The Rename Game

As I’ve been talking about database development, Continuous Integration, and Continuous Deployment, I keep hearing complaints and concerns about the problems that occur when we make database changes. In particular, I often hear about breaking changes made to databases, that require some manual scripting work.

It seems that the most common breaking change is adding a not null column to a table with existing data, but certainly there are other problematic issues. The other common change is renaming objects. In the past, I’ve rarely renamed anything once I’ve deployed tables to production, but I’ve run into quite a few developers that note they regularly change names. This week I’m wondering how common this is for most of the data professionals out there.

How often do you rename objects?

It could be tables, views, columns, constraints, whatever. If you rename anything in your database, I’m curious if it’s a regular event. Is this an event that causes you issues with your software development process, let us know. I’d also be curious with how you manage tracking and deploying the code from development through to production when you are making these types of breaking changes. Are things still scripted and able to be automated or do you force manual steps.

Steve Jones

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