Chapter 10: Schema Management Features

CQL has a lot of schema knowledge already and so it's well positioned to think about schema upgrades and versioning.

It seemed essential to be able to record changes to the schema over time so CQL got an understanding of versioning. This lets you do things like:

  • ensure columns are only added where they should be
  • generate compiler errors if you try to access columns that are deprecated
  • move from one version to another tracking schema facets that have to be added

Annotations

There are three basic flavors of annotation

  • @create(version [, migration proc])
  • @delete(version [, migration proc])
  • @recreate

They have various constraints:

  • @create and @delete can only be applied to tables and columns
  • @recreate can only be applied to tables (nothing else needs it anyway)
  • @recreate cannot mix with @create or @delete
  • @recreate can include a group name as in @recreate(musketeers), if a group name is specified then all the tables in that group are recreated if any of them change

Indices, Views, and Triggers are always "recreated" (just like tables can be) and so neither the @recreate nor the @create annotations are needed (or allowed). However when an Index, View, or Trigger is retired it must be marked with @delete so that it isn't totally forgotten but can be deleted anywhere it might still exist. Note that when one of these items is deleted the definition is not used as it will only be dropped anyway, the simplest creation of the object with the correct name will do the job as a tombstone.

e.g. create view used_to_be_fabulous as select 1 x @delete(12); suffices to drop the used_to_be_fabulous view in version 12 no matter how complicated it used to be. It's CREATE VIEW will not be emitted into the upgrade procedure in any case. Similarly trivial indices and triggers of the correct name can be used for the tombstone.

In addition, if there is some data migration that needs to happen at a particular schema version that isn't associated with any particular change in schema, you can run an ad hoc migrator at any time. The syntax for that is@schema_ad_hoc_migration(version, migration proc); Ad hoc migrations are the last to run in any given schema version, they happen after table drop migrations.

Semantics

@create declares that the annotated object first appeared in the indicated version, and at that time the migration proc needs to be executed to fill in default values, denormalize values, or whatever the case may be.

@delete declares that the annotated object disappeared in the indicated version, and at that time the migration proc needs to be executed to clean up the contents, or potentially move them elsewhere.

@recreate declares that the annotated object can be dropped and recreated when it changes, there is no need to preserve its contents during an upgrade. Such objects may be changed arbitrarily from version to version

  • no columns in a @recreate table may have @create or @delete (it isn't needed anyway)
    • therefore tables with @recreate never have deprecated columns (since @delete isn't allowed on their columns)

NOTE: all annotations are suppressed from generated SQL. SQLite never sees them.

NOTE: looking at the annotations it is possible to compute the logical schema at any version, especially the original schema -- it's what you get if you disregard all @delete entirely (don't delete) and then remove anything marked with @create directives.

Allowable changes

Not all migrations are possible in a sensible fashion, therefore CQL enforces certain limitations:

  • the "original" schema has no annotations or just delete annotations
  • new tables may be added (with @create)
  • tables may be deleted (with @delete)
  • columns may be added to a table, but only at the end of the table
  • added columns must be nullable or have a default value (otherwise all existing insert statements would break for sure)
  • columns may not be renamed
  • columns may be deleted but this is only a logical delete, SQLite has no primitive to remove columns; once deleted you may not longer refer to that column in queries
  • deleted columns must be nullable or have a default value (otherwise all existing and future insert statements would break for sure, the column isn't really gone)
  • views, indices, and triggers may be added (no annotation required) and removed (with @delete) like tables
  • views, indices, and triggers may be altered completely from version to version
  • no normal code is allowed to refer to deleted columns, tables, etc. this includes views, indices, and triggers
  • schema migration stored procs see the schema as it existed in their annotation (so an older version), they are also forbidden from using views (see below)
  • recreated objects (tables marked with @recreate, views, tables, and indices) have no change restrictions

Prosecution

Moving from one schema version to another is done in an orderly fashion with the migration proc taking these essential steps in this order

  • the cql_schema_facets table is created if needed, this records the current state of the schema

  • the last known schema hash is read from the cql_schema_facets tables (it's zero by default)

  • if the overall schema hash code matches what is stored processing stops, otherwise an upgrade ensues

  • all known views are dropped (hence migration procs won't see them!)

  • any index that needs to change is dropped (this includes items marked @delete or indices that are different than before)

    • change is detect by hash (crc64) of the previous index definition vs. the current
  • all known triggers are dropped (hence they will not fire during migration!)

