Managing Federated Systems

Aaron Bertrand tells how he would work with a federated system back in the SQL Server 2005 days, and ties it back to modern database deployment practices:

The biggest concern I have about database deployment is not about how you deploy, or even whether or not you use source control. It’s that your database changes are backward compatible – meaning they won’t break the current application, in the event the application can’t be changed at the same time (and with distributed software, that’s impossible). The largest number of bugs I had a hand in creating were caused because I assumed the application or middle tiers would be deployed at the same time.

I quickly became very motivated to make sure my changes would work before and after the application tier changes were deployed. Add a parameter to a stored procedure? Make sure it’s at the end, and has a default. Add a column to a table? Make sure views and stored procedures don’t expose it (yet) or require it. And a hundred other examples.

It’s a good read.

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