DBTA Announces the 2020 Database DevOps Innovation Award Winners

Today, organizations must deliver new applications, as well as application updates and patches, at a faster rate than ever before. DevOps principles address this challenge by focusing on a combination of tools, processes, and collaboration among development and operations teams to enable more agile and integrated workflows for development, test, and deployment.

It sounds great. The problem is that this streamlined approach often does not incorporate the database.

To spotlight innovative companies that are spearheading the movement to bring DevOps practices to the database world, Database Trends and Applications partnered with Datical, Radiant Advisors, and 451 Research to launch the Database DevOps Innovation Awards.

Our committee of judges evaluating submissions for this award included Ben Geller, vice president of marketing at Datical, Matthew Aslett, research vice president, data, AI, and analytics, at 451 Research, and John O'Brien, CEO and principal analyst at Radiant Advisors.

After evaluating submissions in this inaugural competition, there were three clear winners that stood out for their ability to solve database DevOps challenges today: 

According to the "State of Enterprise Database Deployments in 2019" survey conducted by Datical and Dimensional Research, it's becoming evident that the database is the next area of focus in the quest to move application releases faster.

The research, which included responses from application developers, application release engineers, enterprise architects, and DevOps engineers, found that 90% of respondents are feeling pressure to release database changes faster and 91% of respondents have to rework database changes multiple times before they are ready to deploy to production.  What's the answer? According to 92% of respondents, increasing automation for database deployments would accelerate overall application release cycles. With Database DevOps, applications can be released more frequently with fewer errors and less downtime.

Every company is now a software company, according to Datical's Geller. "DevOps methodologies are critical to helping teams deliver software quickly and safely. When you forget the database when implementing DevOps, it causes problems," he noted. "Nearly all application changes require a database change. If those changes aren’t aligned with your application changes, you won’t see returned value from your DevOps investment until you include the database. If any part of your DevOps pipeline is slower or requires a manual step, then that is your weak link. For most companies that begin their DevOps journey, the database is the weak link. Once all pieces of the software delivery process are addressed and the bottlenecks are removed, your company can deliver software innovation faster." The added benefit of applying DevOps to the database, Geller pointed out, is that security and compliance needs are going to be much easier to address, as well.

"The shift toward agile development in recent years has seen many enterprises increasing the rate of application development and deployment with a view to being more responsive to their users (both the internal workforce and external customers and/or partners) and driving digital transformation," observed 451's Aslett. While application development and release cycles have accelerated thanks to DevOps, the same cannot be said of database release cycles, leading to the database potentially becoming a brake on application development and business agility, he explained. "Database DevOps applies the principles of DevOps to the database to accelerate and automate the provisioning of database environments, as well as the orchestration of database release cycles and code changes, with a view to streamlining the development of database-dependent applications."

In this special online report, DBTA showcases the winners' Database DevOps goals, processes, and ultimate outcomes. We invite you to explore how these three innovators leveraged Database DevOps approaches to streamline application development and deployment, including database change management.

“It was a pleasure to review the DBTA Database DevOps submissions and see how they clearly delivered business value through improving database change management, as is necessary in today’s fast paced and complex data environments," said Radiant Advisors' O'Brien. "We selected organizations that exemplified DevOps principles of automation and agility to empower database DevOps at enterprise scale for profound impact. Congratulations to the winners for embodying Databases DevOps in 2020.”

Find out how Zions BancorpPASSand SelectHealth have benefited from taking a streamlined approach that includes the database as an integral component of application development and deployment.