Whether your company uses on-premise database systems or has made the popular jump to the Cloud, there is a definite uptick in automated systems. This is a newer option in which aspects of data upkeep are routinely updated, monitored, and fixed by an online system.
Let’s say your business has software that creates AI Christmas cookie designs. You would follow the DevOps cycle – plan, build, deploy, and operate a pipeline for your data. This initial creation process is where you would build in those automated systems for continuous integration and deployment down the line. All your data lives in the beginning of the pipeline, so if you want to automate that AI Christmas cookie art, you have a lot of upfront work to do. You would build in checks and QA (quality assurance) and draw from your data source repository to create regular, repeatable error flags. There’s a “love it and leave it” attitude – when you’re done creating automated checks, you can let the system carry out those checks on its own. There’s much less active work, unless an error is flagged or there’s feedback from the automation.
Why are automated systems and tools gaining popularity?
- Consistency: Automation is very Henry Ford-esque. Having an assembly line with automated checks and balances takes the chaos out of creation. There’s that DevOps flow from beginning to end.
- Reliability: If you build in a check, it won’t budge or alter until you budge or alter it. If you ask your automation tool to flag a specific error, it will. Every time. Just like your phone will chime, unlock, and act how you program it to, your automated systems will respond exactly as you request.
- Human error: A machine doesn’t get bleary-eyed from 12 hours at a computer. There’s no “I’m rushing off to my wife’s dinner reservation” mistakes. Your automation will run exactly as you tell it to – so as long as you’ve provided correct information, you will have a repeatable, accurate process flow.
- Keeping the same environment: If you have multiple people working on the same project, you might have multiple codes and multiple environments. This leaves room for error, as there’s no one source of truth for the database schema. Automation puts everyone on one timeline and on the same page.
What might get in the way?
- Ownership: Automated systems aren’t all created equally. While Solvaria can help determine the best tool and system matches for your business, you have work to do in reading the fine print. With each resource you look at, ask yourself – who will own my data? How often will I get access to my data? Will I have to pay to access my data? Will I have to buy back my data from the resource I’ve chosen? Think about what your business needs.
- Human error: A machine may not get bleary-eyed from 12 hours at a computer, but people do. And people are still needed for the front-end work in the pipeline process. If you input the wrong information, you’re going to feel it tenfold later down the road. If you incorrectly build in a check or flag, your assembly line might not realize the mistake until the end of the process.
Humans love making things easier. The migration we’ve seen these last few years of DBAs and tech-minded folk to automated systems reflects a growing desire to be faster. More precise. More reliable. It’s up to you to decide what tools will bring your business the most success. Or, if you’re not sure how to implement automation features, Solvaria can help with Database Maintenance in any capacity.