Schema Revisions and Migrations

Schema revisions and migrations is a serious issue when you develop a application beyond a certain scale.

there is no functionallity in Camelot as such for handling this ‘automagically’.

The recommended approach is to use sqlalchemy-migrate It requires a bit of an effort to set it up and understand it, but once you got it up and running, it’s well worth the effort.

There are 2 approaches, depending on the needs of your project :

Leave it all to sqlalchemy-migrate

Let sqlalchemy-migrate do a diff between your model and your db and add tables / columns as needed. This is easy to implement, but not very powerfull and will fail on complex migrations.

Camelot comes with a function that uses sqlalchemy-migrate to perform such action :


Call this function in the setup_model function in the settings class in, right after the setup_all function.

Use schema revisions

Work with database revisions (takes some work to get up and running, but very nice), you can even create database views and update those views as well, and migrate data to the next schema revision etc.

A possible scenario is to create a migrate_model() method. This migrate_model() needs to be called inside the setup_model() of before anything else happens:

def controlled_schema(engine):
    """Get or create a ControlledSchema for an engine"""
    import settings
    from migrate.versioning.schema import ControlledSchema
    from migrate import exceptions
        schema = ControlledSchema.create(engine,
    except exceptions.DatabaseAlreadyControlledError:
        schema = ControlledSchema(engine, settings.REPOSITORY)'current database version : %s'%schema.version)
    return schema

def migrate_model():
    import settings
    migrate_engine = settings.ENGINE()
    migrate_connection = migrate_engine.connect()

    schema = controlled_schema(migrate_engine)

    from migrate.versioning.repository import Repository
    repository = Repository(settings.REPOSITORY)'latest available version : %s'%str(repository.latest))
    version = repository.latest