A database schema is a simplified structure that represents the logical view of the database. It’s created by a database developer or designer to be used by programmers to better understand the system and how to work with it.
A schema defines how data is organized in a database as well as the relationships between entities. Schemas provide descriptive details and can be represented visually as schema diagrams. Database schemas can be categorized either in either of two ways:
- A physical database schema defines how data will be stored using files, indexes, and other storage constructs.
- A logical database schema defines tables, views, and all logical constraints that will be applied to the stored data.
Synching database schemas can boost the productivity and efficiency of the development team while minimizing the risks of propagating errors to production systems. Two examples of situations where working with out of sync schemas can plague development teams are:
- Developers working with different versions of a schema;
- Development databases that don’t contain data conforming to the current schema.
Both of these scenarios can lead to frustrated developers and a lot of extra work. Keeping related databases in sync is a task that cannot be ignored.
How Do You Compare and Synch Schemas?
As with the majority of tasks and procedures in the information technology (IT) field, there’s an easy way and a hard way to get them done. Many IT activities can be performed with either a manual or automated procedure.
Some traditionalists may insist on using manual methods whenever possible. Many of us know that programmer who prefers to write original machine-level routines rather than use procedures in pre-packaged libraries. While there may be a certain level of satisfaction in that approach, it can waste a lot of time and end up being very counterproductive.
The same can be said for comparing and synching database schemas. One can write scripts to perform the necessary functions, but that can be seen as unproductive and introduces the possibility of human error. A better way is to automate the process by using a reliable third-party solution that supports the database platforms for which a team is responsible.
Simplify Database Schema Comparison and Synchronization
Aqua Data Studio is a versatile integrated development environment (IDE) designed to meet the needs of database developers. It supports establishing connections and performing various activities on over 40 different database platforms from a unified interface. This reduces the learning curve and leads to long-term productivity gains.
Among its many features is the ability to compare and sync database schemas. The tool offers two variations on this functionality. You can perform a simple comparison if that’s all you need. You can also run a compare and sync, which will execute additional queries to complete the two processes.
An instructive video that walks users through the process of comparing and synching schemas for SQL Server and Oracle databases with Aqua Data Studio is highly recommended for viewing by database developers.