On the Ibuildings techPortal today Harrie Verveer has a new post looking at database version control - one of the more difficult topics for development groups - and some of the technology that can be used to help make it a bit simpler.
Database version control is something that most developers have to deal with regularly, yet only a few have actually thought about what solution might be best for them. Most people have a solution that sort of works for them, but when you ask them about the subject they are pretty convinced that there must be some better way to manage database changes, they're just not entirely sure what that solution is - but the silver bullet must be out there somewhere, right?
He starts where most developers start - their own custom script. It usually will take in a series of patch files and apply them one by one. In this case a "patch level" is stored somewhere (file/database) and is checked when the deployment is done. He points out a few issues with this method including patch naming issues and branching. Taking a step up the technology tree, he looks at other solutions like Phing+DBDeploy, Liquibase, and Doctrine migrations to try to help you find your project's "silver bullet".