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Future of SQL Source Control

In my last blog post, I talked to Stephanie Herr and David Atkinson, product managers for SQL Source Control, about the market for their product. This week, I wanted to ask them about the future of SQL Source Control and Red Gate's related products.

Peter Vogel: What were your goals for the product? What were the challenges in developing it?
David Atkinson: Our goal was simple: to extend the well-understood benefits of source control to SQL Server developers, eliminating the need for manual change management scripts.

Our biggest challenges came from making the source control process as easy and intuitive as our existing Red Gate tools, particularly since these are tasks that developers will perform on a day-to-day basis as they make changes to their database.

Based on user experience sessions with our initial prototype, we learned that database developers needed something directly integrated into Microsoft's SQL Server Management Studio. It also had to be so simple that there would no longer be an excuse not to source control their databases. This meant overcoming a variety of technical challenges in order to achieve tight integration with Management Studio.

PV: How do you see the SQL Developer Bundle that SQL Source Control is part of developing? What's the future in supporting developers?
Stephanie Herr: While it's perfectly possible to use SQL Source Control by itself, the SQL Developer Bundle provides a rich set of complementary tools that extend and enhance SQL Source Control. By linking the tools with each other and embedding them directly into SQL Server Management Studio, the SQL Developer Bundle provides a rich and integrated development experience. For that reason we find that many customers who begin with a trial of SQL Source Control end up purchasing the full SQL Developer Bundle.

As for the future, we are actively working on SQL Source Control to support additional source control systems as well as adding support for static data and object filtering.

More generally, for ten years Red Gate's business has been to provide simple, ingenious tools that solve problems for developers. SQL Source Control is the latest of those tools and, to judge from the high levels of interest that it has generated, we can see that the lack of a source control solution has been a big problem for the industry.

Technology is always evolving and out of changes come new opportunities for Red Gate to support developers. Without giving any secrets away about our future plans, everyone is aware of the move to Cloud Computing, e.g. SQL Azure, and we believe the Entity Framework is also going to be an important future technology.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 12/17/2010

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