  • the current schema version is extracted from cql_schema_facets (it's zero by default)

  • if the current schema version is 0 then the original version of all the tables are created

  • if the current schema version is <= 1 then

    • any tables that need to be created at schema version 1 are created as they exist at schema version 1
    • any columns that need to be created at schema version 1 are created as they exist at schema version 1
    • migration procedures schema version 1 are run in this order:
      • create table migration
      • create column migration
      • delete trigger migration (these are super rare and supported for uniformity)
      • delete index migration (these are super rare and supported for uniformity)
      • delete view migration (these are super rare and supported for uniformity)
      • delete column migration
      • delete table migration
      • ad hoc migration
      • each proc is run exactly one time
    • any tables that need to be dropped at schema version 1 are dropped
    • the schema version is marked as 1 in cql_schema_facets
    • each sub-step in the above is recorded in cql_schema_facets as it happens so it is not repeated
      • all that checking not shown for brevity
  • the above process is repeated for all schema versions up to the current version

  • all tables that are marked with @recreate are re-created if necessary

    • i.e. if the checksum of the table definition has changed for any table (or group) then drop it and create the new version.
  • all indices that changed and were not marked with @delete are re-created

  • all views not marked with @delete are recreated

  • all triggers not marked with @delete are re-installed

  • the current schema hash is written to the cql_schema_facets table

Example Migration

Here's an example of a schema directly from the test cases:

-- crazy amount of versioning here
create table foo(
id integer not null,
rate long integer @delete(5),
rate_2 long integer @delete(4, DeleteRate2Proc),
id2 integer default 12345 @create(4, CreateId2Proc),
name text @create(5),
name_2 text @create(6)
);
-- much simpler table, lots of stuff added in v2.
-- note v1 is the first new version and v0 is base version
create table table2(
id integer not null,
name1 text @create(2, CreateName1Proc),
name2 text @create(2, CreateName2Proc),
name3 text @create(2), -- no proc
name4 text @create(2) -- no proc
);
create table added_table(
id integer not null,
name1 text,
name2 text @create(4)
) @create(3) @delete(5);
-- this view is present in the output
create view live_view as select * from foo;
-- this view is also present in the output
create view another_live_view as select * from foo;
-- this view is not present in the output
create view dead_view as select * from foo @delete(2);
-- this index is present
create index index_still_present on table2(name1, name2);
-- this index is going away
create index index_going_away on table2(name3) @delete(3);
-- this is a simple trigger, it's a bit silly but that doesn't matter
create trigger trigger_one
after insert on foo
begin
delete from table2 where table2.id = new.id;
end;

This schema has a LOT of versioning... you can see tables and columns appearing in versions 2 through 6. There is a lot of error checking happening.

  • things with no create annotation were present in the base schema
  • only things with no delete annotation are visible to normal code
  • created columns have to be at the end of their table (required by SQLite)
  • they have to be in ascending schema version order (but you can add several columns in one version)
  • there may or may not be a proc to run to populate data in that column when it's added or removed data when it's deleted
    • proc names must be unique
  • you can't delete a table or column in a version before it was created
  • you can't delete a column in a table in a version before the table was created
  • you can't create a column in a table in a version after the table was deleted
  • there's probably more I forgot...

Sample Upgrade Script

With just those annotations you can automatically create the following upgrade script which is itself CQL (and hence has to be compiled). This code is totally readable!

I've split the script into logical pieces to explain what's going on.

Preamble

-- ...copyright notice... possibly generated source tag... elided to avoid confusion
-- no columns will be considered hidden in this script
-- DDL in procs will not count as declarations
@SCHEMA_UPGRADE_SCRIPT;

Schema upgrade scripts need to see all the columns even the ones that would be logically deleted in normal mode. This is so that things like alter table add column can refer to real columns and drop table can refer to a table that shouldn't even be visible. Remember in CQL the declarations tell you the logical state of the universe and DLL mutations are expected to create that condition, so you should be dropping tables that are marked with @delete CQL stores the current state of the universe in this table.

-- schema crc -7714030317354747478

The schema crc is computed by hashing all the schema declarations in canonical form. That's everything in this next section.

Declaration Section

Wherein all the necessary objects are declared...

-- declare sqlite_master --
CREATE TABLE sqlite_master (
type TEXT NOT NULL,
name TEXT NOT NULL,
tbl_name TEXT NOT NULL,
rootpage INTEGER NOT NULL,
sql TEXT NOT NULL
);

The sqlite_master table is built-in but it has to be introduced to CQL so that we can query it. Like all the other loose DDL declarations here there is no code generated for this. We are simply declaring tables. To create code you have to put the DDL in a proc. Normally DDL in procs also declares the table but since we may need the original version of a table created and the final version declared we have @schema_upgrade_script to help avoid name conflicts.

-- declare full schema of tables and views to be upgraded --
CREATE TABLE foo(
id INTEGER NOT NULL,
rate LONG INT @DELETE(5),
rate_2 LONG INT @DELETE(4, DeleteRate2Proc),
id2 INTEGER DEFAULT 12345 @CREATE(4, CreateId2Proc),
name TEXT @CREATE(5),
name_2 TEXT @CREATE(6)
);
CREATE TABLE table2(
id INTEGER NOT NULL,
name1 TEXT @CREATE(2, CreateName1Proc),
name2 TEXT @CREATE(2, CreateName2Proc),
name3 TEXT @CREATE(2),
name4 TEXT @CREATE(2)
);
CREATE TABLE added_table(
id INTEGER NOT NULL,
name1 TEXT,
name2 TEXT @CREATE(4)
) @CREATE(3) @DELETE(5);

NOTE: all the tables are emitted including all the annotations. This lets us do the maximum validation when we compile this script.

