A Persistence Framework for Scala and NoSQL

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migrating to a new version of your domain

The traditional approach to migrating your database schema and data to keep up with changes to your application involves maintaining a sequence on migration scripts - typically written in a database query language like SQL or CQL. A number of systems have been developed for managing the appropriate application of these scripts. This approach is contrary to the design goals of longevity, where the user develops their application code in terms of their domain model, and leaves persistence concerns in the hands of longevity. While we are transparent about how we translate your domain into different back ends, longevity users should be able to define their migrations purely in terms of their domains. The longevity migrations framework described here serves this purpose.

In longevity, we describe our schema migrations in terms of our domain model. Because the domain model is undergoing changes, we save checkpoints of our model off to the side, in another package. We define a longevity.migrations.Migration, that maps from persistent objects in the initial model, to persistent objects in the final model, using Scala functions. And we hand this migration off to longevity, which applies the changes. Your database is now ready to run against the more recent version of your Scala code.

The longevity migrations framework is still in early stages of development, and many potentially useful features are not in place yet. This user manual only covers existing functionality. To get a sense of potential future directions, check out our migrations wishlist on GitHub.

(To be sure, you are free to user more traditional methods to migrate schema. But you should be aware that this may be difficult or impossible, due to the way the various longevity back ends persist your data. At present, every back end stores your persistent objects in JSON. Back ends such as SQLite and Cassandra store the JSON is regular text columns. You may well have a very difficult time applying the necessary changes to these JSON columns using traditional techniques. The MongoDB back end stores your persistent objects as BSON, and MongoDB offers update commands that allow you to modify your BSON documents dynamically, so a more traditional approach may work for you. It’s also possible that we will be adding column-based back ends for SQLite and Cassandra in the future, which will also be amenable to more traditional approaches.)

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