Zulip uses the standard Django system for doing schema migrations. There is some example usage in the new feature tutorial.
This page documents some important issues related to writing schema migrations.
- Large tables: For large tables like Message and UserMessage, you
want to take precautions when adding columns to the table,
performing data backfills, or building indexes. We have a
zerver/lib/migrate.pylibrary to help with adding columns and backfilling data. For building indexes on these tables, we should do this using SQL with postgres’s CONCURRENTLY keyword.
- Numbering conflicts across branches: If you’ve done your schema change in a branch, and meanwhile another schema change has taken place, Django will now have two migrations with the same number. To fix this, you need to renumber your migration(s), fix up the “dependencies” entries in your migration(s), and rewrite your git history as needed. There is a tutorial here that walks you though that process.