Drafting a migration

You can choose to change the behavior of a migration when you create it. For example, Prisma Migrate cannot automatically detect that you want to rename a field - instead, it will add a new field and remove the old one. To rename the field instead (for example, name fullname), you must create and modify a draft migration:

  1. Make a change to your schema - for example, renaming a field:

    1model User {
    + fullname String?
    - name String?
  2. Use the --create-only option to generate a draft migration:

    $prisma migrate dev --create-only --preview-feature
    Show CLI output

    Prisma Migrate does not apply this migration.

  3. Edit the generated 20201208100950_fullname_field/migration.sql file:

    ALTER TABLE "User" DROP COLUMN "name",
    ADD COLUMN "fullname" TEXT,
    RENAME "name" TO "fullname"
  4. Migrate:

    $prisma migrate dev --preview-feature

Deploying migrations in a non-development environment

Use the following command in non-development environments to apply migrations:

$prisma migrate deploy --preview-feature

The prisma migrate dev --preview-feature command is reserved for development environments and requires the shadow database, which is not available in production.

Collaborating with a team

To bring in changes to the database schema and migrations from collaborators, pull the changed Prisma Schema and the new migration files. Run prisma migrate dev --preview-feature to apply the changes. Running this command:

  1. Checks if there are any migrations that have not yet been applied and applies those migrations
  2. Checks for changes in the Prisma schema - if there are changes, Prisma creates and applies new migrations

Handling migration history conflicts

A migration history conflict occurs when there are discrepancies between the migrations folder in the file system and the _prisma_migrations table in the database.

Development environments

In a development environment, history conflicts can occur in the following scenarios:

  • A migration that has already been applied is later modified - this check requires a shadow database and is therefore only available in a development environment
  • A migration that has already been applied is missing from the file system
  • A migration failed

If Prisma Migrate detects a migration history conflict when you run prisma migrate dev --preview-feature (Development command), the CLI will ask to reset the database. Resetting the database:

  1. Drops the database
  2. Recreates the database
  3. Applies all migrations

Production environments

In a production environment, history conflicts can occur in the following scenarios:

  • A migration that has already been applied is missing from the file system
  • A migration failed

If Prisma Migrate detects a migration history conflict when you run prisma migrate deploy --preview-feature (Production command)

  • Add the missing migration file - for example, from source control

  • Address the cause of the failed migration - each migration in the _prisma_migrations table has a logs column that stores the error. For example:

    Database error: Error accessing result set, column not found: name
    0: migration_core::api::ApplyMigrations
    at migration-engine\core\src\api.rs:102

Handling database schema drift

Database schema drift occurs when your database schema is out of sync with your migration history - the database schema has 'drifted away' from the source of truth. Schema drift can occur if:

  • The database schema was changed without using migrations - for example, by using prisma db push or manually changing the database schema.

Note: Schema drift can only be detected in a development environment as this requires the shadow database.

The following scenario assumes that you made a manual change in production and want to propagate that change to your migration history and other databases.

Development environments

  1. Make an equivalent change in the Prisma schema - for example, adding a field named bio and an index:

    model User {
    // Other fields
    bio String?
  2. Create and apply the new migration in dev:

    $prisma migrate dev --preview-feature
  3. Commit the new migration and allow your CI process to apply the migration to all other non-production databases.

Production environments

When the manual change has been replicated in the Prisma schema, you must reconcile your migration history and database schema in production:

  1. Mark the migration as 'already applied' so that Prisma Migrate does not try to create a field and index that already exists:

    $prisma migrate resolve --applied "20201127134938_added_bio_index" --preview-feature

    This command adds the migration to the migration history table without running the actual SQL.

Handling a failed migration

A migration might fail if:

  • You modify a migration before running it and introduce a syntax error
  • You add a mandatory (NOT NULL) column to a table that already has data
  • The migration process stopped unexpectedly
  • The database shut down in the middle of the migration process

Each migration in the _prisma_migrations table has a logs column that stores the error.

Developer environments

The easiest way to handle a failed migration in a developer environment is to address the root cause and reset the database. For example:

  • If you introduced a SQL syntax error by manually editing the database, update the migration.sql file that failed and reset the database:

    $prisma migrate reset --preview-feature
  • If you introduced a change in the Prisma schema that cannot be applied to a database with data (for example, a mandatory column in a table with data):

    1. Delete the migration.sql file.

    2. Modify the schema - for example, add a default value to the mandatory field.

    3. Migrate:

      $prisma migrate dev --preview-feature

      Prisma Migrate will prompt you to reset the database and re-apply all migrations.

  • If something interrupted the migration process, reset the database:

    $prisma migrate reset --preview-feature

Production environments

There are two ways to deal with failed migrations in a production environment:

  • Roll back, optionally fix issues, and re-deploy
  • Manually complete the migration steps and resolve the migration

Option 1: Roll back and re-deploy

The following example demonstrates how to roll back a migration, optionally make changes to fix the issue, and re-deploy:

  1. Roll back the migration - this updates the migration record in the _prisma_migrations table to register it as rolled back, allowing it to be applied again:

    $prisma migrate resolve --rolled-back "20201127134938_added_bio_index" --preview-feature
  2. If the migration was partially run, you can either:

    • Modify the migration to check if a step was already completed (for example: CREATE TABLE ... IF NOT EXISTS) OR
    • Manually revert the steps that were completed (for example, delete created databases)

    If you modify the migration, make sure you copy it back to source control to ensure that state of your production database is reflected exactly in development.

  3. Fix the root cause of the failed migration, if relevant - for example, if the migration failed due to an issue with the SQL script itself. Make sure that you copy any changed migrations back to source control.

  4. Re-deploy the migration:

    $prisma migrate deploy --preview-feature

Option 2: Manually complete migration and resolve as applied

The following example demonstrates how to manually complete the steps of a migration and mark that migration as applied.

  1. Manually complete the migration steps on the production database. Make sure that any manual steps exactly match the steps in the migration file, and copy any changes back to source control.

  2. Resolve the migration as applied - this tells Prisma Migrate to consider the migration successfully applied:

    $prisma migrate resolve --applied "20201127134938_my_migration" --preview-feature


See Guide: Add Prisma Migrate to an existing project


See: Guide: Seeding your database

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