In the previous Liquibase blog we saw the essential introduction to Liquibase and its advantages. Now, let’s move to the second step of the series in which we will see the “Best Practices for Managing Liquibase ChangeLogs”.
Let us start by seeing ChangeLog formats
ChangeLogs are an ordered list of changes to be deployed to the database. You can also try to mix and match the different changelog formats according to your requirements. There was a poll conducted by people at liquibase on LinkedIn to see which changelog format is preferred the most –
SQL and XML became the most preferred and popular changelog formats. Regardless of what format you are using, are all structured the same way.
The basic structure that is being followed for all the formats is –
Types of ChangeLogs In Detail
There are several types of changelogs that can be used in Liquibase, including XML, JSON, YAML, and SQL. XML is the most commonly used changelog format, but you can choose the format that works best for your needs.
XML ChangeLogs – XML changelogs are written using the Liquibase XML format, which is a standardized way of defining database changes. This format allows you to define changes using a series of XML tags, such as
<addColumn>. XML changelogs are easy to read and understand, and they are a good choice if you want to write your own changelogs by hand.
JSON ChangeLogs – JSON and YAML changelogs are similar to XML changelogs, but they use different syntaxes. YAML and JSON changelogs are written using a key-value format, which makes them easy to read and understand. JSON and YAML changelogs are good choices if you want to use a tool to automatically generate your changelogs.
SQL ChangeLogs – SQL changelogs are written using standard SQL statements. This means that you can use your existing SQL knowledge to write changelogs, and you can also use tools like MySQL Workbench to generate SQL changelogs. SQL changelogs are a good choice if you want to use your existing SQL skills to manage your database changes.
Importance of ChangeLogs
Changelogs are a crucial component of Liquibase since they give you the ability to monitor and control the alterations you make to your database structure. A changelog is a file that lists all the modifications made to your database, along with the SQL commands used to implement those modifications. As a result, it is simple to view the history of modifications made to your database and, if required, roll those changes back. Changelogs also assist in ensuring that your database is consistently in a known and consistent state, which is critical for preserving the integrity of your data.
Best Practices to Manage ChangeLogs in LiquiBase
- Use a version control system to keep your changelogs: A version control system, such as Git, is essential. You can easily track changes to your changelogs. As a result, you can go back to prior versions as necessary.
- Keep your changelogs’ names consistent: It’s a good idea to keep your changelogs’ names consistent. The date and time of the update, for instance, can be included in the changelog’s name. Your ability to keep track of your changelogs and ensure that they are in the correct order will be facilitated by this.
- Organize your changelogs: Keeping your changelogs organized will make it easier for you to locate and manage them. Using folders and subdirectories, you can group your changelogs according to the project, the environment, or any other consideration that makes sense for your project.
- Use labels and contexts: Liquibase gives you the ability to use labels and contexts to organise and manage your changelogs. To specify which changelogs should be processed in a specific environment and to organise changelogs that are linked to one another, labels and contexts can be utilised. This might assist you in organizing your changelogs and managing database updates.
- To automate routine actions related to delivering your database changes, pre- and post-deployment scripts should be employed. For instance, you can use pre-deployment scripts. It is used to backup your database before deploying changes, and post-deployment scripts to verify that the changes were successfully applied. You may reduce the likelihood of errors and ensure the success of your deployments by doing this.
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