CREATE VIEW live_view AS
SELECT *
FROM foo;
CREATE VIEW another_live_view AS
SELECT *
FROM foo;
CREATE VIEW dead_view AS
SELECT *
FROM foo @DELETE(2);

These view declarations do very little. We only need the view names so we can legally drop the views. We create the views elsewhere.

CREATE INDEX index_still_present ON table2 (name1, name2);
CREATE INDEX index_going_away ON table2 (name3) @DELETE(3);

Just like views, these declarations introduce the index names and nothing else.

CREATE TRIGGER trigger_one
AFTER INSERT ON foo
BEGIN
DELETE FROM table2 WHERE table2.id = new.id;
END;

We have only the one trigger, we declare it here.

-- facets table declaration --
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS test_cql_schema_facets(
facet TEXT NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
version LONG INTEGER NOT NULL
);

This is where we will store everything we know about the current state of the schema. Below we define a few helper procs for reading and writing that table and reading sqlite_master

-- saved facets table declaration --
CREATE TEMP TABLE test_cql_schema_facets_saved(
facet TEXT NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
version LONG INTEGER NOT NULL
);

We will snapshot the facets table at the start of the run so that we can produce a summary of the changes at the end of the run. This table will hold that snapshot.

NOTE: the prefix "test" was specified when this file was built so all the methods and tables begin with test_.

Helper Procedures

-- helper proc for testing for the presence of a column/type
CREATE PROCEDURE test_check_column_exists(table_name TEXT NOT NULL,
decl TEXT NOT NULL,
OUT present BOOL NOT NULL)
BEGIN
SET present := (SELECT EXISTS(SELECT * FROM sqlite_master
WHERE tbl_name = table_name AND sql GLOB decl));
END;

check_column_exists inspects sqlite_master and returns true if a column matching decl exists.

-- helper proc for creating the schema version table
CREATE PROCEDURE test_create_cql_schema_facets_if_needed()
BEGIN
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS test_cql_schema_facets(
facet TEXT NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
version LONG INTEGER NOT NULL
);
END;

Here we actually create the cql_schema_facets table with DDL inside a proc. In a non-schema-upgrade script the above would give a name conflict.

-- helper proc for saving the schema version table
CREATE PROCEDURE test_save_cql_schema_facets()
BEGIN
DROP TABLE IF EXISTS test_cql_schema_facets_saved;
CREATE TEMP TABLE test_cql_schema_facets_saved(
facet TEXT NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
version LONG INTEGER NOT NULL
);
INSERT INTO test_cql_schema_facets_saved
SELECT * FROM test_cql_schema_facets;
END;

The save_sql_schema_facets procedure simply makes a snapshot of the current facets table. Later we use this snapshot to report the differences by joining these tables.

-- helper proc for setting the schema version of a facet
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_set_facet_version(_facet TEXT NOT NULL,
_version LONG INTEGER NOT NULL)
BEGIN
INSERT OR REPLACE INTO test_cql_schema_facets (facet, version)
VALUES(_facet, _version);
END;
-- helper proc for getting the schema version of a facet
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_get_facet_version(_facet TEXT NOT NULL,
out _version LONG INTEGER NOT NULL)
BEGIN
BEGIN TRY
SET _version := (SELECT version FROM test_cql_schema_facets
WHERE facet = _facet LIMIT 1);
END TRY;
BEGIN CATCH
SET _version := 0;
END CATCH;
END;

The two procs cql_get_facet_version and cql_set_facet_version do just what you would expect. Note the use of try and catch to return a default value if the select fails.

There are two additional helper procedures that do essentially the same thing using a schema version index. These two methods exist only to avoid unnecessary repeated string literals in the output file which cause bloat.

-- helper proc for getting the schema version CRC for a version index
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_get_version_crc(_v INTEGER NOT NULL,
out _crc LONG INTEGER NOT NULL)
BEGIN
BEGIN TRY
SET _crc := (SELECT version FROM test_cql_schema_facets
WHERE facet = 'cql_schema_v'||_v LIMIT 1);
END TRY;
BEGIN CATCH
SET _crc := -1;
END CATCH;
END;
-- helper proc for setting the schema version CRC for a version index
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_set_version_crc(_v INTEGER NOT NULL,
_crc LONG INTEGER NOT NULL)
BEGIN
INSERT OR REPLACE INTO test_cql_schema_facets (facet, version)
VALUES('cql_schema_v'||_v, _crc);
END;

As you can see, these procedures are effectively specializations of cql_get_facet_version and cql_set_facet_version where the facet name is computed from the integer.

Triggers require some special processing. There are so-called "legacy" triggers that crept into the system. These begin with tr__ and they do not have proper tombstones. In fact some are from early versions of CQL before they were properly tracked. To fix any old databases that have these in them, we delete all triggers that start with tr__. Note we have to use the GLOB operator to do this, because _ is the LIKE wildcard.

-- helper proc to reset any triggers that are on the old plan --
DECLARE PROCEDURE cql_exec_internal(sql TEXT NOT NULL) USING TRANSACTION;
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_drop_legacy_triggers()
BEGIN
DECLARE C CURSOR FOR SELECT name from sqlite_master
WHERE type = 'trigger' AND name GLOB 'tr__*';
LOOP FETCH C
BEGIN
call cql_exec_internal(printf('DROP TRIGGER %s;', C.name));
END;
END;

Baseline Schema

The 'baseline' or 'v0' schema is unannotated (no @create or @recreate). The first real schema management procedures are for creating and dropping these tables.

CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_install_baseline_schema()
BEGIN
CREATE TABLE foo(
id INTEGER NOT NULL,
rate LONG_INT,
rate_2 LONG_INT
);
CREATE TABLE table2(
id INTEGER NOT NULL
);
END;
-- helper proc for dropping baseline tables before installing the baseline schema
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_drop_baseline_tables()
BEGIN
DROP TABLE IF EXISTS foo;
DROP TABLE IF EXISTS table2;
END;

Migration Procedures

The next section declares the migration procedures that were in the schema. These are expected to be defined elsewhere.

-- declared upgrade procedures if any
DECLARE proc CreateName1Proc() USING TRANSACTION;
DECLARE proc CreateName2Proc() USING TRANSACTION;
DECLARE proc CreateId2Proc() USING TRANSACTION;
DECLARE proc DeleteRate2Proc() USING TRANSACTION;

The code below will refer to these migration procedures. We emit a declaration so that we can use the names in context. NOTE: USING TRANSACTION when applied to a proc declaration simply means the proc will access the database so it needs to be provided with a sqlite3 *db parameter.

Views

-- drop all the views we know
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_drop_all_views()
BEGIN
DROP VIEW IF EXISTS live_view;
DROP VIEW IF EXISTS another_live_view;
DROP VIEW IF EXISTS dead_view;
END;
-- create all the views we know
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_create_all_views()
BEGIN
CREATE VIEW live_view AS
SELECT *
FROM foo;
CREATE VIEW another_live_view AS
SELECT *
FROM foo;
END;

View migration is done by dropping all views and putting all views back.

NOTE: dead_view was not created, but we did try to drop it if it existed.

Indices

-- drop all the indices that are deleted or changing
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_drop_indices()
BEGIN
DECLARE index_crc LONG INTEGER NOT NULL;
CALL test_cql_get_facet_version('index_still_present_index_crc', index_crc);
IF index_crc <> -6823087563145941851 THEN
DROP INDEX IF EXISTS index_still_present;
END IF;
DROP INDEX IF EXISTS index_going_away;
END;
-- create all the indices we need
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_create_indices()
BEGIN
DECLARE index_crc LONG INTEGER NOT NULL;
CALL test_cql_get_facet_version('index_still_present_index_crc', index_crc);
IF index_crc <> -6823087563145941851 THEN
CREATE INDEX index_still_present ON table2 (name1, name2);
CALL test_cql_set_facet_version('index_still_present_index_crc', -6823087563145941851);
END IF;
END;

Indices are processed similarly to views, however we do not want to drop indices that are not changing. Therefore we compute the CRC of the index definition. At the start of the script any indices that are condemned (e.g. index_going_away) are dropped as well as any that have a new CRC. At the end of migration, changed or new indices are (re)created using cql_create_indices.

Triggers

- drop all the triggers we know
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_drop_all_triggers()
BEGIN
CALL test_cql_drop_legacy_triggers();
DROP TRIGGER IF EXISTS trigger_one;
END;
-- create all the triggers we know
CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_create_all_triggers()
BEGIN
CREATE TRIGGER trigger_one
AFTER INSERT ON foo
BEGIN
DELETE FROM table2 WHERE table2.id = new.id;
END;
END;

Triggers are always dropped before migration begins and are re-instated quite late in the processing as we will see below.

Main Migration Script

The main script orchestrates everything. There are inline comments for all of it. The general order of events is:

  • create schema facets table if needed
  • check main schema crc, if it matches we're done here, otherwise continue...

These operations are done in test_perform_needed_upgrades

  • drop all views
  • drop condemned indices
  • fetch the current schema version
  • if version 0 then install the baseline schema (see below)
  • for each schema version with changes do the following:
    • create any tables that need to be created in this version
    • add any columns that need to be added in this version
    • run migration procs in this order:
      • create table
      • create column
      • delete trigger
      • delete view
      • delete index
      • delete column
      • delete table
    • drop any tables that need to be dropped in this version
    • mark schema upgraded to the current version so far, proceed to the next version
    • each partial step is also marked as completed so it can be skipped if the script is run again
  • create all the views
  • (re)create any indices that changed and are not dead
  • set the schema CRC to the current CRC

That's it... the details are below.

