Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, DevOps

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Diving Deep into Database Change Management and Database-as-Code

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In modern software development, managing and maintaining databases is as crucial as ever. This is where Database Change Management (DCM) and Database-as-Code (DaaC) practices come into play. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of DCM, explore the concept of DaaC, and understand how tools like Liquibase, Bytebase, and dbForge are revolutionizing the landscape.

Understanding Database Change Management

Database Change Management (DCM) is the cornerstone of maintaining a healthy database ecosystem.

It encompasses tracking and controlling changes to both the structure and data of databases. Every alteration from SQL statements to data manipulation is meticulously documented and executed.

The ideal DCM process involves several key steps, from identifying the need for change to finalizing its implementation.

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Challenges in Database Change Management

Despite its importance, DCM poses several challenges. Coordinating changes across large organizations, avoiding errors, managing complex changes, and keeping track of multiple database versions are just a few hurdles developers face. These challenges necessitate robust solutions to ensure smooth database operations.

The Traditional Approach

Traditionally, deploying database changes involves manual steps, often carried out by database administrators (DBAs) or developers. These steps typically include:

  • Manual Script Execution: Changes to the database schema or data are implemented by manually executing SQL scripts. These scripts may contain ALTER TABLE statements, data manipulation commands, or other SQL queries to modify the database.
  • Limited Rollback Mechanism: In case of errors or issues during deployment, rolling back changes can be challenging and may require manual intervention. This lack of a robust rollback mechanism increases the risk of downtime and data loss.

Drawbacks of Traditional Database Change Deployment

Despite its ubiquity, the traditional approach to database change deployment presents several challenges and drawbacks:

  • Manual Intervention: The reliance on manual steps increases the risk of human error and inconsistencies between environments. Manual deployments are also time-consuming and prone to delays.
  • Limited Visibility: Traditional methods lack visibility into the change process, making it difficult to track changes, monitor progress, and enforce compliance standards.
  • Lack of Automation: Traditional methods lack automation capabilities, making it difficult to automate repetitive tasks, enforce consistency, and integrate database deployments into CI/CD pipelines.

Best practices for database change management / Modern Approach

  • Use a version control tool for all database changes: Implementing a version control system allows for tracking and managing different versions of the database, facilitating collaboration among teams, and ensuring a history of changes is maintained for auditing purposes.
  • Automated database deployments: Automating deployments reduce errors and enhance efficiency by creating repeatable processes that can be easily tested and deployed, allowing organizations to respond quickly to changing business needs.
  • Implement a rollback plan: Having a rollback plan in place mitigates the impact of errors by providing procedures for identifying and addressing issues and steps for reverting to a stable database state in case of deployment failures.
  • Test all changes in a non-production environment: Testing changes in a non-production environment minimizes the risk of errors impacting the production environment, allowing for identification and resolution of issues before deployment.
  • Store all scripts in a central location: Centralizing scripts for database changes enables easy tracking of modifications over time, facilitates collaboration among team members, and ensures the ability to rollback changes if necessary.

These best practices contribute to a robust and efficient database change management process, ensuring data integrity, security, and availability within an organization.

Exploring Leading Database Change Management Tools

  1. Flyway: Flyway stands as an open-source database migration tool, facilitating managing and versioning database schema changes. It boasts support for various relational databases, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and more.

Availability: Open-source

Website: (

  1. Liquibase: Liquibase emerges as a versatile open-source tool that is adept at managing versioning and migrating database schema across diverse databases. Its features include CLI and CI integration, catering to relational databases such as MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, etc.

Availability: Open-source
 Website: (

  1. Fluent Migrations: This open-source library presents fluent API syntax in code for managing database schema migrations. Supporting multiple databases and offering a CLI, Fluent Migrations is adaptable to various environments, including Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, Oracle, and Firebird.

Availability: Open-source

Website: (

  1. Bytebase: Bytebase offers a comprehensive GUI, streamlining the entire database change lifecycle. Its integration with DevOps ensures seamless collaboration and faster deployments. Built with a modern tech stack, Bytebase garners acknowledgment from CNCF, signifying its prominence in the database CI/CD landscape.

Availability: Open source / Licensed


  1. dbForge: dbForge encompasses database management and development tools, covering areas like database design, implementation, testing, data loading, analysis, and maintenance. dbForge Source Control aids in managing SQL Server database changes linking databases to popular source control systems.

Availability: Open source / Licensed

Website: (

  1. NoSQL Database Migration Tools: These tools facilitate seamless migration of data across NoSQL databases:

MongoDB Database Migration Tool: A command-line tool for migrating data to and between MongoDB instances.


Amazon DynamoDB Data Pipeline: A web service for migrating data to Amazon DynamoDB and other AWS services.

Link: (

Cassandra Migrator: A command-line tool enabling data migration from Apache Cassandra to other databases or vice versa.

    Link: (

Redis Migrate Tool: A tool for migrating data between Redis instances, supporting different data structures and background migrations.

Link: (


Effective database change management is crucial for keeping data safe and accessible. By following best practices like using version control tools, automating deployments, and testing changes before applying them, teams can minimize errors and keep systems running smoothly.

Tools like Flyway, Liquibase, and others mentioned above help streamline the process, making tracking changes and collaborating easier. By staying organized and using the right tools, teams can ensure databases are always up-to-date and secure, even as they grow and change over time.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding database change management and we will get back to you quickly.

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CloudThat is a leading provider of Cloud Training and Consulting services with a global presence in India, the USA, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Specializing in AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, VMware, Databricks, and more, the company serves mid-market and enterprise clients, offering comprehensive expertise in Cloud Migration, Data Platforms, DevOps, IoT, AI/ML, and more.

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1. What are the common challenges in database change management?

ANS: – Some common challenges include coordinating changes across teams, avoiding errors and inconsistencies in database updates, managing complex or interdependent changes, and keeping track of multiple database versions. Additionally, ensuring changes are controlled and coordinated can be difficult, especially in large organizations with diverse systems and applications.

2. How can database change management tools integrate with existing workflows and systems?

ANS: – Database change management tools are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing development, deployment, and CI/CD workflows. They often offer APIs, plugins, or integration points that allow them to be integrated with version control systems, continuous integration pipelines, issue tracking systems, and other tools commonly used in software development. Organizations can ensure consistency, automation, and collaboration throughout the database change management process by integrating these tools into existing workflows.

WRITTEN BY Harikrishnan S

Harikrishnan Seetharaman is a Research Associate (DevOps) at CloudThat. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication, and he achieved AWS solution architect-Associate certification. His area of interest is implementing a cloud-native solution for customers and helping them by proving robust and reliable solutions for their complex problems, DevOps, and SaaS. Apart from his professional interest he likes to spend time in farming and learning new DevOps tools.



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