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The Development Backup

By Steve Jones,

Have you ever had a development server crash? Have you lost work because of this? Had delays or had to recreate code? You shouldn't, or at least you shouldn't lose much work or time..

There was a time when I offered to manage backups on all development servers. This was in a large environment with hundreds of instances.  I wasn't worried. I had scripts to do the work of setting up, running, and reporting on backups for instances. I knew how to deploy these scripts to hundreds of servers. 

My reasoning was the our development servers were really our manufacturing environment for software. Wouldn't you ensure your machinery was well maintained and kept in top condition if you had a factory? I know I would.

The developers passed and once in awhile they'd call and ask of we could recover a server.

"Do you have backups?," I'd ask. "No" was the usual reply. I'd appligize and reiterate my offer to manage the system. They were always resistent and that was fine. They were responsible, and these were their systems. However they had a backup system already. They just didn't use it.

Almost all of these people were using a version control system (VCS) for their code, but not for database code. Do me a favor; put your database object code in source control. Add all your DDL for tables, views, functions, stored procedures, and anything else you use.

As long as it's on a different physical machine than the development server, you'll thank me one day.

Just as long as you also run backups of that VCS database.

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