Over the last two years I have been working lot on improving the tooling and processes related to database development at where I work. One concept born out of this work is what we have started calling a “Database-as-a-Code” model. Originally the idea was to introduce some of the good practices, such as version control, build automation and unit testing to database development. Over the time it has evolved to include even more, in an effort to break down traditional silos between software developers, database developers and the operations people.
In this post I’ll describe some of the decisions we made and the steps we have taken in our Database DevOps journey.
I was recently involved in a query tuning work where we used synthetic, rather than production data, to validate the results of our query and index tuning work. We faced some issues with the generated data that had quite a severe impact on our testing, and that prompted me into writing this blog post. Lets start by first defining what is synthetic data. In my view synthetic data is data that resembles actual production data, but is artificial/generated. I have seen similar (and also more detailed) definitions elsewhere and I think it is a good one.
I also like to point out that there are plenty of good reasons for using synthetic data in testing, as production data is often strictly regulated and not easily available for testing purposes. However, you need to be certain that the synthetic data you are using is similar to what you have in production.
While I normally blog about SQL Server or topics that closely relate to it in some way, I decided to make a small exception this time. Today, I will be writing about blockchain. Granted it’s not a huge jump outside my usual themes, as we’re still talking about database technology. So why I am writing about the blockchain, is it because it’s new and cool technology that everyone else is talking about? Admittedly that is part of, but I also wanted to have some of my thoughts and questions about the blockchain in an easy to find place.