Database change management is the process used to manage the changes that occur after a system is implemented. A change management process has the following benefits:
- It helps you understand when it is acceptable to make changes and when it is not.
- It provides a log of all changes that have been made to assist with troubleshooting when problems occur.
- It can manage versions of software components so that a defective version can be smoothly backed out.
Change is inevitable. Not only do business requirements change, but new versions of database and operating system software must be incorporated.
Technologists should devise a change control method suitable to the organization, and management should approve it as a standard.
Anything less leads to chaos when changes are made without the proper coordination and communication.
A number of commercial and freeware software products can be deployed to assist with database change management
However, it is important that you establish the process before choosing tools. In this way, the organization can establish the best process for their needs and find the tool that best fits that process rather than trying to retrofit a tool to their existing process.
From the database perspective, the DBA should develop DDL statements
to implement all the database components
of an application system and a script that can be used to invoke all the changes, including any required conversions. This deployment script and all the DDL should be checked into the change control system and managed just like all the other software components of the system.