Prototype your schema

The Prisma CLI has a dedicated command for prototyping schemas: db push

db push uses the same engine as Prisma Migrate to synchronize your Prisma schema with your database schema. The db push command:

  1. Introspects the database to infer and executes the changes required to make your database schema reflect the state of your Prisma schema.

  2. By default, after changes have been applied to the database schema, generators are triggered (for example, Prisma Client). You do not need to manually invoke prisma generate.

  3. If db push anticipates that the changes could result in data loss, it will:

    • Throw an error
    • Require the --accept-data-loss option if you still want to make the changes


  • db push does not interact with or rely on migrations. The migrations table _prisma_migrations will not be created or updated, and no migration files will be generated.
  • When working with PlanetScale, we recommend that you use db push instead of migrate. For details refer to our Getting Started documentation, either Start from scratch or Add to existing project depending on your situation.

Choosing db push or Prisma Migrate

db push works well if:

  • You want to quickly prototype and iterate on schema design locally without the need to deploy these changes to other environments such as other developers, or staging and production environments.
  • You are prioritizing reaching a desired end-state and not the changes or steps executed to reach that end-state (there is no way to preview changes made by db push)
  • You do not need to control how schema changes impact data. There is no way to orchestrate schema and data migrations—if db push anticipates that changes will result in data loss, you can either accept data loss with the --accept-data-loss option or stop the process. There is no way to customize the changes.

See Schema prototyping with db push for an example of how to use db push in this way.

db push is not recommended if:

  • You want to replicate your schema changes in other environments without losing data. You can use db push for prototyping, but you should use migrations to commit the schema changes and apply these in your other environments.
  • You want fine-grained control over how the schema changes are executed - for example, renaming a column instead of dropping it and creating a new one.
  • You want to keep track of changes made to the database schema over time. db push does not create any artifacts that allow you to keep track of these changes.
  • You want the schema changes to be reversible. You can use db push again to revert to the original state, but this might result in data loss.

Can I use Prisma Migrate and db push together?

Yes, you can use db push and Prisma Migrate together in your development workflow . For example, you can:

  • Use db push to prototype a schema at the start of a project and initialize a migration history when you are happy with the first draft
  • Use db push to prototype a change to an existing schema, then run prisma migrate dev to generate a migration from your changes (you will be asked to reset)
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