My First REST API » Evolve Your Schema

My First Feature » Evolve Your Schema

Evolve Your Schema

We are running all these examples on a shared free database and, as in every free stuff, resources are very limited.

👉 In order to keep data at minimum, it would be nice to cleanup user produced data some now and then.

Therefore, I'd like to introduce a "user story" such as:

The App should drop users older than 10 minutes before seeding.

Evolving The Schema

The first step into fulfilling the "older than xx" requirement is to keep track of when a given user was first created.

The easiest way to achieve this would be to add a created_at column where to store such value:

await query(`
  ALTER TABLE "public"."users" 

💻 Live on CodeSandbox:

The most important part is IF NOT EXISTS, which in a PostgreSQL schema is often the key to idempotency.

It is also very important to notice that we don't mutate the CREATE TABLE statement as it wouldn't really apply to an existing schema. No, we consider each statement immutable and we only introduce new statements that move the schema forward.

This way, it doesn't matter what the current schema is, by releasing a new version of the App we ensure that the schema will be migrated to the state of the art.

Because each statement must be idempotent, we can safely launch as many concurrent instances of the app as we want. Nothing will break down.

👉 Once again, this strategy apply very well to small schemas for micro-services.

But I wouldn't build a bigh monolithic schema this way. In such a case, I'd vouch for a migration service as we used to do in the good 'ol times.

Cleaning Up Old Data

The last bit for this story is the cleanup statement, that we can safely place before the data seeding:

await query(`
  DELETE FROM "public"."users"
  WHERE FLOOR(EXTRACT(EPOCH FROM (now() - created_at)) / 60) > 10;

💻 Live on CodeSandbox:

Here we use a bit of PostgreSQL magic to dynamically drop expired data.

🧐 You may argue that we will waste some resources by dropping all the data and re-seeding right away...

You are correct my friend, you are correct.
But allow me to remember you that this is just a simple tutorial 😉.

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