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Release It! by Michael T. Nygard

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Antipattern9.8 Database Eutrophication

In ecology, a lake “ages” through a process called eutrophication. This is the slow buildup of sludge from dead microbes, rotting fish, and algae. In advanced stages, the sludge removes enough oxygen from the water that nothing can live in the lake any more, and the lake dies. The same thing can happen to your database, only it will be your system that goes belly-up.

In development and QA, testing typically proceeds with data sets ranging from tiny to laughably miniscule. Combined with the short time systems typically spend in QA, it is easy for database schemas to slip into production without any serious high-volume ...

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