Sequel database migrations

Posted on | 344 words | ~2mins

As we added the database support to Deltacloud CIMI using Sequel ORM, the one problem we were thinking about were database migrations. What if someone started using Deltacloud CIMI and meanwhile we made some changes to the database schema?  For example, what if we added, renamed or deleted a new column in table? In that case once we have pushed a new release out, this user would face to numerous errors coming out from the Deltacloud server.

We don’t want to force our users to erase their database every time we do a release. Solution for that are database migrations. If you are familiar with Rails, you probably know how migrations works. You basically have couple files that contains recipes how the database should be created, what columns should be added, etc… These files follow the chronological order, so you don’t need to erase your DB every time you change something.

Well, we are not using Rails, but Sequel. To write a new migration for Sequel, you need to do the following:

1. Create a new file inside server/db/migrations/ directory:*

This is the folder where we store DB migrations.

2. The file should start with a number in chronological order:

  • 1_add_realm_to_machine_template.rb
  • 2_add_something_to_some_entity.rb
  • 3_your_file_here.rb

3. The content of file should be following:

# 3_your_file_here.rb:

Sequel.migration do

  up do
    add_column :entities, :realm, String

  down do
    drop_column :entities, :realm


The up section basically says what should happen when this migration is executed. In this example, we are adding a new column named ‘realm’ into the ’entities’ table.

The down section describes what should happen when someone decides to rollback your migration.

After you do this, you need to run the following command:

$ ./bin/deltacloud-db-upgrade

(or just $ deltacloud-db-upgrade if you are gem user.)

If this command prints nothing, everything is fine and your DB is running the latest schema.

So to wrap this up: instead of touching the lib/db.rb file in Deltacloud, when you want to add some new column to the database, you should write a migration script and then execute it.