Database triggers can be very useful, but like any tool, they have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of using database triggers:
Pros of Database Triggers
Triggers can enforce business rules at the database level, independent of the application that is interacting with the database. This ensures that the rules are always followed, even if different applications are used to access the data.
Triggers can automate certain tasks, such as updating a related table when a change occurs, or creating audit records when data is modified. This can simplify application code and ensure that these tasks are always performed consistently.
Since triggers are stored in the database, they provide a centralized way of managing certain logic, which can help ensure consistency across different applications that use the database.
Cons of Database Triggers
Triggers can slow down data modification operations, because the trigger code is executed every time a relevant operation occurs. This can be a significant issue if the trigger is doing complex processing or if many rows are being modified at once.
Because triggers are executed automatically by the database, they can make debugging more complex. For example, if a trigger has a bug that causes it to fail, the application might receive an error when trying to modify data, even though the application code itself is correct.
Triggers can make the system more complex and harder to understand, especially for developers who are not aware of what triggers exist and what they do. This can lead to unexpected behavior if developers make changes without understanding the full impact of the triggers.
Order of Execution
In some databases, the order in which triggers are fired may not be guaranteed, especially when multiple triggers are defined for the same operation on the same table. This can lead to unpredictable results.
In general, triggers should be used judiciously. They can be very powerful, but they should be used only when necessary, and their potential impact on performance and complexity should be carefully considered.