Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Vaibhaw Pandey

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Apache, FinTech Journal

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

DevOps and SQL Review By @Datical | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

DevOps patterns are in the constant crusade to bring high-quality products to market faster

Automating SQL Review to Save Time and Money

I’ve spent the majority of my tech career in startups.  I love the fast pace, the opportunity to learn new things, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from bringing a successful new product to market.  I began my career in Quality Assurance.  In startups, you rarely enjoy the low ratio of Developers to QA Engineers that you might in a large enterprise.  As a QA engineer in a startup, your inbox is always much more full than your outbox. You are the last gate before the next release so you’re always under the microscope. In an early stage startup you are most likely also the “Customer Support” team, so when an issue is hit in production you become VERY popular.

As someone in that position, I always kept an eye out for the right tools to lighten my load without sacrificing any of my own personal quality standards for the work I was doing.  This is how I came across FindBugs about 10 years ago.  The first time I ran it and shared the output with the development engineers on my team they felt that the tool emitted more false positives or “nitpicky” patterns than true bugs.  But over time, as we tweaked and extended the checks performed to cover our specific needs and correlated the data from FindBugs with actual counts of bugs found in test and production, FindBugs became an integral part of our nightly and on-demand builds.  The reports were an excellent early indicator of potential issues and allowed developers to rectify misdeeds before we used up testing cycles or troubleshooting time in operations.  The developers on my team also started committing fewer and fewer infractions as the daily reminders they got from our build system helped them to change their bad habits into safer, better performing, more stable code. Release cycles shortened, product quality improved, and customer satisfaction rose proving that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

As Enterprise IT embraces agile development practices and adopts DevOps patterns in the constant crusade to bring high-quality products to market faster, DBAs are really starting to feel the pinch.  The description above of a QA Engineer in a software startup is apt.  With more frequent releases the DBA’s inbox of SQL scripts to write, review, modify or optimize is always more full than her outbox. The DBA is the last bastion of defense for data quality, data security, and data platform performance and is therefore under constant scrutiny. When there is a production outage, the DBA is among the first called to respond.

One of the most time consuming tasks for the Fortune 50 DBAs we work with is SQL review.  Some DBAs are allocating 70% of their time manually reviewing SQL scripts.  They are checking for the same things in SQL that tools like FindBugs are looking for in Java code: code patterns that indicate logical problems, security flaws, performance issues, and non-compliance to internally defined best practices or externally mandated regulations.

It’s clear that DBA’s need a tool that does for them what FindBugs did for my team a decade ago.  Static analysis for SQL is nothing new, but current offerings only go so far.  Typically, they evaluate the SQL statements with no contextual sensitivity. This omission severely limits the productivity and quality gains that can be achieved because so much of Database Lifecycle Management is being aware of Who is doing What, Where and When.  For example, an organization may allow privilege grants and INSERT statements in a TEST environment, but never allows such activity in an automated session in PROD. Any static analysis tool for SQL must take environmental parameters into consideration.

Also complicating matters is the nature of database ‘versioning.’  While your application is packaged, versioned and replaced wholesale from release to release, the database schema that supports your application is persistent and evolves over time.  What’s more, external compliance standards (SOX or PCI DSS for example) and internal audit requirements often dictate that incremental changes to the database be rigidly controlled and tracked in a well-defined process. This means the DBA must also confirm (through manual process and reviewing SQL for the appropriate comments) that the change can be traced to its cause and the application of the change can be traced through each environment.

The Datical DB Rules Engine was designed and implemented to satisfy the unique set of challenges posed by SQL review & static analysis.  Here are just a few of the reasons that Datical DB enables acceleration through static analysis safely and sanely.

  • Models Make for Powerful Evaluation – Datical DB abstracts the application schema into a strictly defined and validated object model. Authoring powerful rules is fast, straightforward and simple. Once they are written they are enforced every time a Forecast or Deploy is performed on any database in the lifecycle.
  • Environmentally Aware Change Validation - The model includes information about the client environment and various database instances in your applications lifecycle. Your rules can be written to allow maximum flexibility in early stage environments and maximum security in sensitive environments simultaneously.
  • Easily Confirm Internal & External Audit Requirements – In Datical DB, everything you need to remain in compliance with external and internal audit requirements is tied tightly to individual changes in the Data Model.  Manual review to confirm auditability of change is replaced with automated checks that are executed every time you (or your automation frameworks) Forecast or Deploy.
  • Automatically Validate What’s Important to YOU - Provides the capability to customize analysis to cover internal best practices like naming conventions, SQL DOs and DON’Ts, and object dependency management
  • Automate The Boring Stuff. Get Back To The Fun Stuff - Like many static analysis tools for code, Datical DB integrates into your build and deployment systems in a few mouse clicks. Now every time you build or promote an application, Rules validations are performed and a report is generated for dissemination throughout the organization. Your DBAs, having considerably reduced the time they spent with eyes on the screen reading SQL, are concentrating on more strategic projects and problems.
  • Better Coding Means Fewer Bugs - DBAs author rules and share them with development.  Development then has a codified repository of what is and is not acceptable in their organization to work against. Fewer bugs escaping DEV saves time and money.
  • Increasing Operations Involvement In Database Development – The Rules Engine is tightly integrated with Datical DB Forecast.  This feature allows you to simulate database change without actually altering the target database.  When DBAs share their Rules with Operations, Operations can run nightly Forecasts against STAGE or PROD to ensure that what’s currently in DEV or TEST will comply with the stricter validations performed downstream, once again finding problems earlier in the lifecycle when they are cheaper and easier to fix.

More Stories By Pete Pickerill

Pete Pickerill is Vice President of Products and Co-founder of Datical. Pete is a software industry veteran who has built his career in Austin’s technology sector. Prior to co-founding Datical, he was employee number one at Phurnace Software and helped lead the company to a high profile acquisition by BMC Software, Inc. Pete has spent the majority of his career in successful startups and the companies that acquired them including Loop One (acquired by NeoPost Solutions), WholeSecurity (acquired by Symantec, Inc.) and Phurnace Software.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...