We all make mistake and we all wish that we have not made those mistakes. In the field of the development, there are proper solutions, but in the world of SQL, there are not many solutions. I recently asked the same question to my friend Andrey from Devart and he has provided me a wonderful blog post about how one can do dedicated database development with SQL Source Control.
Andrey Langovoy is a team leader at Devart. He takes part in development and testing database management tools for SQL Server, writes articles about SQL Server, speaks at SQL Saturdays, contributes to open source projects and writes his own blog: codingsight.com
It is a good practice for database developers to have their own “sandbox” environment, rather than having everyone work in a shared environment. Thus, developers can work separately, unaffected by the changes made by other team members. Once a developer completes and tests a change, they commit the change to VCS and it becomes available to other developers.
In this article, we will discuss how to build such workflow with help of dbForge Source Control for SQL Server.
Database development models
There are two common approaches for teams to develop databases. However, some teams may use combinations of the two.
Developers work with their own copy of the database. The copy might be located on a local PC or on a central server. All developers make changes independently, then test those changes and commit to a source control. As soon as changes are committed, other team members can apply them to their working copies.
Each developer works in their “sandbox”, thus there are no risks to overwrite someone else’s changes.
Developers share a single copy of the database. All changes are made directly to the database. That is why there is no need to care about the state of local working copy. This approach is not too safe, because one developer may overwrite others’ changes.
Setting up SQL Source Control for dedicated development
- Install dbForge Source Control for SQL Server
Download and install the tool. Once it is installed, you will see the Source Control Tasks shortcut menu inside SSMS Object Explorer.
- Create version control repository
The tool supports the most popular source control systems: SVN, GIT, Mercurial, TFS and many others. For the demonstration purposes, Visual SVN will be used. You can use one of your favorite source control systems. At this step, you need to set up your source control system and the repository. You can place a database script folder inside the repository or just leave the repository blank. In this particular demo, the repository contains the database script folder. The folder contains DDL scripts for the sales_demo1 database objects.
- Link a database to the source control
To link a database to the source control, you need to create a new database in SSMS. Right-click the database and navigate to the Source Control Tasks shortcut menu. Then, click Link Database to Source Control.
The next step is to set up the connection to the repository. Click the Source control repository text box and then click Manage.
Select a required source control system. It is SVN in our case. Provide the URL to the repository. Click OK.
There it is! Note the database icon has changed in the Object Explorer. Also, it contains all required objects.
- Get latest
The tool automatically detects that there are some changes in the remote repository. To get the remote changes, select all required checkboxes and click Get Latest.
The process will take a while. Once it is completed, you get the following report:
Now, just refresh the sales_demo1 database in SSMS object explorer. You will see that the database contains all required objects.
- Working with changes
Assume someone from the team has changed an object in their local sandbox and committed the change into the repository. You need to get the update from the repository. To get remote changes, just refresh the source control tool. The tool automatically detects the remote modifications and provides you a list of all changes. You can see which lines of code have changed. If you agree to the changes, select them and click Get Latest!
All changes will be applied to your local copy of the database.
As you can see, it is very simple to manage database changes with dbForge Source Control for SQL Server. Most database developers, however, relying on a shared database development model. Nevertheless, changes made by other developers can break the code and affect the entire project, causing delays and frustration. Even so, most developers would likely choose the dedicated model.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)