Accelerating development with instant, production-like, containerised databases

Christopher Heppell
Mar 9 · 3 min read

A while ago, we posted a blog discussing “How we develop apps that rely on databases in a Kubernetes workflow”.

In that post, we discussed the different pains we’ve experienced when it comes to developing with databases. Unsurprisingly, the key issue was around state.

When I switch branches, my code flips immediately to the version I want to be working against. Unfortunately, the database I’m developing against might still include schema or data changes from the original branch which might conflict with the code on my new branch.

Furthermore, I want to get confidence that the changes I’m making in development won’t cause issues in production. To do that, a production-like dataset in development is ideal. Unfortunately, that might be very large and it might not be possible to hold all the data on my machine, or it takes too long to get a copy of that myself. Often, the workaround is to use shared database instances, at which point I may start to trip over unrelated changes my colleagues are making to the database!

As we discussed in the previous article, database containers can help avoid the tedium of installing or acquiring database server instances. Unfortunately, they don’t help me solve the problem of acquiring large datasets, nor do they allow me to jump between known states of the database with ease.

At the end of our original post, we mentioned we were working on solving these problems with a project we called “Spawn”.

So what happened?

We’ve been quietly working behind the scenes, getting to grips with the problems we’re trying to solve, building Spawn, and enabling internal usage of Spawn to accelerate Redgate’s own development teams.

We’re in a position where we’re ready to start testing this out with some external users, which is what this blog post is all about.

Spawn Closed Beta

Image for post
Image for post

We’re excited to announce that we’re launching a closed beta program for Spawn.

We’re looking for development teams that are struggling with using databases in their development and CI workflows. Particularly those teams who have multiple different databases supporting their projects.

If you’re trying to achieve any of the following things, you might be a great fit for the Spawn Closed Beta:

Alternatively, take a look at the Spawn website, read through the Spawn Docs, and sign up to our beta program if there’s anything you think Spawn might be able to help you with that isn’t already on the list above!

There are a limited set of spaces available on this closed beta program, and we’ll be looking to work closely with you on a regular cadence to make sure Spawn is able to solve your problems. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy being a part of, then sign up and we’ll be in contact if we’d both benefit from your involvement on the program.

Sign up here!

Ingeniously Simple

How Redgate build ingeniously simple products, from…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store