on vacation? (Or, do you plan vacations around deployments?)

Automate (Please)

If you answered “no” to those questions, you could have very good reasons. Or not. I’m writing this post because I want you to think about answers to those questions. The answer to all of these questions could be, “It depends.” What does it depend on? 

I submit you consider automating your processes and procedures for the following reasons:

  1. Automation will save time. Automation means less tweaking and tweaking takes time.
  2. Automation will improve quality. Tweaking is a nice word for change and change creates an opportunity for something to fail.
  3. Automation will improve the odds of you enjoying a phone-call-free vacation. (Do I really need to write more here?)

How To Start

You can start by checking out RedGate’s DLM Dashboard and DLM Automation offerings. Both are part of the SQL Toolbelt and DLM Dashboard is free.


The time’s they are a-changin’. I encourage data professionals to roll with ‘em.


Published Thursday, December 15, 2016 3:49 PM by andyleonard

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