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Making efficient schema changes

From a DBA's perspective, what is the most efficient way to make schema changes? Drop and reload the environment, DDL specific changes, other? What are the pros and cons to each approach and why would our DBA recommend the first option?
The most efficient way to make database schema changes is to use a product like BMC Software's Change Manager. With such a product, all you have to do is specify what changes need to be made using the intuitive menu-driven interface. Then, the product will analyze the requests and build a script to make each change in the most effective way. If it can be done with an ALTER, Change Manager will build the script for that. If it requires a DROP and reCREATE, then Change Manager will build that script taking care of all the intermediate work such as saving security setting, unloading and reloading data, etc.

More information on Change Manager can be found here.

Editor's note: Craig Mullins is director of technology planning at BMC Software Inc.

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