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Updating a client-database

We have a big application which uses Oracle 8/9.  We issue updates quite frequently.  The way we do it now is like this:

- we collect all db-changes for the specific release
- connect to client system via isdn or vpn
- we run the updates on all their schemas
- then we tell them to download the new 'zipfile'
- they distribute it through their company

As we have currently only about 15 customers and they usually don't migrate all at the same time, it is still possible. But as the number of clients and databases(!) grows it's getting more and more difficult to work in this way.

So I was wondering: how are you guys maintaining database changes at your client-side?

Guyon Morée
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

One trick we use that works well is that the new version of the software detects that the database is an older version and performs the upgrade itself.

Tim H
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Make it a server-side app and stop the 'update the client' insanity. Problem solved.

Wise*ss
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

well the word 'client' in the topic-title actually refers to 'customer'. This topic is not about updating clients/workstation, but the database at my 'client' or 'customer'

Guyon Morée
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Oops, my bad. Then, uh, what Tim said, er, wrote. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Wise*ss
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Oh yeah, and if your clients have any of their own data in the databases, get insurance. Lots of it.

Tapiwa
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by 'own-data', but the data that they store via our program is quite mission critical. Their whole business drives on our application.

As our customers are worldwide it is very difficult to support them technically. We have in our contracts that they have to  hire an oracle-guy to make sure that oracle backups are made. Ofcourse we advise them in this, but it is not our responsibility.

Guyon Morée
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I think what Tapiwa means that your upgrade script better be bullet proof and not trash the customers data.

DJ
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

backup the databases

apw
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Lose the zipfile. A proper installer (InstallShield, whatever) can update the software and database in one step. 

Tom H
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

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