I've arrived at the point where I realise that I must start versioning my database schemata and changes. I consequently read the existing posts on SO about that topic but I'm not sure how to proceed.

I'm basically a one man company and not long ago I didn't even use version control for my code. I'm on a windows environment, using Aptana (IDE) and SVN (with Tortoise). I work on PHP/mysql projects.

What's a efficient and sufficient (no overkill) way to version my database schemata?

I do have a freelancer or two in some projects but I don't expect a lot of branching and merging going on. So basically I would like to keep track of concurrent schemata to my code revisions.

[edit] Momentary solution: for the moment I decided I will just make a schema dump plus one with the necessary initial data whenever I'm going to commit a tag (stable version). That seems to be just enough for me at the current stage.[/edit]

[edit2]plus I'm now also using a third file called increments.sql where I put all the changes with dates, etc. to make it easy to trace the change history in one file. from time to time I integrate the changes into the two other files and empty the increments.sql[/edit]

Accepted Answer

Simple way for a small company: dump your database to SQL and add it to your repository. Then every time you change something, add the changes in the dump file.

You can then use diff to see changes between versions, not to mention have comments explaining your changes. This will also make you virtually immune to MySQL upgrades.

The one downside I've seen to this is that you have to remember to manually add the SQL to your dumpfile. You can train yourself to always remember, but be careful if you work with others. Missing an update could be a pain later on.

This could be mitigated by creating some elaborate script to do it for you when submitting to subversion but it's a bit much for a one man show.

Edit: In the year that's gone by since this answer, I've had to implement a versioning scheme for MySQL for a small team. Manually adding each change was seen as a cumbersome solution, much like it was mentioned in the comments, so we went with dumping the database and adding that file to version control.

What we found was that test data was ending up in the dump and was making it quite difficult to figure out what had changed. This could be solved by dumping the schema only, but this was impossible for our projects since our applications depended on certain data in the database to function. Eventually we returned to manually adding changes to the database dump.

Not only was this the simplest solution, but it also solved certain issues that some versions of MySQL have with exporting/importing. Normally we would have to dump the development database, remove any test data, log entries, etc, remove/change certain names where applicable and only then be able to create the production database. By manually adding changes we could control exactly what would end up in production, a little at a time, so that in the end everything was ready and moving to the production environment was as painless as possible.

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