CREATE PROCEDURE test_perform_needed_upgrades()
BEGIN
DECLARE column_exists BOOL NOT NULL;
DECLARE facet_version LONG INTEGER NOT NULL;
DECLARE schema_version LONG INTEGER NOT NULL;
-- save the current facets so we can diff them later --
CALL test_save_cql_schema_facets();
-- dropping all views --
CALL test_cql_drop_all_views();
-- dropping condemned or changing indices --
CALL test_cql_drop_all_indices();
-- dropping condemned or changing triggers --
CALL test_cql_drop_all_triggers();
-- fetch current schema version --
CALL test_cql_get_facet_version('cql_schema_version', schema_version);
---- install baseline schema if needed ----
IF schema_version == -1 THEN
CALL test_cql_drop_baseline_tables();
CALL test_cql_install_baseline_schema();
CALL test_cql_set_facet_version('cql_schema_version', 0);
END IF;
---- upgrade to schema version 2 ----
CALL test_cql_get_version_crc(2, schema_version);
IF schema_version != 5380988243166701961 THEN
-- altering table table2 to add column name1 TEXT;
CALL test_check_column_exists('table2', '*[( ]name1 TEXT*', column_exists);
IF NOT column_exists THEN
ALTER TABLE table2 ADD COLUMN name1 TEXT;
END IF;
-- altering table table2 to add column name2 TEXT;
CALL test_check_column_exists('table2', '*[( ]name2 TEXT*', column_exists);
IF NOT column_exists THEN
ALTER TABLE table2 ADD COLUMN name2 TEXT;
END IF;
-- altering table table2 to add column name3 TEXT;
CALL test_check_column_exists('table2', '*[( ]name3 TEXT*', column_exists);
IF NOT column_exists THEN
ALTER TABLE table2 ADD COLUMN name3 TEXT;
END IF;
-- altering table table2 to add column name4 TEXT;
CALL test_check_column_exists('table2', '*[( ]name4 TEXT*', column_exists);
IF NOT column_exists THEN
ALTER TABLE table2 ADD COLUMN name4 TEXT;
END IF;
-- data migration procedures
CALL test_cql_get_facet_version('CreateName1Proc', facet_version);
IF facet_version = 0 THEN
CALL CreateName1Proc();
CALL test_cql_set_facet_version('CreateName1Proc', 2);
END IF;
CALL test_cql_get_facet_version('CreateName2Proc', facet_version);
IF facet_version = 0 THEN
CALL CreateName2Proc();
CALL test_cql_set_facet_version('CreateName2Proc', 2);
END IF;
CALL test_cql_set_version_crc(2, 5380988243166701961);
END IF;
---- upgrade to schema version 3 ----
CALL test_cql_get_version_crc(3, schema_version);
IF schema_version != -1945462407517765645 THEN
-- creating table added_table
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS added_table(
id INTEGER NOT NULL,
name1 TEXT
);
CALL test_cql_set_version_crc(3, -1945462407517765645);
END IF;
---- upgrade to schema version 4 ----
CALL test_cql_get_version_crc(4, schema_version);
IF schema_version != -4889894059346952297 THEN
-- altering table added_table to add column name2 TEXT;
CALL test_check_column_exists('added_table', '*[( ]name2 TEXT*', column_exists);
IF NOT column_exists THEN
ALTER TABLE added_table ADD COLUMN name2 TEXT;
END IF;
-- altering table foo to add column id2 INTEGER;
CALL test_check_column_exists('foo', '*[( ]id2 INTEGER*', column_exists);
IF NOT column_exists THEN
ALTER TABLE foo ADD COLUMN id2 INTEGER DEFAULT 12345;
END IF;
-- logical delete of column rate_2 from foo; -- no ddl
-- data migration procedures
CALL test_cql_get_facet_version('CreateId2Proc', facet_version);
IF facet_version = 0 THEN
CALL CreateId2Proc();
CALL test_cql_set_facet_version('CreateId2Proc', 4);
END IF;
CALL test_cql_get_facet_version('DeleteRate2Proc', facet_version);
IF facet_version = 0 THEN
CALL DeleteRate2Proc();
CALL test_cql_set_facet_version('DeleteRate2Proc', 4);
END IF;
CALL test_cql_set_version_crc(4, -4889894059346952297);
END IF;
---- upgrade to schema version 5 ----
CALL test_cql_get_version_crc(5, schema_version);
IF schema_version != 5720357430811880771 THEN
-- altering table foo to add column name TEXT;
CALL test_check_column_exists('foo', '*[( ]name TEXT*', column_exists);
IF NOT column_exists THEN
ALTER TABLE foo ADD COLUMN name TEXT;
END IF;
-- logical delete of column rate from foo; -- no ddl
-- dropping table added_table
DROP TABLE IF EXISTS added_table;
CALL test_cql_set_version_crc(5, 5720357430811880771);
END IF;
---- upgrade to schema version 6 ----
CALL test_cql_get_version_crc(6, schema_version);
IF schema_version != 3572608284749506390 THEN
-- altering table foo to add column name_2 TEXT;
CALL test_check_column_exists('foo', '*[( ]name_2 TEXT*', column_exists);
IF NOT column_exists THEN
ALTER TABLE foo ADD COLUMN name_2 TEXT;
END IF;
CALL test_cql_set_version_crc(6, 3572608284749506390);
END IF;
CALL test_cql_create_all_views();
CALL test_cql_create_all_indices();
CALL test_cql_create_all_triggers();
CALL test_cql_set_facet_version('cql_schema_version', 6);
CALL test_cql_set_facet_version('cql_schema_crc', -7714030317354747478);
-- finally produce the list of differences
SELECT T1.facet FROM
test_cql_schema_facets T1
LEFT OUTER JOIN test_cql_schema_facets_saved T2
ON T1.facet = T2.facet
WHERE T1.version is not T2.version;
END;

This is the main function for upgrades, it checks only the master schema version. This function is separate so that the normal startup path doesn't have to have the code for the full upgrade case in it. This lets linker order files do a superior job (since full upgrade is the rare case).

