Doctrine migrations gotchas in Symfony

After having wrestled with Doctrine migrations I now have working code and my data is safe. But before I go on with my life I wanted to take a minute and post my findings, with hopes of helping future migraters.

If you are a first time user of Doctrine migrations, I really recommend reading Dennis Benkert’s excellent writeup about it. It really goes through all the basics you need to know and so I will only post a few gotchas here.

Bash script for speed

It’s helpful to setup a reset bash script, so you can quickly test your changes to the generated migration scripts.

php symfony doctrine:drop-db --no-confirmation
php symfony doctrine:build-db
mysql -ua -pb c<dbdump.sql

mysql -ua -pb c -e 'DROP TABLE IF EXISTS `migration_version`'
mysql -ua -pb c -e 'CREATE TABLE `migration_version` (`version` int(11) DEFAULT NULL) ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1'
mysql -ua -pb c -e 'INSERT INTO `migration_version` VALUES (0)'

Replace a with the username, b with the password and c with the database name. Save it as, run chmod +x to make it executable and then run it with ./

Order is everything

If you read through Denderello’s blog post you will notice that he promotes a certain order of doing things. The importance of this order can not be overstated!

1) First you enable migrations by creating the above migration_version table, starting with 0 for its one version value. This is only done the first time you start using Doctrine migrations.

2) Make your changes to schema.yml. If you are overriding or extending the model definitions of plugins, be sure to delete their classes from lib/model/doctrine/sfWhateverPlugin and the equivalent form and filter directories.

3) Generate the migration code with php symfony doctrine:generate-migrations-diff.

4) Run php symfony doctrine:migrate and your data is migrated! Then run php symfony doctrine:build --all-classes to also bring the classes up to date.

Table race conditions

- SQLSTATE[23000]: Integrity constraint violation: 1217 Cannot delete or update a parent row: a foreign key constraint fails. Failing Query: "DROP TABLE group_table"

If you have done everything correctly and this still shows up, you probably have a race condition in your migration code. First check your foreign key constraints with this mysqldump trick:

mysqldump -ua -pb c | grep -i foreign

Then go and edit your migrations. Look for dropTable() calls and see if they are in the correct logical order. Most likely they are not. Fix it and your your speedy migration bash script again.

Foreign key constraints

- SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 1005 Can't create table 'project.#sql-56d_619' (errno: 121). Failing Query: "ALTER TABLE sf_guard_user_challenge ADD CONSTRAINT sf_guard_user_challenge_sf_guard_user_id_sf_guard_user_id FOREIGN KEY (sf_guard_user_id) REFERENCES sf_guard_user(id)"

Be sure to check that all model relations uses the same datatypes for their matching columns. If is a BIGINT then blogpost.category_id must also be a BIGINT.

My particular issue was that sfDoctrineGuardPlugin had changed to BIGINT for all its IDs. This is a good change but not paying attention to it cost me some time.

Moving data

My main objective was to throw out sfFacebookConnectPlugin, in favor of sfMelodyPlugin. The former promoted putting your Facebook IDs in a secondary profile table but now I wanted them directly in my sfGuardUser objects.

For some reason Doctrine generates the destructive dropTable() and addColumn() calls before the constructive createTable() and removeColumn() ones. Since I needed data from the profile table, before dropping it, I switched order for the methods calls.

However this was not enough. It seems Doctrine somehow delays the execution of your database changes. When I tried to put data into my newly created facebook_id column Doctrine said it didn’t exist. When I moved the code to another, subsequent migration method, it worked as intended.

The actual code to move my data:

  ->execute('UPDATE sf_guard_user u, sf_guard_user_profile p SET u.facebook_id = p.facebook_uid WHERE = p.user_id');

So there you have it, a few gotchas when using Doctrine migrations!