Survey: Lack of Time for Performance Tuning is Top Gripe for Database Professionals

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Study also reveals a yearning for greater automation

The majority of DBAs reported that they are doing more SQL coding than they were five years ago

Database professionals wish they had more time to spend tuning and fixing poor performing SQL code to speed database and application performance, according to a new Database Trends Survey conducted by Embarcadero Technologies.

The survey was conducted in July and August 2010, and the more 1,200 respondents were a mixture of DBAs, developers, architects and analysts. The survey results and additional information are available online at http://www.embarcadero.com/reports/database-trends-survey

When asked which database-related activities they wish they had more time to do, tuning was cited most frequently, earning 41% of the vote. Fixing poor performing SQL code ranked second highest with 39%, while database monitoring was mentioned by 28% of respondents, and 27% said they would learn new skills or technologies if they had more time. Others that ranked high include keeping skills up to date, testing new database features and eliminating bottlenecks. Meanwhile, loading/unloading data ranked lowest of the options.

An Uptick in DBAs Coding SQL
The shortage of time for tasks like performance tuning might be partly due to DBAs shouldering more of it these days, in addition to their more traditional duties. The majority of DBAs who responded – 41% – said they are doing more SQL coding than they were five years ago. Around 31% said they were not doing more, and the question was not applicable to the remaining respondents.    

“The lines between DBAs and developers are continuing to blur, with more production DBAs getting involved in non-production environments and traditional developers using SQL on a regular basis,” said Kyle Hailey, program manager for database performance and optimization products at Embarcadero." At the end of the day, both groups have equitable concerns and goals – namely, how to tune and improve the performance of SQL code without making it an enormous time suck.”

Can Automation Save (Hours in) The Day?
Many seem hopeful that automation could help ease their time constraints and make their lives easier, particularly in areas such as diagnosing production issues, fixing sub-par SQL code, monitoring and tuning. Of the manual tasks that database professionals would like to automate, more than one third (36%) said diagnosing production issues. Second on the wish list was fixing poor performing SQL code (29%), followed by database monitoring in third place (26%) and tuning (24%) ranked fourth.

About Embarcadero Technologies
Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of award-winning tools for application developers and database professionals so they can design systems right, build them faster and run them better, regardless of their platform or programming language. Ninety of the Fortune 100 and an active community of more than three million users worldwide rely on Embarcadero products to increase productivity, reduce costs, simplify change management and compliance and accelerate innovation. Founded in 1993, Embarcadero is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices located around the world. Embarcadero is online at http://www.embarcadero.com.

Embarcadero, the Embarcadero Technologies logos and all other Embarcadero Technologies product or service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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Rebecca Scanlan

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