CREATE PROCEDURE test()
BEGIN
DECLARE schema_crc LONG INTEGER NOT NULL;
-- create schema facets information table --
CALL test_create_cql_schema_facets_if_needed();
-- fetch the last known schema crc, if it's different do the upgrade --
CALL test_cql_get_facet_version('cql_schema_crc', schema_crc);
IF schema_crc <> -7714030317354747478 THEN
-- save the current facets so we can diff them later --
CALL test_perform_needed_upgrades();
ELSE
-- some canonical result for no differences --
SELECT 'no differences' facet;
END IF;
END;

Temp Tables

We had no temporary tables in this schema, but if there were some they get added to the schema after the upgrade check.

A procedure like this one is generated:

CREATE PROCEDURE test_cql_install_temp_schema()
BEGIN
CREATE TEMP TABLE tempy(
id INTEGER
);
END;

This entry point can be used any time you need the temp tables. But normally it is automatically invoked.

---- install temp schema after upgrade is complete ----
CALL test_cql_install_temp_schema();

That logic is emitted at the end of the test procedure.

Schema Regions

Schema Regions are designed to let you declare your schema in logical regions whose dependencies are specified. It enforces the dependencies you specify creating errors if you attempt to break the declared rules. Schema regions allow you to generate upgrade scripts for parts of your schema that can compose and be guaranteed to remain self-consistent.

Details

In many cases schema can be factored into logical and independent islands. This is desireable for a number of reasons:

  • so that the schema can go into different databases
  • so that the schema can be upgraded on a different schedule
  • so that "not relevant" schema can be omitted from distributions
  • so that parts of your schema that have no business knowing about each other can be prevented from taking dependencies on each other

These all have very real applications:

E.g. Your Application has an on-disk and an in-memory database

This creates basically three schema regions:

  1. on disk: which cannot refer to the in-memory at all
  2. in-memory: which cannot refer to the on-disk schema at all
  3. cross-db: which refers to both, also in memory (optional)
Your Application Needs To Upgrade Each of the Above

There must be a separate upgrade script for both the island databases and yet a different one for the "cross-db" database

Your Customer Doesn't Want The Kitchen Sink of Schema

If you're making a library with database support, your customers likely want to be able to create databases that have only features they want; you will want logical parts within your schema that can be separated for cleanliness and distribution.

Declaring Regions and Dependencies

Schema Regions let you create logical groupings, you simply declare the regions you want and then start putting things into those regions. The regions form a directed acyclic graph -- just like C++ base classes. You create regions like this:

@declare_schema_region root;
@declare_schema_region extra using root;

The above simply declares the region, it doesn't put anything into them. In this case we now have a root region and an extra region. The root schema items will not be allowed to refer to anything in extra.

Without regions, you could also ensure that the above is true by putting all the extra items afer the root in the input file but things can get more complicated than that in general, and the schema might also be in several files, complicating ordering as the option. Also relying on order could be problematic as it is quite easy to put things in the wrong place (e.g. add a new root item after the extra items). Making this a bit more complicated, we could have:

@declare_schema_region feature1 using extra;
@declare_schema_region feature2 using extra;
@declare_schema_region everything using feature1, feature2;

And now there are many paths to root from the everything region; that's ok but certainly it will be tricky to do all that with ordering.

Using Regions

An illustrative example, using the regions defined above:

@begin_schema_region root;
create table main(
id integer,
name text
);
create view names as select name from main order by name;
@end_schema_region;
@begin_schema_region extra;
create table details(
id integer references main(id),
details text
);
create proc get_detail(integer id_)
begin
select T1.id, T1.details, T2.name from details T1
inner join main T2 on T1.id = T2.id
where T1.id = id_;
end;
@end_schema_region;
@begin_schema_region feature1;
create table f1(
id integer references details(id),
f1_info text
);
create proc get_detail(integer id_)
begin
select T1.id, T1.details, T2.name, f1_info from details T1
inner join f T2 on T1.id = T2.id
inner join f1 on f1.id = T1.id
where T1.id = id_;
end;
@end_schema_region;
@begin_schema_region feature2;
-- you can use details, and main but not f1
@end_schema_region;

With the structure above specified, even if a new contribution to the root schema appears later, the rules enforce that this region cannot refer to anything other other things in root. This can be very important if schema is being included via #include and might get pulled into the compilation in various orders. A feature area might also have a named public region that others things can depend on (e.g. some views) and private regions (e.g. some tables, or whatever).

Region Visibility

Schema region do not provide additional name spaces, the names of objects should be unique across all regions. i.e. regions do not hide or scope entity names, rather they create errors if inappropriate names are used.

