It is essential to treat database schema as source code and apply all the norms and best practices applicable to it. From what I hear and read, database schema version control is non-existent in too many projects.
Various techniques to accomplish version control of database schemas have been discussed and published. Martin Fowler and Pramod Sadagale has written a comprehensive article on Evolutionary Database Design. It is a must-read for everyone involved with database development.
K. Scott Allen writes in detail about an excellent system here – Versioning Databases – Change Scripts. This approach is sufficiently light-weight (for my taste) and provides complete control over the whole process.
I am providing a free tool here that you can use to implement this system. It will even create the SchemaVersionsLog table for your database, if it doesn’t exist. If you are using this tool with MSSQL Server, you can get started with very little effort. If you are using a different DBMS, you can still use this tool. It uses NHibernate to access the SchemaVersionsLog table. So, any DBMS supported by NHibernate is acceptable, as long as it comes with a command line tool to execute the sql scripts.
Download DbUpdater here.