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zope.generations 4.0.0a1

Zope application schema generations

Generations are a way of updating objects in the database when the application schema changes. An application schema is essentially the structure of data, the structure of classes in the case of ZODB or the table descriptions in the case of a relational database.

Detailed Documentation

Generations are a way of updating objects in the database when the application schema changes. An application schema is essentially the structure of data, the structure of classes in the case of ZODB or the table descriptions in the case of a relational database.

When you change your application's data structures, for example, you change the semantic meaning of an existing field in a class, you will have a problem with databases that were created before your change. For a more thorough discussion and possible solutions, see http://wiki.zope.org/zope3/DatabaseGenerations

We will be using the component architecture, and we will need a database and a connection:

>>> import cgi
>>> from pprint import pprint
>>> from zope.interface import implementer
>>> from ZODB.tests.util import DB
>>> db = DB()
>>> conn = db.open()
>>> root = conn.root()

Imagine that our application is an oracle: you can teach it to react to phrases. Let's keep it simple and store the data in a dict:

>>> root['answers'] = {'Hello': 'Hi & how do you do?',
...                    'Meaning of life?': '42',
...                    'four < ?': 'four < five'}
>>> import transaction
>>> transaction.commit()

Initial setup

Here's some generations-specific code. We will create and register a SchemaManager. SchemaManagers are responsible for the actual updates of the database. This one will be just a dummy. The point here is to make the generations module aware that our application supports generations.

The default implementation of SchemaManager is not suitable for this test because it uses Python modules to manage generations. For now, it will be just fine, since we don't want it to do anything just yet.

>>> from zope.generations.interfaces import ISchemaManager
>>> from zope.generations.generations import SchemaManager
>>> import zope.component
>>> dummy_manager = SchemaManager(minimum_generation=0, generation=0)
>>> zope.component.provideUtility(
...     dummy_manager, ISchemaManager, name='some.app')

'some.app' is a unique identifier. You should use a URI or the dotted name of your package.

When you start Zope and a database is opened, an event IDatabaseOpenedWithRoot is sent. Zope registers evolveMinimumSubscriber by default as a handler for this event. Let's simulate this:

>>> class DatabaseOpenedEventStub(object):
...     def __init__(self, database):
...         self.database = database
>>> event = DatabaseOpenedEventStub(db)
>>> from zope.generations.generations import evolveMinimumSubscriber
>>> evolveMinimumSubscriber(event)

The consequence of this action is that now the database contains the fact that our current schema number is 0. When we update the schema, Zope3 will have an idea of what the starting point was. Here, see?

>>> from zope.generations.generations import generations_key
>>> root[generations_key]['some.app']
0

In real life you should never have to bother with this key directly, but you should be aware that it exists.

Upgrade scenario

Back to the story. Some time passes and one of our clients gets hacked because we forgot to escape HTML special characters! The horror! We must fix this problem ASAP without losing any data. We decide to use generations to impress our peers.

Let's update the schema manager (drop the old one and install a new custom one):

>>> from zope.component import globalregistry
>>> gsm = globalregistry.getGlobalSiteManager()
>>> gsm.unregisterUtility(provided=ISchemaManager, name='some.app')
True
>>> @implementer(ISchemaManager)
... class MySchemaManager(object):
...
...     minimum_generation = 1
...     generation = 2
...
...     def evolve(self, context, generation):
...         root = context.connection.root()
...         answers = root['answers']
...         if generation == 1:
...             for question, answer in list(answers.items()):
...                 answers[question] = cgi.escape(answer)
...         elif generation == 2:
...             for question, answer in list(answers.items()):
...                 del answers[question]
...                 answers[cgi.escape(question)] = answer
...         else:
...             raise ValueError("Bummer")
...         root['answers'] = answers # ping persistence
...         transaction.commit()
>>> manager = MySchemaManager()
>>> zope.component.provideUtility(manager, ISchemaManager, name='some.app')

We have set minimum_generation to 1. That means that our application will refuse to run with a database older than generation 1. The generation attribute is set to 2, which means that the latest generation that this SchemaManager knows about is 2.

evolve() is the workhorse here. Its job is to get the database from generation-1 to generation. It gets a context which has the attribute 'connection', which is a connection to the ZODB. You can use that to change objects like in this example.

