Database developers and database administrators (DBAs) have different but related responsibilities concerning the systems that curate an organization’s data. While their focus may be on distinct aspects of their databases, both disciplines are faced with a common dilemma. A constantly evolving business landscape and the proliferation of new or unfamiliar database platforms is a serious problem for individuals in either of these professions.
Understanding the intricacies of a new database platform can be a time-consuming process. New systems can appear suddenly due to a merger or new corporate directive, rocking the world of your database team. Even after assimilating the newcomer to the fold, developers and DBAs now have another platform that demands their time. Unfortunately, time is a precious commodity and there may be very little to spare.
Challenges to Cross-Platform Development and Management
There are some specific aspects of operating in a cross-platform environment that pose obstacles to productivity.
Integrated SQL Development
Writing code for multiple platforms can quickly introduce complications for your already beleaguered development team. Attempting to understand subtle differences in how different databases organize their data structures can slow progress and increase the potential for the creation of inefficient or erroneous queries. Unless your team can devote time to delve deep into each new platform they need to incorporate into their development plans, this problem will linger and eventually lead to degraded productivity.
Navigating the development environments provided by multiple platforms can be frustrating and wastes some time every time a developer needs to switch in order to work on another system. Efforts to create efficient code need to be replicated across various platforms which negatively impacts productivity as similar work is repeated. It becomes hard to reuse code fragments and keep your code organized when working with multiple platforms. Debugging a new piece of code can be a nightmare, as it needs to be thoroughly tested on each platform before going live in production.
Managing the changes made to each individual system across multiple platforms poses its own set of challenges. Code tweaks and new functions can suddenly turn a well-behaved database into an underperforming monster that’s causing the help desk’s phones to blow up. Your database team needs to have to ability to easily track changes and quickly identify where a recent update may be impacting the system.
Managing databases in a cross-platform environment present many problems for a DBA. The first issues come from having to switch between databases running on different platforms. This often involves using a different interface which slows down even the most skilled individual. Minor differences in how the interfaces addle routine tasks can lead to simple mistakes that bring productivity to a halt. Automating routine tasks can alleviate some of the stresses of database management, but this facility may not be available on all of the diverse platforms your team supports.
Easing the Cross-Platform Blues
One solution to the issues involved with working in a cross-platform environment is to have specific personnel devoted to mastering each platform. This strategy might work in a static environment where there would be no new systems introduced nor any employee turnover. If this is how your shop works, please let us know! Unfortunately, this is not the way the vast majority of database teams operate.
So what can be done to reduce the strain that a database team dealing with multiple platforms has to endure on a daily basis? Since the problem seems to stem from the diverse interfaces and underlying architectures of the various platforms, minimizing these differences appears to be the best course of action. Eliminating the need to learn a new user interface for each platform will immediately lead to increased productivity. Familiarity gained from working with the same tool enables your DBAs and developers to easily increase their productivity.
Similarly, a tool that allows your team to automate routine tasks and reuse code across platforms will dramatically improve their ability to get things done in a timely manner. The ability to consistently track changes across all platforms from a single tool makes it more likely that problems can be addressed before they become major issues.
The Right Tool to Resolve the Dilemma
Fortunately, there is a tool on the market which can alleviate many of the issues that arise when working in a cross-platform database environment. Aqua Data Studio will be a welcome addition to your database team’s arsenal of weapons to defeat the vagaries of cross-platform support. The tool provides a single, unified interface from which your team can develop, manage, and analyze data from many different database platforms.
Aqua Data Studio is a robust and reliable solution that is sure to make the lives of your database developers and DBAs demonstrably better. From its ability to track changes and visually present comparisons to its Visual Query Builder and Analyzer, Aqua Data Studio offers features that will increase the productivity of your team and minimize the mistakes that come from constantly switching tools. You can try this solution for free to see its benefits in your own environment. Be warned though, your database team will never want to go back to the old way of doing business once they see how streamlined cross-platform support can be with Aqua Data Studio.