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Why Database Names Matter


November 12, 2009 by Mike Hillwig

There is a reason users shouldn’t be allowed to name their own databases. Actually, there are probably several thousand reasons. I have a new one for you–It makes my life more difficult.

Lets say you work for a company called Acme. And lets say your manufacturing people created an in-house Microsoft Access application with a SQL database called AcmeDatabase.  And lets say that your support organization created a database on a different server called Acme that’s part of their CRM system. On top of that, the ERP system (yet again on a different server) prefixes all four of its databases with Acme_.  As the DBA, you’d never permit this to happen unless you inherit this mess.

Welcome to my world and the mess I inherited. I have my company name (or some form of it) in countless databases. Lets make this just a little more interesting, though. We’re going to be consolidating database servers in the near future and potentially putting all of these databases on the same server.

These are databases that could potentially end up living on the same server:

  • AcmeDatabase
  • Acme
  • Acme_App
  • Acme_Data
  • Acme_Forms

Which one s are ERP, CRM, or Manufacturing?

When we consolidate database servers, we’re also going to be renaming some of these databases. My application owners won’t be too happy about this. They’re going to have to get over that. I inherited this mess, and I’m going to make it right.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Hillwig, AppSecInc. AppSecInc said: Why Database Names Matter […]

  2. Firoj says:

    Hi Michelle! Happy to hear that you role is expanding! I too am in a siilmar situatoin as a consultant right now that is mixed with SQL and MySQL. More on that later. I would agree with the majority of those who have sounded off that the use of catagories and a separate blog between the 2 DBMS’s would be perfect. I also wanted to get in touch with you about that parseString_UDF you have me look at a while back (I think I may have found a use for it, but want to make sure I do not violate any licensing you may have put in place since).Take care!Rich Yarger (a.k.a. SQL_ME_RICH)

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