Database Migrations

Every bundle potentially brings his own database operations : to persist entities, developers have to create database schema, creating indexes,...

Those schema might be changed (the less is the better) from time to time.

Consequence: each bundle should bring his own migration files, which will bring the database consistent with the operation you will run in your code. They will be gathered into the app installation, ready to be executed by the chill’s installer.

Currently, we use doctrine migration to manage those migration files. A composer script located in the chill standard component will copy the migrations from your bundle to the doctrne migration’s excepted directory after each install and/or update operation.

See also

The doctrine migration documentation
Learn concepts about migrations files and scripts and the doctrine ORM
The doctrine migration bundle documentation
Learn about doctrine migration integration with Symfony framework

Shipping migration files

Migrations files should be shipped under the Resource/migrations directory. You could customize the migration directory by adding extra information in your composer.json:

"extra": {
        "migration-source": "path/to/my/dir"

The class namespace should be ApplicationMigrations, as expected by doctrine migration. Only the files which will be executed by doctrine migration will be moved: they must have the pattern VersionYYYYMMDDHHMMSS.php where YYYY is the year, MM the month, DD the day, HH the hour, MM the month and SS the second of creation.

They will be moved automatically by composer when you install or update a bundle.

Executing migration files

The installers will have to execute migrations files manually, running

php app/console doctrine:migrations:status #will give the current status of the database
php app/console doctrine:migrations:migrate #process the update

Updating migration files


After an installation, migration files will be executed and registered as executed in the database (the version timestamp is recorded into the migrations_versions table). If you update your migration file code, the file will still be considered as “executed” by doctrine migration, which will not offers the possibility to run the migration again.

Consequently, updating migration file should only be considered during development phase, and not published on public git branches. If you want to edit your database schema, you should create a new migration file, with a new timestamp, which will proceed to your schema adaptations.

Every time a migration file is discovered, the composer’script will check if the migration exists in the local migration directory. If yes, the script will compare two file for changes (using a md5 hash). If migrations are discovered, the script will ask the installer to know if he must replace the file or ignore it.


You can manually run composer script by launching composer run-script post-update-cmd from your root chill installation’s directory.

Tips for development

Migration and data

Each time you create a migration script, you should ensure that it will not lead to data losing. Eventually, feel free to use intermediate steps.


You can generate migration file from the command line, using those commands:

  • php app/console doctrine:migrations:diff to generate a migration file by comparing your current database to your mapping information
  • php app/console doctrine:migrations:generate to generate a blank migration file.

Those files will be located into app/DoctrineMigrations directory. You will have to copy those file to your the directory Resource/migrations into your bundle directory.

Comments and documentation

As files are copied from your bundle to the app/DoctrineMigrations directory, the link between your bundle and the copied file will be unclear. Please add all relevant documentation which will allow future developers to make a link between your file and your bundle.

Inside the script

The script which move the migrations files to app directory might be found here.