Quick tip: automatically applying Liquibase changesets to HSQL

4.4.2013 | 2 minutes of reading time

This is a quick tip for usage of Liquibase with HSQL. You may use the former tool for relational database schema migrations and the latter as in-memory database on the developers’ machines. Today, with feature branches and project customisation, i.e. changes that are specific for a single customer, you may have to shutdown the database, restart and reapply the migrations on a regular basis. Of course, this is a task that can be automated!

Typical situation: you are working on the project’s main development branch, but you now wish to review a colleague’s new feature, which has been developed in a feature branch. You switch to the feature branch, start the server, open the application and BAM, an exception occurs due a failed schema validation. The reason: your colleague made some schema changes in the feature branch that you forgot to apply.

Improving your Liquibase and HSQL workflow is rather simple: restart the database whenever the schema changes and apply the migrations! This is how you can do it in bash (sorry Windows users).

2set -e
7if [[ $1 = "customisation" ]]; then
8    echo "Using customer specific changelogs..."
9    PROJECT="$PROJECT_REPO/customisation"
11    echo "Using default changelogs..."
12    PROJECT="$PROJECT_REPO/database"
15control_c() {
16    kill $HSQL_PID
17    exit
19trap control_c SIGHUP SIGINT SIGTERM 0
21start() {
22    # Start HSQL
23    java -cp "$M2_REPO/org/hsqldb/hsqldb/2.2.9/hsqldb-2.2.9.jar" \
24         org.hsqldb.Server \
25         -database.0 mem:myDB \
26         -dbname.0 myDB &
27    HSQL_PID=$!
29    # Schema update
30    mvn -f "$PROJECT/pom.xml" liquibase:update -Plocal --no-snapshot-updates
35while true; do
36    if hash inotifywait 2>/dev/null; then
37        WATCH_DIR="$PROJECT/src/changelogs"
38        echo "Watching $WATCH_DIR for changes..."
40        # Wait for changelog changes
41        inotifywait --recursive $WATCH_DIR \
42                    --event modify \
43                    --event move \
44                    --event create \
45                    --event delete
47        # Just a precaution: wait until the VCS is done changing the branch
48        sleep 1
49    else
50        echo "[Press any key to discard the schema and apply a new one...]"
51        read
52    fi
54    # kill HSQL and wait until it is actually shut down
55    kill $HSQL_PID
56    while kill -0 "$HSQL_PID"; do
57        sleep 0.1
58    done
60    start

You need to make sure that you have two environment variables setup. There should be a variable PROJECT_REPO which points to the root directory of your project’s repository and M2_REPO which points to the Maven repository. You may also need to tweak a few paths, e.g. the version of HSQL that you are using as well as the Maven project and profile names. At last, you should install the inotify-tools (unfortunately not available on OS X). inotifywait (part of the inotify-tools) is used to watch the changelog directory for changes. The project’s Wiki has a section on installation .

Once setup, usage is pretty easy: start the script and let it do the rest. When the inotify-tools are not installed, you need to switch to your terminal and hit “the any key” in order to discard the current and apply a new schema.

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