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DB Migration


Starting in v0.10.0, DevLake provides a lightweight migration tool for executing migration scripts. Both the framework and the plugins can define their migration scripts in their own migration folder. The migration scripts are written with gorm in Golang to support different SQL dialects.

Migration Scripts

The migration scripts describe how to do database migration and implement the MigrationScript interface. When DevLake starts, the scripts register themselves to the framework by invoking the Register function. The method Up contains the steps of migration.

type MigrationScript interface {
// this function will contain the business logic of the migration (e.g. DDL logic)
Up(basicRes BasicRes) errors.Error
// the version number of the migration. typically in date format (YYYYMMDDHHMMSS), e.g. 20220728000001. Migrations are executed sequentially based on this number.
Version() uint64
// The name of this migration
Name() string

The Migration Model

For each migration, we define a "snapshot" datamodel of the model that we wish to perform the migration on. The fields on this model shall be identical to the actual model; but unlike the actual one, this one will never change in the future. The naming convention of these models is <ModelName>YYYYMMDD and they must implement the func TableName() string method, and consumed by the Script::Up method.

Table migration_history

The table tracks migration scripts execution and schemas changes, and from which, DevLake can figure out the current state of database schemas.


Each plugin has a migrationscripts subpackage that lists all the migrations to be executed for that plugin. You will need to add your migration to that list for the framework to pick it up. Similarly, there is a package for the framework-only migrations defined under the models package.

How It Works

  1. Check migration_history table, calculate all the migration scripts need to be executed.
  2. Sort scripts by Version and Name in ascending order. Please do NOT change these two values for the script after release for any reasons; otherwise, users may fail to upgrade due to the duplicated execution.
  3. Execute the scripts.
  4. Save the results in the migration_history table.

Best Practices

When you write a new migration script, please pay attention to the fault tolerance and the side effect. It would be better if the failed script could be safely retried, in case if something goes wrong during the migration. For this purpose, the migration scripts should be well-designed. For example, if you have created a temporary table in the Up method, it should be dropped before exiting, regardless of success or failure.

Suppose we want to change the type of the Primary Key name of table users from int to varchar(255)

  1. Rename users to users_20221018 (stop if error, otherwise define a defer to rename back on error)
  2. Create new users (stop if error, otherwise define a defer to drop the table on error)
  3. Convert data from users_20221018 to users (stop if error)
  4. Drop table users_20221018

With these steps, the defer functions would be executed in reverse order if any error occurred during the migration process so the database would roll back to the original state in most cases.

However, you don't neccessary deal with all the mess. We had summarized some of the most useful code examples for you to follow:

The above examples should cover most of the scenarios you may encounter. If you come across other scenarios, feel free to create issues in our GitHub Issue Tracker for discussions.

In order to help others understand the script you have written, there are a couple of rules we suggest to follow:

  • Name your script in a meaningful way. For instance, renamePipelineStepToStage is more descriptive than modifyPipelines.
  • The script should keep only the targeted fields you are attempting to operate except when using migrationhelper.Transform, which is a full table tranformation that requires full table definition. If this is the case, add comment to the end of the fields to indicate which ones are the targets.
  • Add comments to the script when the operation is too complicated to be expressed in plain code.

Other rules to follow when writing a migration script:

  • The migration script should only use the interfaces and packages offered by the framework like core, errors and migrationhelper. Do NOT import gorm or package from plugin directly.
  • The name of model struct defined in your script should be suffixed with the Version of the script to distinguish from other scripts in the same package to keep it self-contained, i.e. tasks20221018. Do NOT refer struct defined in other scripts.
  • All scripts and models names should be camelCase to avoid accidental reference from other packages.