DLM Dashboard from Redgate

This post will briefly explain what DLM Dashboard is, how to install it and initial configuration.
Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) Dashboard from Redgate (available here) allows you keep an eye on your databases to ensure that they are in the desired state and that database drift is identified as early as possible. Database drift is how Redgate term the process of ad hoc changes to a database over change resulting in a state that is different that what it should be.
The dashboard allows one to create what are called pipelines, fundamentally these present a flow of database migrations from development through testing to production. The ability to promote changes through the pipeline can be restricted by permissions granted within the dashboard.
There are a few pre-requisites to check before commencing the installation. The machine where you are installing DLM Dashboad needs to be able to reach the SQL Servers, the machine has version 4.5 of the .NET Framework installed and you are running the latest version of Chrom, IE or Firefox. DLM Dashboard currently fully supports SQL Server 2008, 2008R2 and 2012 and offers limited support for SQL Server 2014.
So, having downloaded the zip file from Redgate, lets get started with the installation…
Locate the download, extract the zip file then run executable.

DLM Dashboard installer
DLM Dashboard installer

On the following screens agree to the EULA and confirm the installation path then click Install.
DLM Dashboard installer completion
DLM Dashboard installer completion

Once the installation completes, click Close and the DLM Dashboard will open in your browser. You should see the following message…
Welcome to the Dashboard!
Welcome to the Dashboard!

At this point you may be wondering what has been installed. Well, you now have three new Windows services running:

  1. DLM Dashboard Monitoring Service – Monitors SQL Servers for database schema changes
  2. DLM Dashboard Storage Server – Stores configuration and data for the DLM Dashboard
  3. DLM Dashboard Web Server – Web server for the DLM Dashboard schema monitoring web app

There is also a folder structure containing the required files under “C:\Program Files (x86)\Red Gate\DLM Dashboard 1”.
Lets go ahead and click the “Set up DLM Dashboard” button.
We are now prompted to enter some details for our SQL Server.

Add a server
Add a server

This server can either be a local SQL Server instance on your computer or one on a server already in use. Review the “What permissions does this user need?” information and then enter appropriate credentials. As I am installing this into a local instance on my laptop that serves no other purpose I am using sa. If I were installing this on a dev, test or production server I would create an account with limited rights. Click Add Server to progress to the next screen.
Set up server
Set up server

At this point you may wish to find out more about the objects that will be installed before hitting Run Setup Script. Once you have satisfied yourself that you are happy with what is being installed, click the button.
The next screen shows a list of databases for the connected server (the list of servers has been cropped off the screenshot as there is only the one).
Add databases to be monitored
Add databases to be monitored

Select the databases you want to monitor by clicking ADD. Note the five database limit until Notifications are set up.
Once done, click Home.
DLM Bashboard Pipeline
DLM Dashboard Pipeline

To organise the databases appropriately, select the dropdown where it reads Uncategorized and select the correct category. With all three databases hosted on one instance for this example, I have named the appended Dev, Test and Prod to the DB name. In a real life situation you would likely have the same name database but on different servers.
Now I am going to add the databases to their categories which will place them in the Bookstore pipeline.
Databases added to pipeline
Databases added to pipeline

Use of the DLM Dashboard will be covered in a subsequent post.





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