A project often undergoes changes related to database schema during course of its development. It may also require patching of existing data. Frappe comes with a migration and patch system tools to handle these scenarios.
When there are schema changes in your app, to migrate your existing site's database to the new schema, you should run the command.
bench --site [sitename] migrate
You can edit a DocType to add, remove or change fields. On saving a DocType, a JSON file containing the DocType data is added to source tree of your app. When you add an app to a site, the DocTypes are installed (database tables are created) using this JSON file.
For making schema changes, you must enable Developer Mode.
On running a
migrate, all apps migrate to their current version. First, we run the "before_migrate" hook to sync user permissions. Then the actual patches are run, which migrate the various apps. After this, we sync the following components:
- Database Schema
- Background Jobs
- Fixtures [Read more]
- Dashboards, Desktop Icons and Web Pages
- Updates Translations
- Rebuild Search Index for all routes
Particularly for DocTypes, we compare the MD5 hash of each DocType JSON with the hashes we have stored in the DocType database table. If the hashes don't match, we reload the particular DocType. This technique is called checksum comparison, you can learn more about it here. Finally, we run a "after_migrate" hook to finish the migration. You can find the commands run for the individual processes at bench-site-commands
Note: Up Until
v13DocTypes were synced based on the modified timestamps in the JSON file. This method was error-prone so we moved to the more robust hash comparison method. You can read more about it here
When you remove or rename fields in the DocType, the corresponding database columns are not removed from the database table, but they will not be visible in the form view. This is done to avoid any potential data loss situations and to allow you write related data migrations (patches) which might need values from old fields.
Frappe doesn't support reverse schema migrations.
On introducing data related changes, you might want to run one off scripts to change existing data to match expectations as per new code. We call these scripts patch in frappe.
Writing a patch
To write a patch, you must write an
execute method in a python script and add
patches.txt of your app.
It is recommended to make a file with a patch number and name in its path and
add it to a patches package (directory) in your app. You can then add a line
with dotted path to the patch module to
The directory structure followed in Frappe is as below
frappe └── patches └── v12_0 └── my_awesome_patch.py
The patch can then be added to
patches.txt by its dotted path.
Schema during patch
The DocType meta available in the execute function will be as per the old JSON. This is so that you can write migration code assuming you still have the old fields. After the patch is run, the new schema is applied to the DocType.
If you want to have the new schema during your patch execution, use the
import frappe def execute(): frappe.reload_doc(module_name, "doctype", doctype_name) # your patch code here
One off Python statements
You can also add one off python statements in
patches.txt using the syntax,
frappe.patches.v12_0.my_awesome_patch execute:frappe.delete_doc('Page', 'applications', ignore_missing=True)
Patch execution order
Patches run in the order they are defined. All lines in
patches.txt have to be
unique. If a patch has been run before, it won't run again. If you want to run a
patch again, add a comment that will make the line appear as new.