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Why Should DBAs Be Involved in Application Development?

Scott Frock | | July 27, 2016

DBA App Dev

Data drives business. Data drives applications. And who knows data better than the database administrator? DBAs have a very important role to play in organizing application development.

Application developers typically work in a vacuum, with little DBA support. Each developer has a different expertise. One developer may be astute in working with Java, while another developer can develop html, SQL or JavaScript. Typically, each of these individuals in the organization supports a very specific portion of an application’s development, with little overlap.

We at Datavail most often are brought in to tune up the performance of an application because it is running slowly or otherwise not working as intended. Most often, the problems with the application arise because it was developed in a vacuum. Why not bring a database administrator into the development project from the start rather than wait until the project is complete?

Database Administrators Support Good Development Processes

Having database administrators support application development from the outset helps alleviate problems, delays, and other issues with the development process and with the application before it is deployed.

Think about it. Retrofitting an application is a nightmare! If you had a punch list before you started developing an application, you could avoid or resolve issues related to data management, the security framework, and the data interface. Take the security framework, a requirement that takes a great deal of effort to be properly executed. You must develop your code with a clear security framework in place from the outset to ensure both the database and application are secure. It’s one of those essential tasks that takes effort to be completed properly. If you miss it, and have to retrofit the application, it will take three times or more work than if you designed with the security framework in mind in the first place.

When DBAs Act as the Application Architect

Having a database administrator serve as the database architect can bring a big-picture, data-centric approach to your application project. She can focus the project and drive it in the right direction.

A database administrator has the expertise to eliminate development bottlenecks in the design of the database from the outset. Projects are often slowed by various tasks not being assigned to the individuals or groups with the appropriate skills or expertise.

Having a database administrator act as a resource and a coordinator for the development team from the outset helps eliminate numerous problems that create bottlenecks and slow application development.

You should now have some ideas about how a database administrator can help effectively guide application development. More detailed information is available in our latest white paper, DevOps – How DBAs Can Help Speed Application Development.

If you need help with this or other application development issues beyond the scope of this post, please contact Datavail for more information on how we might best support you and your organization with custom solutions tailored to your specific needs.

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