Case 1: The second line will fail semantic validation because table A already exists

-- obvious standard name conflict
create table A (id integer);
create table A (id integer, name text);

Case 2: This fails for the same reason as case #1. Table A already exists

@declare_region root;
-- table A is in no region
create table A (id integer);
@begin_region root:
-- this table A is in the root region, still an error
create table A (id integer, name text);
@end_region;

Case 3: Again fails for the same reason as case #1. Table A already exist in region extra, you can not define another table with the same name in another region.

@declare_region root;
@declare_region extra;
@begin_region extra;
-- so far so good
create table A (id integer);
@end_region;
@begin_region root;
-- no joy, this A conflicts with the previous A
create table A (id integer, name text);
@end_region;

Really the visibility rules couldn't be anything other than the above, SQLite has no knowledge of regions at all and so any exotic name resolution would just doom SQLite statements to fail when they finally run.

Exception for "... LIKE <table>" statement

The rules above are enforced for all constructs except for where the syntactic sugar ... LIKE <table> forms, which can happen in a variety of statement. This form doesn't create a dependence on the table (but does create a dependence on its shape). When CQL generates output the LIKE construct is replaced with the actual names of columns it refers to. But these are independent columns, so this is simply a typing-saver. The table (or view, cursor, etc.) reference will be gone.

These cases below will succeed.

@declare_region root;
create table A (...);
create view B (....);
create procedure C {...}
@begin_region root;
create table AA(LIKE A);
create table BB(LIKE B);
create table CC(LIKE C);
@end_region;

Note: this exception may end up causing maintenance problems and so it might be revisited in the future.

Maintaining Schema in Pieces

When creating upgrade scripts using the --rt schema_upgrade flags you can add region options --include_regions a b c and --exclude_regions d e f per the following:

Included regions:

  • included regions must be valid region names, the base types are walked to compute all the regions that are "in"
  • declarations are emitted in the upgrade for all of the "in" objects, "exclude" does not affect the declarations

Excluded regions:

  • excluded regions must be valid region names and indicate parts of schema that are upgraded elsewhere, perhaps with a seperate CQL run, a different automatic upgrade, or even a manual mechanism
  • upgrade code will be generated for all the included schema, but not for the excluded regions and their contents

Example: Referring to the regions above you might do something like this

# All of these also need a --global_proc param for the entry point but that's not relevant here
cql --in schema.sql --cg shared.sql --rt schema_upgrade --include_regions extra
cql --in schema.sql --cg f1.cql --rt schema_upgrade --include_regions feature1 --exclude_regions extra
cql --in schema.sql --cg f2.cql --rt schema_upgrade --include_regions feature2 --exclude_regions extra

The first command generates all the shared schema for regions root and extra because extra contains root

The second command declares all of root and extra so that the feature1 things can refer to them, however the upgrade code for these shared regions is not emitted. Only the upgrade for schema in feature1 is emitted. feature2 is completely absent. This will be ok because we know feature1 cannot depend on feature2 and extra is assumed to be upgraded elsewhere (such as in the previous line).

The third command declares all of root and extra so that the feature2 things can refer to them, however the upgrade code for these shared regions is not emitted. Only the upgrade for schema in feature2 is emitted. feature1 is completely absent.

Note that in the above examples CQL is generating more CQL to be compiled again (a common pattern). The CQL upgrade scripts need to be compiled as usual to produce executable code. Thus the output of this form includes the schema declarations and executable DDL.

Schema Not In Any Region

For schema that is not in any region you might imagine that it is a special region <none> that depends on everything. So basically you can put anything there. Schema that is in any region cannot ever refer to schema that is in <none>.

When upgrading, if any include regions are specified then <none> will not be emitted at all. If you want an upgrader for just <none> this is possible with an assortment of exclusions. You can always create arbitrary grouping regions to make this easier. A region named any that uses all other regions would make this simple.

In general, best practice is that there is no schema in <none>, but since most SQL code has no regions some sensible meaning has to be given to DDL before it gets region encodings.

Deployable Regions

Given the above we note that some schema regions correspond to the way that we will deploy the schema, we want those bundles to be safe to deploy but to so we need a new notion -- a deployable region. To make this possible CQL includes the following:

  • You can declare a region as deployable using @declare_deployable_region
  • CQL computes the covering of a deployable region: its transitive closure up to but not including any deployable regions it references
  • No region is allowed to depend on a region that is within the interior of a different deployable region, but you can depend on the deployable region itself

Because of the above, each deployable region is in fact a well defined root for the regions it contains. The deployable region becomes the canonical way in which a bundle of regions (and their content) is deployed and any given schema item can be in only one deployable region.

Motivation and Examples

As we saw above, regions are logical groupings of tables/views/etc such that if an entity is in some region R then it is allowed to only refer to the things that R declared as dependencies D1, D2, etc. and their transitive closure. You can make as many logical regions as you like and you can make them as razor thin as you like; they have no physical reality but they let you make as many logical groups of things as you might want.

Additionally, when we’re deploying schema you generally need to do it in several pieces. E.g. if we have tables that go in an in-memory database then defining a region that holds all the in-memory tables makes it easy to say put all those in memory tables into a particular deployment script.