In this particular implementation generation 1 escapes the answers (say, critical, because they can be entered by anyone!), generation 2 escapes the questions (say, less important, because these can be entered by authorized personell only).

In fact, you don't really need a custom implementation of ISchemaManager. One is available, we have used it for a dummy previously. It uses Python modules for organization of evolver functions. See its docstring for more information.

In real life you will have much more complex object structures than the one here. To make your life easier, there are two very useful functions available in zope.generations.utility: findObjectsMatching() and findObjectsProviding(). They will dig through containers recursively to help you seek out old objects that you wish to update, by interface or by some other criteria. They are easy to understand, check their docstrings.

Generations in action

So, our furious client downloads our latest code and restarts Zope. The event is automatically sent again:

>>> event = DatabaseOpenedEventStub(db)
>>> evolveMinimumSubscriber(event)

Shazam! The client is happy again!

>>> pprint(root['answers'])
{'Hello': 'Hi &amp; how do you do?',
 'Meaning of life?': '42',
 'four < ?': 'four &lt; five'}

Because evolveMinimumSubscriber is very lazy, it only updates the database just enough so that your application can use it (to the minimum_generation, that is). Indeed, the marker indicates that the database generation has been bumped to 1:

>>> root[generations_key]['some.app']
1

We see that generations are working, so we decide to take the next step and evolve to generation 2. Let's see how this can be done manually:

>>> from zope.generations.generations import evolve
>>> evolve(db)
>>> pprint(root['answers'])
{'Hello': 'Hi &amp; how do you do?',
 'Meaning of life?': '42',
 'four &lt; ?': 'four &lt; five'}
>>> root[generations_key]['some.app']
2

Default behaviour of evolve upgrades to the latest generation provided by the SchemaManager. You can use the how argument to evolve() when you want just to check if you need to update or if you want to be lazy like the subscriber which we have called previously.

Ordering of schema managers

Frequently subsystems used to compose an application rely on other subsystems to operate properly. If both subsystems provide schema managers, it is often helpful to know the order in which the evolvers will be invoked. This allows a framework and it's clients to be able to evolve in concert, and the clients can know that the framework will be evolved before or after itself.

This can be accomplished by controlling the names of the schema manager utilities. The schema managers are run in the order determined by sorting their names.

>>> manager1 = SchemaManager(minimum_generation=0, generation=0)
>>> manager2 = SchemaManager(minimum_generation=0, generation=0)
>>> zope.component.provideUtility(
...     manager1, ISchemaManager, name='another.app')
>>> zope.component.provideUtility(
...     manager2, ISchemaManager, name='another.app-extension')

Notice how the name of the first package is used to create a namespace for dependent packages. This is not a requirement of the framework, but a convenient pattern for this usage.

Let's evolve the database to establish these generations:

>>> event = DatabaseOpenedEventStub(db)
>>> evolveMinimumSubscriber(event)
>>> root[generations_key]['another.app']
0
>>> root[generations_key]['another.app-extension']
0

Let's assume that for some reason each of these subsystems needs to add a generation, and that generation 1 of 'another.app-extension' depends on generation 1 of 'another.app'. We'll need to provide schema managers for each that record that they've been run so we can verify the result:

>>> gsm.unregisterUtility(provided=ISchemaManager, name='another.app')
True
>>> gsm.unregisterUtility(
...     provided=ISchemaManager, name='another.app-extension')
True
>>> @implementer(ISchemaManager)
... class FoundationSchemaManager(object):
...
...     minimum_generation = 1
...     generation = 1
...
...     def evolve(self, context, generation):
...         root = context.connection.root()
...         ordering = root.get('ordering', [])
...         if generation == 1:
...             ordering.append('foundation 1')
...             print('foundation generation 1')
...         else:
...             raise ValueError("Bummer")
...         root['ordering'] = ordering # ping persistence
...         transaction.commit()
>>> @implementer(ISchemaManager)
... class DependentSchemaManager(object):
...
...     minimum_generation = 1
...     generation = 1
...
...     def evolve(self, context, generation):
...         root = context.connection.root()
...         ordering = root.get('ordering', [])
...         if generation == 1:
...             ordering.append('dependent 1')
...             print('dependent generation 1')
...         else:
...             raise ValueError("Bummer")
...         root['ordering'] = ordering # ping persistence
...         transaction.commit()
>>> manager1 = FoundationSchemaManager()
>>> manager2 = DependentSchemaManager()
>>> zope.component.provideUtility(
...     manager1, ISchemaManager, name='another.app')
>>> zope.component.provideUtility(
...     manager2, ISchemaManager, name='another.app-extension')

Evolving the database now will always run the 'another.app' evolver before the 'another.app-extension' evolver:

>>> event = DatabaseOpenedEventStub(db)
>>> evolveMinimumSubscriber(event)
foundation generation 1
dependent generation 1
>>> root['ordering']
['foundation 1', 'dependent 1']

Installation

In the the example above, we manually initialized the answers. We shouldn't have to do that manually. The application should be able to do that automatically.

IInstallableSchemaManager extends ISchemaManager, providing an install method for performing an intial installation of an application. This is a better alternative than registering database-opened subscribers.

Let's define a new schema manager that includes installation:

>>> gsm.unregisterUtility(provided=ISchemaManager, name='some.app')
True
>>> from zope.generations.interfaces import IInstallableSchemaManager
>>> @implementer(IInstallableSchemaManager)
... class MySchemaManager(object):
...
...     minimum_generation = 1
...     generation = 2
...
...     def install(self, context):
...         root = context.connection.root()
...         root['answers'] = {'Hello': 'Hi &amp; how do you do?',
...                            'Meaning of life?': '42',
...                            'four &lt; ?': 'four &lt; five'}
...         transaction.commit()
...
...     def evolve(self, context, generation):
...         root = context.connection.root()
...         answers = root['answers']
...         if generation == 1:
...             for question, answer in answers.items():
...                 answers[question] = cgi.escape(answer)
...         elif generation == 2:
...             for question, answer in answers.items():
...                 del answers[question]
...                 answers[cgi.escape(question)] = answer
...         else:
...             raise ValueError("Bummer")
...         root['answers'] = answers # ping persistence
...         transaction.commit()
>>> manager = MySchemaManager()
>>> zope.component.provideUtility(manager, ISchemaManager, name='some.app')

Now, lets open a new database:

>>> db.close()
>>> db = DB()
>>> conn = db.open()
>>> 'answers' in conn.root()
False
>>> event = DatabaseOpenedEventStub(db)
>>> evolveMinimumSubscriber(event)
>>> conn.sync()
>>> root = conn.root()
>>> pprint(root['answers'])
{'Hello': 'Hi &amp; how do you do?',
 'Meaning of life?': '42',
 'four &lt; ?': 'four &lt; five'}
>>> root[generations_key]['some.app']
2

The ZODB transaction log notes that our install script was executed

>>> [it.description for it in conn.db().storage.iterator()][-2]
u'some.app: running install generation'

(Minor note: it's not the last record because there are two commits: MySchemaManager performs one, and evolveMinimumSubscriber performs the second one. MySchemaManager doesn't really need to commit.)

CHANGES

4.0.0a1 (2013-02-25)

  • Added support for Python 3.3.
  • Replaced deprecated zope.interface.implements usage with equivalent zope.interface.implementer decorator.
  • Dropped support for Python 2.4 and 2.5.

3.7.1 (2011-12-22)

  • Removed buildout part which was used during development but does not compile on Windows.
  • Generation scripts add a transaction note.

3.7.0 (2010-09-18)

  • Initial release extracted from zope.app.generations.
  • Generations key (stored in database root) has been changed from zope.app.generations to zope.generations. Migration is done when evolve is run the first time by coping the exisiting generations data over to the new key. So the old and the new key can be used in parallel.
 
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