Quest Launches New Toad DevOps Database Toolkit

Using the Toad DevOps Toolkit, developers and DBAs are enabled to automate many of the critical database development functions within existing DevOps workflows.

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Turns out that Quest Software, which hasn’t been mentioned all that often in DevOps conversations, has had the basic tools for DevOps shops on its shelves all along. They simply hadn’t been assembled, labeled or marketed as such.

The DevOps development approach helps developers and operations experts work together more effectively in order to produce software faster, so it can be updated, security patched and distributed more often. Speed and automation—that’s what it’s all about.

Speed and automation are what Quest’s tools—which make Oracle, SAP and other difficult database technologies easier to configure, fix and deploy—are all about.

Gathers Relevant Tools, Combines into a Single Kit

The Aliso Viejo-Calif.-based company gathered its DevOps-relevant tools into a new package called the Toad DevOps Toolkit and announced it Sept. 28.

This toolsuite is designed to help organizations automate database changes within their existing DevOps continuous integration-and-delivery processes. Using the Toad DevOps Toolkit, Quest said, developers and DBAs are enabled to automate many of the critical database development functions within existing DevOps workflows without compromising quality, performance or reliability.

The new release of Toad for Oracle 2017 R2 will accompany the toolkit when it debuts in October. The Toad DevOps Toolkit, Toad for Oracle, along with a preview of the newest release of Quest’s SharePlex database replication tool, will be showcased Oct. 2-5 at Oracle Open World.

Databases, DevOps Often Not Used in the Same Sentence

There are reasons why databases haven’t been mentioned too often in DevOps talks, whitepapers and social network discussions.

“The database is a different kind of beast, that’s probably why it hasn’t been in the agile domain before now,” Quest Senior Product Manager John Pocknell told eWEEK. “Trying to make changes in an automated way in a database environment that’s continually changing—the state changes, the data changes, the general condition of the database changes over time—when you take into account most development shops that work in database have release cycles of two to three months, that’s anything but agile

“Trying to schedule recycles to weeks or less is a challenge because of all the processes you have to go through in order to make a change in a database. Organizationally, companies generally aren’t set up (for DevOps environments).”

DevOps Can Upset IT Cultures

Culture is difficult to trifle with. Older companies that have been doing IT development a certain way for a long time are often averse to changes that would upset their shortcuts, habits and routines, and they squint skeptically at new-gen approaches like DevOps. After all, even though the way they’re doing things takes longer, they contend, at least it’s generally tried and true.

Quest serves a large portion of that older-school IT market, so it has its work cut out when launching a toolkit like this. A lot of education and salesmanship are needed for a project like this to be successful, and Quest knows it.

In this new kit, Quest has gathered the appropriate tools from its inventory and automated many of the processes to speed everything up and remove data-movement bottlenecks for DevOps teams. That’s the fundamental news here.

Using the Toolkit, Oracle database developers and DBAs can:

  • Test PL/SQL against pre-defined requirements: The Code Tester feature helps test functionality of code to ensure quality during the automated build process and through continuous integration and deployment.
  • Perform static code reviews to ensure quality standards and maintainability: Code Analysis provides an automated way to determine minimum quality level threshold during code reviews to relieve the challenges associated with reviewing coding standards.
  • Compare and sync between source and target databases and generate sync scripts: Ensures schema, data and database integrity when deploying changes across database types—for example, from developer databases to quality assurance databases—and generates change scripts to deploy build artifacts into the DevOps pipeline.
  • Promote build artifacts into target environment to visualize success/failure: Script execution simplifies the process of implementing changes.
  • Integrate into virtually any continuous integration and continuous delivery tool: The Toad DevOps Toolkit is easily integrated into popular tools such as Jenkins, Bamboo and Maven. 

The latest version of Quest’s Toad for Oracle database development and management toolset also includes several enhancements that support the streamlining of database changes in DevOps workflows.

Notable new features include: Pass/fail status notifications within the Code Analysis code reviews to ensure code quality; redesigned multi-schema compare and sync includes with- or without-snapshots options to increase productivity; and an improved REST API as part of the Benchmark Factory testing solution helps automate performance testing as part of CI/CD workflows.

Expanding Support and Ease of Use for Hybrid Environment Replication

An increasing number of DBAs are implementing heterogeneous, cloud-based databases to power business-critical applications in finance, CRM, HR, e-commerce, business intelligence and analytics. In many cases, these applications are dependent on the database vendor and its related offerings, creating a vendor lock-in—right down to management and replication—that does not support a hybrid environment.

Quest SharePlex 9.1, coming out later this year, features a new GUI that enables DBAs to set up and synchronize data from Oracle to Oracle databases with near-zero impact to business. Oracle DBAs can minimize adoption time and enable all-the-time uptime by eliminating command line interfaces to start data replication projects faster and take advantage of simple workflows that minimize risk and downtime associated with migrations and upgrades.

For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...