March 6, 2012

Liquibase: Database change management

When you are developing an application, is almost sure that you will have to deal with a relational database system. And if you are developing with a 'refactoring' point of view, your database structure will change from time to time.

In many situations these changes have to be tracked and automatically applied for the different environments (development, integration, production) and I bet you are currently doing that manually, updating scripts and wiping databases back and forth.

This is no longer the case for me, a while ago I started using DBUnit for managing my database data changes, but as the development moved forward, the database structure changed as well. So we started looking for a tool that could simplify our lives.

Guess where we found it, in the DBUnit FAQ page, they even recommend it!. The tool is Liquibase, a java-based application that uses XML changesets to handle the database modifications, it works smoothly and support almost all productive database systems. It might be a little bit hard in the beginning, but it is worth it.