Now we come to the reason for deployable regions. From CQL’s perspective all regions are simply logical groups, some grouping that is meaningful to programmers but has no physical reality. This means you’re free to reorganize tables etc. as you see fit into new or different regions when things should move. Only that’s not quite true. The fact that we deploy our schema in certain ways means while most logical moves are totally fine, if you were to move a table from say the main database region to the in-memory region you would be causing a major problem. Some installations may already have the table in the main area and there would be nothing left in the schema to tell CQL to drop the table from the main database -- the best you can hope for is the new location gets a copy of the table the old location keeps it and now there are name conflicts forever.

So, the crux of the problem is this. We want to let you move schema freely between logical regions however it makes sense to you but once you pick the region you are going to be deployed in, you can’t change that.

To do this, CQL needs to know that some of the regions are deployable regions and there have to be rules so that it all makes sense. Importantly, every region has to be contained in at most one deployable region.

Since the regions form a DAG we must create an error if any region could ever roll up to two different deployable regions. The easiest way to describe this rule is “no peeking” – the contents of a deployable region are “private” they can refer to each other in any dag shape but outside of the deployable region you can only refer to its root. So you can still compose them but each deployable region owns a well defined covering. Note you can make as many fine-grained deployable regions as you want, you don’t actually have to deploy them separately, but you get stronger rules about the sharing.

Here’s an example:

Master Deployment 1
Feature 1 (Deployable)
logical regions for feature 1
Core (Deployable)
logical regions for core
Feature 2 (Deployable)
logical regions for feature 2
Core
...
Master Deployment 2
Feature 1 (Deployable)
...
Feature 3 (Deployable)
logical regions for feature 3

In the above:

  • none of the logical regions for feature 1, 2, 3 are allowed to refer to logical regions in any other feature, any of them could refer to Core (but not directly to what is inside Core)
  • within those regions you can make any set of groupings that makes sense and change them over time as you see fit
  • any such regions are not allowed to move to a different Feature group (because those are deployment regions)
  • the Master Deployment regions just group features in ways we’d like to deploy them, in this case there are two deployments one that includes Feature 1 & 2 and another that includes Feature 1 & 3
  • the deployable region boundaries are preventing Feature 1 regions from using Feature 2 regions in an ad hoc way (i.e. you can't cheat by taking a direct dependency on something inside a different feature), but both Features can use Core
  • Feature 3 doesn’t use Core but Core will still be in Master Deployment 2 due to Feature 1

Note that the deployable regions for Feature 1, 2, and 3 aren't actually deployed alone, but they are adding enforcement that makes the features cleaner

Because of how upgrades work, “Core” could have its own upgrader. Then when you create the upgrader for Master Deployment 1 and 2 you can specify “exclude Core” in which case those tables are assumed to be updated independently. You could create as many or as few independently upgrade-able things with this pattern. Because regions are not allowed to "peek" inside of a deployable region, you can reorganize your logical regions without breaking other parts of the schema.

Private Regions

The above constructs create a good basis for creating and composing regions, but a key missing aspect is the ability to hide internal details in the logical groups. This becomes increasingly important as your desire to modularize schema grows; you will want to have certain parts that can change without worrying about breaking others and without fear that there are foreign keys and so forth to them.

To accomplish this CQL provides the ability to compose schema regions with the optional private keyword. In the following example there will be three regions creatively named r1, r2, and r3. Region r2 consumes r1 privately and therefore r3 is not allowed to use things in r1 even though it consumes r2. When creating an upgrade script for r3 you will still need (and will get) all of r2 and r1, but from a visibility perspective r3 can only directly depend on r2.

@declare_schema_region r1;
@declare_schema_region r2 using r1 private;
@declare_schema_region r3 using r2;
@begin_schema_region r1;
create table r1_table(id integer primary key);
@end_schema_region;
@begin_schema_region r2;
create table r2_table(id integer primary key references r1_table(id));
@end_schema_region;
@begin_schema_region r3;
-- this is OK
create table r3_table_2(id integer primary key references r2_table(id));
-- this is an error, no peeking into r1
create table r3_table_1(id integer primary key references r1_table(id));
@end_schema_region;

As expected r2 is still allowed to use r1 because your private regions are not private from yourself. So you may think it’s easy to work around this privacy by simply declaring a direct dependency on r1 wherever you need it.

@declare_schema_region my_sneaky_region using r1, other_stuff_I_need;

That would seem to make it all moot. However, this is where deployable regions come in. Once you bundle your logical regions in a deployable region there’s no more peeking inside the the deployable region. So we could strengthen the above to:

@declare_deployable_region r2 using r1 private;

Once this is done it becomes an error to try to make new regions that peek into r2; you have to take all of r2 or none of it -- and you can’t see the private parts. Of course you can do region wrapping at any level so you can have as many subgroups as you like, whatever is useful. You can even add additional deployable regions that aren’t actually deployed to get the "hardened" grouping at no cost.

So, in summary, to get true privacy first make whatever logical regions you like that are helpful. Put privacy where you need/want it. Import logical regions as much as you want in your own bundle of regions. Then wrap that bundle up in a deployable region (they nest) and then your private regions are safe from unwanted usage.

Last updated on by Rico Mariani