Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 

No Works of Art

By Steve Jones,

I used to pride myself on being able to run through menu selections and configuration options from memory. There have been times when I could describe over the phone  the process for using a GUI. I've been able to direct people to log onto SQL Server, choose a database, right click it, and choose restore. Then select device, choose NORECOVERY, etc, etc. I could walk people through many Windows dialogs, IIS configurations, and more, with verbal commands, picturing what they would see on the screen as I was holding my phone to my ear.

People would be impressed, and I'd rarely make mistakes. I knew what was coming next, and where to click. However I did make mistakes at times, and while that's human, that's not what we want during software configurations. These days we find plenty of administrators and developers running an install program, and either selecting options from memory or using some sort of document that was given to them. The thing that concerns me is that any of those processes could be full of mistakes. Documents never get rev'ed to keep up with changes. Human memory is faulty, and certainly we find ourselves clicking the wrong button at times.

When we install, or deploy, software in this manner, we're asking for problems. Not every time, but if we manually configure, click, or select anything, then we are building individual works of art. That's not what we want from our software environments. We want to know that the production environment is configured the same way every time, and if we need to recreate it in a DR situation, we can. We want confidence that the software that was tested in the QA environment will work correctly in production, which means we know that the states of the system are the same. We might even want to be sure that we've configured our development environments the same as production.

As our tools get better, especially around virtualized systems, there isn't a good excuse for not automating our installation and configuration through some sort of scripting. These days there ought to be no reason for a Windows, SQL Server, IIS, and most other platforms to not be easily scripted and deployed in a hands-free fashion. That's one of the keys to engineering software at scale instead of sculpting it one system at a time.

Total article views: 95 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
 
Related Articles
FORUM

Backup Software Selection

Selecting a Backup Software

ARTICLE

SSIS multi-environment configuration in a single SQL Server table

Centralize SSIS configuration for multiple environments into one table.

BLOG

Environment Variables in SSIS Packages and Configuration Tables

Configuration tables are a best practice in just about any SSIS environment. They make it easy to ...

FORUM

SSIS & Environment Variables

Package Configurations not picking up changes to Environment Variable values

BLOG

How can I configure SQL Server to listen on multiple TCP/IP ports?

Run the SQL Server Configuration Manager, expand SQL Server Network Configuration and select the pro...

Tags
editorial    
 
Contribute

Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones
Editor, SQLServerCentral.com

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones