© Copyright 2020-2022 the original author or authors.

This is the Neo4j-Migrations manual version 1.13.0.

1. Introduction

1.1. About

Neo4j-Migrations are a set of tools to make your schema migrations as easy as possible. They provide a uniform way for applications, the command line and build tools alike to track, manage and apply changes to your database, in short: to refactor your database. The project is inspired to a large extent by FlywayDB, which is an awesome tool for migration of relational databases. Most things evolve around Cypher scripts, however the Core API of Neo4j-Migrations allows defining Java classes as migrations as well.

Neo4j-Migrations builds directly on top of the official Neo4j Java driver, supports Neo4j from 3.5 up to 4.4, including enterprise features such as multidatabase support and impersonation. The only dependencies are said driver and ClassGraph, the latter being used to find migrations on the classpath.

The history of migrations applied is stored as a subgraph in your database.

1.2. Compatibility

Neo4j-Migrations is tested only against Neo4j, the world’s leading Graph database. Neo4j-Migrations requires a 4.x version of Neo4j Java Driver. The project is build and tested with the latest 4.4 version, however previous versions 4.3, 4.2 and 4.1 are supported as well and can be used as drop-in-replacement. Therefore, Neo4j-Migrations works with Neo4j 3.5, 4.0 - 4.4 and of course, Neo4j-Aura. It also can be used with an embedded instance, as long as the embedded instances provides the Bolt-Connector, too. The tooling may or may not work with other databases using the Bolt protocol. We don’t provide any support for those.

The Core API and the JVM based version of the CLI module of Neo4j-Migrations requires at least Java 8 to run. Native binaries are provided for 64bit versions of macOS, Linux and Windows. The native binaries don’t require a JVM to be installed.

All releases of Neo4j-Migrations are compiled with JDK 17 while targeting JDK 8. Thus, we ensure both source, target and API compatibility with JDK 8. In addition, the Core API is provided as a Multi-Release-Jar, providing a module-info.java for JDK 11 and higher, making it a good citizen on the Java module path.

For JDK 17 and higher we do restrict the usage of some interfaces and have better boundaries for you what you can safely implement and what you should not.

1.3. Versions

Neo4j-Migrations 1.0.0 has been considered stable and was first released in November 2021. Since then, we ensure semantic versioning. This means in cases where you use the Java API directly, you can be sure that patch releases won’t break your application, and you can always upgrade.

1.4. Modules

Neo4j-Migrations comes in different flavors:

Core

The core module, providing an API to run both Cypher script and Java-based migrations. The API includes builders for configuration. The core is released as a Multi-Release-Jar, so that it behaves nicely on the module-path on JDK 17. Be aware that we sealed all interfaces not intended to be implemented by you when running on JDK 17.

CLI

A command line tool that supports every interaction that the core module provides. Native binaries are available for Linux, macOS and Windows. If you want to use Java-based migrations in the CLI, you must use the JVM distribution. This is an ideal tool to be put into CI/CD not based on Maven or Gradle.

Spring-Boot-Starter

Provides all configuration options via the well-known Spring-Boot-Properties mechanism and turns them into a fully configured Migrations instance that will be applied on application start. Scripts will be searched sane default location.

Quarkus

An extension for Quarkus, providing full integration of all configuration option via Quarkus' configuration. Creates a startup observer that applies all resolved migrations at startup.

Maven-Plugin

A Maven-plugin that hooks clean, apply and verify operations into the appropriate Maven lifecycles. Use this to apply migrations during your build.

1.5. Changelog

We provide a full changelog on GitHub: Neo4j-Migrations. Our commits follow conventional commits. The releases are created and published via JReleaser.

1.6. History

The original idea of Neo4j-Migrations was conceived when working on integrating Spring Data Neo4j (back then SDN/RX) into JHipster. We needed some Nodes, constraints and relationship to be present in the Neo4j database for JHipster to do it’s magic but back then there was no lightweight (in terms of dependencies) tool that did work well with Neo4j 4.0 (the first Graph database providing reactive data access out of the box). Neo4j-Migrations filled that gap in early 2020 and has grown ever since.

2. Download

2.1. CLI

2.1.1. SDKMAN!

Neo4j-Migrations is on SDKMAN! and can be installed via

sdk install neo4jmigrations

on Windows, Linux and macOS x86_64. Arm binaries are not yet available.

2.1.2. For homebrew users on macOS

brew install michael-simons/homebrew-neo4j-migrations/neo4j-migrations

Autocompletion is automatically installed and available for bash and zsh when you configured Homebrew accordingly.

2.1.3. Linux

As download from our release page:

curl -LO https://github.com/michael-simons/neo4j-migrations/releases/download/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-1.13.0-linux-x86_64.zip

2.1.4. Windows

As download from our release page:

curl -LO https://github.com/michael-simons/neo4j-migrations/releases/download/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-1.13.0-windows-x86_64.zip

2.1.5. Architecture independent

In addition to the above native binaries we still offer a JVM, architecture independent version of Neo4j-Migrations-CLI. Only the JVM version does support custom, Java-based migrations as shown via the argument --package, the natively compiled versions do not. Get this version here:

curl -LO https://github.com/michael-simons/neo4j-migrations/releases/download/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
The architecture independent version can be used via Neo4js official JBang catalog:
With JBang installed, run jbang neo4j-migrations@neo4j --help for printing our usage information.
The catalog offers a couple of other scripts as well, check them out with jbang catalog list neo4j.

2.2. Core API

The easiest way to get the Core API is to use a build- and dependency-management tool like Maven or Gradle. Here are the coordinates:

Listing 1. Core API as Maven dependency
<dependency>
    <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
    <artifactId>neo4j-migrations</artifactId>
    <version>1.13.0</version>
</dependency>

Or in case you fancy Gradle:

Listing 2. Core API as Gradle dependency
dependencies {
    implementation 'eu.michael-simons.neo4j:neo4j-migrations:1.13.0'
}

2.3. Spring-Boot-Starter

Use your dependency management to include the Spring-Boot-Starter. The starter automatically triggers the dependency to the Neo4j-Java-Driver, which than can be configured via properties in the spring.neo4j.* namespace. This starter here has a custom namespace, please refer to Section 4.4 for more information.

Listing 3. Neo4j-Migrations-Spring-Boot-Starter as Maven dependency
<dependencies>
    <dependency>
        <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
        <artifactId>neo4j-migrations-spring-boot-starter</artifactId>
        <version>1.13.0</version>
    </dependency>
</dependencies>

Or in case you fancy Gradle:

Listing 4. Neo4j-Migrations-Spring-Boot-Starter as Gradle dependency
dependencies {
    implementation 'eu.michael-simons.neo4j:neo4j-migrations-spring-boot-starter:1.13.0'
}

2.4. Quarkus

Use your dependency management to include the Quarkus extension. This extension automatically triggers the dependency to the Neo4j extension containing the Neo4j-Java-Driver. The latter can be configured via properties in the quarkus.neo4j.* namespace. The namespace for this extension is also org.neo4j.migrations.*.

Listing 5. Neo4j-Migrations for Quarkus as Maven dependency
<dependencies>
    <dependency>
        <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
        <artifactId>neo4j-migrations-quarkus</artifactId>
        <version>1.13.0</version>
    </dependency>
</dependencies>

2.5. Maven-Plugin

Include the Maven-Plugin like this in your build and configure it according to Section 4.6:

<plugins>
    <plugin>
        <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
        <artifactId>neo4j-migrations-maven-plugin</artifactId>
        <version>1.13.0</version>
        <configuration>
            <user>neo4j</user>
            <password>secret</password>
            <address>bolt://localhost:${it-database-port}</address>
            <verbose>true</verbose>
        </configuration>
        <executions>
            <execution>
                <id>migrate</id>
                <goals>
                    <goal>migrate</goal>
                </goals>
            </execution>
            <execution>
                <id>default-validate</id>
                <goals>
                    <goal>validate</goal>
                </goals>
            </execution>
        </executions>
    </plugin>
</plugins>

3. Concepts

This chapter deals with various concepts that are applicable for all modules offered. Especially checkout Section 3.5 regarding naming conventions, for all Cypher and Java-based migrations and callbacks.

3.1. Connectivity

Neo4j-Migrations solely uses the Neo4j Java Driver. Most of the time you pass a pre-configured driver object to our API. The Spring-Boot-Plugin depends on the driver-instance provided by Spring-Boot which can be configured via properties in the spring.neo4j.* space. The CLI and Maven-Plugin offer parameters to define the URL, username and password alike.

All of this mean that we can keep this chapter short and basically defer to the driver’s documentation: The Neo4j Java Driver Manual v4.4. For ease of use, here are the most common forms of URLs the driver might take. The URLS all have this format: <NEO4J_PROTOCOL>://<HOST>:<PORT>. The Neo4j-Protocol might be one of the following:

URI scheme Routing Description

neo4j

Yes

Unsecured

neo4j+s

Yes

Secured with full certificate

neo4j+ssc

Yes

Secured with self-signed certificate

bolt

No

Unsecured

bolt+s

No

Secured with full certificate

bolt+ssc

No

Secured with self-signed certificate

You don’t have to care much more about the Driver API than knowing how to create an instance:

Listing 6. Create an instance of the Neo4j-Java-Driver
import org.neo4j.driver.AuthTokens;
import org.neo4j.driver.Config;
import org.neo4j.driver.Driver;
import org.neo4j.driver.GraphDatabase;

class HowToCreateADriverInstance {

        public static void main(String... args) {
                Driver driver = GraphDatabase.driver(
                        "neo4j://your.database.io",
                        AuthTokens.basic("neo4j", "secret"),
                        Config.defaultConfig()
                );
        }
}

This instance needs to be passed than to the Neo4j-Migrations Core API in case you aren’t using one of our integrations. Mostly everything else than can be done via Cypher scripts alone. If you need more control about what happens in a migration, have a look at our Java-based migration support in Section 3.2.3.

3.2. Migrations

Migrations are all operations or refactorings you apply to a database. These operations might be creating, changing, or dropping indexes and constraints or altering data. Sometimes you might even want to create users or databases.

Cypher (.cypher), Catalog-based (.xml) and class based (i.e. .java or .kt) based migrations require a certain naming convention to be recognized:

V1_2_3__Add_last_name_index.(cypher|xml|java)
  • Prefix V for "Versioned Migrations"

  • Version with optional underscores separating as many parts as you like

  • Separator: __ (two underscores)

  • Required description: Underscores or spaces might be used to separate words

  • Suffix: Depending on the given type.

Exceptions are made for callbacks (see naming conventions) and some extensions supported by Neo4j-Migrations.

3.2.1. Cypher-based

Cypher-based migrations can be mostly anything you can write down as Cypher statement. A Cypher-based migration can contain one or more statements with multiple lines separated by a ; followed by a new line. By default, all statements in one script will be executed in a single transaction.

Here’s an example:

Listing 7. neo4j/migrations/V007__BondTheNameIsBond.cypher
CREATE (agent:`007`) RETURN agent;
UNWIND RANGE(1,6) AS i
WITH i CREATE (n:OtherAgents {idx: '00' + i})
RETURN n
;

This script contains two different statements.

Neo4j-Migrations will by default look in classpath:neo4j/migrations for all *.cypher files matching the name described in Section 3.5. You can change (or add to this default) with the Core API or the appropriate properties in Spring-Boot-Starter or the Maven-Plugin like this:

Listing 8. Changing the locations to scan for Migrations (and Callbacks) via the Core API
MigrationsConfig configLookingAtDifferentPlaces = MigrationsConfig.builder()
    .withLocationsToScan(
        "classpath:my/awesome/migrations", (1)
        "file:/path/to/migration" (2)
    ).build();
1 Look at a different place on the classpath
2 Look additional at the given filesystem path
Switching database inside Cypher scripts
With the command :USE

The command :USE has the same meaning as in Neo4j-Browser or Cypher-Shell: All following commands will be applied in the given database. The transaction mode will be applied as configured per database and will "restart" when you switch the database again. This is the preferred way of doing things like this:

Listing 9. Switching databases in flight with :USE
CREATE database foo IF NOT EXISTS WAIT;
:use foo;
CREATE (n:InFoo {foo: 'bar'});
:use neo4j;
CREATE (n:InNeo4j);
With the Cypher keyword USE

It is of course possible to use the Cypher keyword USE <graph> (See USE) inside your scripts. There are a couple of things to remember, though:

  • It can get tricky if you combine it in creative ways with the options for schema- and target-databases Neo4j-Migrations offer itself

  • If you have more than one statement per script (which is completely not a problem) and one of them should use USE you must configure Neo4j-Migrations to use TransactionMode#PER_STATEMENT (see Section 3.8, meaning to run each statement of a script in a separate transaction. This is slightly more error-prone, as it will most likely leave your database in an inconsistent state if one statement fails, since everything before has already been committed.

3.2.2. Based on a catalog

Migrations can be used to define a local catalog in an iterative fashion. Each migration discovered will contribute to a catalog known in the context of a Migration instance.

Catalog based migrations are written in XML and can contain one <catalog /> item per migration and many <operation /> items per migration.

The simplest way of defining a catalog based migrations looks like this:

Listing 10. V01__Create_unique_isbn.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <create>
    <constraint name="unique_isbn" type="unique">
      <label>Book</label>
      <properties>
        <property>isbn</property>
      </properties>
    </constraint>
  </create>
</migration>

Here a unique constraint is defined for the property isbn of all nodes labelled Book. This constraint is known only locally and does not contribute to the contextual catalog.

This can also be rewritten such as this:

Listing 11. V01__Create_unique_isbn.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <catalog>
    <constraints>
      <constraint name="unique_isbn" type="unique">
        <label>Book</label>
        <properties>
          <property>isbn</property>
        </properties>
      </constraint>
    </constraints>
  </catalog>
  <create item="unique_isbn"/>
</migration>

The constraint can be reused later, too:

Listing 12. V23__Drop_old_constraint.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <drop item="unique_isbn"/>
</migration>

Indexes are supported, too:

Listing 13. V01__Create_an_index_local.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <create>
    <index name="node_index_name">
      <label>Person</label>
      <properties>
        <property>surname</property>
      </properties>
    </index>
  </create>
</migration>
The XML schema supports types for indexes as well: FULLTEXT and TEXT. The former being the well known Lucene backed indexes, the latter the new TEXT index introduced in Neo4j.

To learn more about the scheme, have a look at the XML schema explained and also make sure you follow the concepts about catalogs as well as the catalog examples.

Last but not least, Neo4j-Migrations offers several built-in refactorings, modelled after APOC Refactor but without requiring APOC to be installed inside the database or cluster.

The example given in the APOC docs above can be identically modelled with the following catalog item:

Listing 14. V42__Rename_labels.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <refactor type="rename.label">
    <parameters>
      <parameter name="from">Engineer</parameter>
      <parameter name="to">DevRel</parameter>
      <parameter name="customQuery"><![CDATA[
        MATCH (person:Engineer)
        WHERE person.name IN ["Mark", "Jennifer", "Michael"]
        RETURN person
      ]]></parameter>
    </parameters>
  </refactor>
</migration>

It will rename the label Engineer on all nodes matching the custom query to DevRel.

All supported refactorings are described in Refactorings.

What’s the advantage of using XML instead of a Cypher-based migration for this purpose? The syntax for defining constraints and indexes has been changed considerably over the last decade of Neo4j versions and many variants that used to be possible in Neo4j 3.5 have been deprecated for a while and will vanish in Neo4j 5.0.

With a neutral representation of constraints and indexes, we can translate these items into the syntax that fits your target database. In addition, we also can do idempotent operations on older databases that don’t actually have them.

Furthermore, some structured form is necessary for creating a representation of concepts like refactorings.

What’s the advantage of using Catalog-based migrations for the purpose of creating constraints and indexes for specific versions of Neo4j compared to Cypher-based migrations with preconditions? When using preconditions it us up to you to take care of newer versions of Neo4j as the come available as well as making sure you get the syntax right. Using a Catalog-based migration frees you from this duty. Preconditions have been available earlier than the concept of a catalog and can be used for many purposes (i.e. making sure actual data exists). In contrast to that, Catalog-based migrations have a very strong focus on actual schema items.

However, Catalog-based migrations offer support for preconditions too. They can be added as XML processing instructions anywhere in the document and look like this:

Listing 15. Example for preconditions as processing instructions
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <?assert that edition is enterprise ?>
  <?assume q' RETURN true?>
</migration>

They can appear anywhere in the document, but we recommend putting them into the root element.

While both elements - constraint and index - do support a child element named options, these are not rendered or used yet.

3.2.3. Java-based

Neo4j-Migrations provides the interface ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.JavaBasedMigration for you to implement. Based on that interface you can do much more than just migrate things via adding or changing data: You can refactor everything in your database in a programmatic way. One possible migration looks like this:

Listing 16. Example for a Java-based refactoring
package some.migrations;

import ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.JavaBasedMigration;
import ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.MigrationContext;

import org.neo4j.driver.Driver;
import org.neo4j.driver.Session;

public class V001__MyFirstMigration implements JavaBasedMigration {

    @Override
    public void apply(MigrationContext context) {
        try (Session session = context.getSession()) { (1)
            // Steps necessary for a migration
        }
    }
}
1 The MigrationContext provides both getSession() or getSessionConfig() to be used in combination with getDriver(). The latter is helpful when you want to have access to a reactive or asynchronous session. It is important that you use the convenient method getSession() or create a session with the provided config as only those guarantee hat your database session will be connected to the configured target database with the configured user. In addition, our context will take care of managing Neo4j causal cluster bookmarks. However, if you feel like it is necessary to switch to a different database, you can use the driver instance any way you want. The transaction handling inside Java-based migrations is completely up to you.

You don’t have to annotate your Java-based migrations in any way. Neo4j-Migrations will find them on the classpath as is. The same naming requirements that apply to Cypher scripts apply to Java-based migrations as well, see Section 3.5.

There are some restrictions when it comes to run Neo4j-Migrations on GraalVM native image: You might or might not be able to convince the runtime to find implementations of an interface in native image. You must at least explicitly include those classes in the native image unless used otherwise as well.
The CLI will outright refuse to scan for Java-based migrations in its native form (when using the --package option). It does support them only in JVM mode.

While you can theoretically extend the public base interface Migration too, we don’t recommend it. In fact, on JDK 17 we forbid it. Please use only JavaBasedMigration as the base interface for your programmatic migrations.

3.3. Callbacks

Callbacks are part of a refactoring or a chain of migration that lives outside the chain of things. As such these callbacks can be used to make sure certain data, constructs or other preconditions are available or fulfilled before anything else happens. They also come in handy during integration tests. You might want to have your migrations as part of the main source tree of your application and at the same time have in your tests source tree the same folder with a bunch of callbacks that create test data for example in an afterMigrate event.

Callbacks are not considered immutable after they have been invoked and their invocation is not stored in the history graph. This gives you a hook to add some more volatile things to your refactoring.

The beforeFirstUse callback is especially handy in cases in which you want to create the target database before migrations are applied: It will always be invoked inside the home database of the connected user, so at this point, the target database does not need to exist yet.

Be aware that for this to work you must specify both target and schema database: The schema database must exist and cannot be created with a beforeFirstUse callback. This due to the fact that migrations will always be run inside lock represented by a couple of Nodes.
An appropriate CLI call would look like this:
neo4j-migrations --schema-database neo4j --database canBeCreatedWithCallback apply
A corresponding callback would contain:
CREATE DATABASE canBeCreatedWithCallback IF NOT EXISTS;

3.3.1. Lifecycle phases

The following phases are supported:

beforeFirstUse

The only phase that only runs once for any given instance of Neo4j-Migrations. It will run before any other operations are called, when the first connection is opened. Callbacks in this phase will always be invoked in the schema database and not the target database, so they won’t require the target database to be present. Also, no user impersonation will be performed. This can be used to create the target database before any migrations or validations are run.

beforeMigrate

Before migrating a database.

afterMigrate

After migrating a database, independent of outcome.

beforeClean

Before cleaning a database.

afterClean

After cleaning a database, independent of outcome.

beforeValidate

Before validating a database.

afterValidate

After validating a database, independent of outcome.

beforeInfo

Before getting information about the target database.

afterInfo

After getting information about the target database.

3.4. Using a catalog of items

Neo4j is a schema free or a database with little schema. There are labels for nodes, types for relationships and both can have properties. Hence, property graph. But there’s no "hard" schema determining that all nodes have all the same properties with the same type.

However, there are concepts to force the existence of properties on entities: Constraints. Constraints can also enforce uniqueness and keys; they go hand in hand with indexes. Constraints and indexes are what we refer to in Neo4j-Migrations as schema.

Why the heck XML? While XML has been badmouthed for a while now, it has a couple of advantages over JSON and YAML, especially in terms of schema: There are many options to validate a given document, Document Type Definition (DTD) and XML Schema being two of them. Neo4j-Migrations opted for the latter, it is documented in the appendix. Most of your tooling should be able to load this and validate any migration for you and guide you to what is possible and what not.
Our benefit lies in the fact that XML support comes directly with the JVM, and we don’t need to introduce any additional dependencies to parse and validate content.

A catalog is also used to represent predefined or built-in refactorings, such as renaming all occurrences of types or labels.

3.4.1. What is a catalog?

Inside Neo4j-Migrations the concept of a catalog has been introduced. A catalog holds the same type of entities as a schema and migrations can pick up elements from the catalog to define the final schema.

Items can reside multiple times inside the catalog, identified by their id and the version of the migration in which they have been defined. This is so that a drop operation for example can refer to the last version of an entity applied to the schema and not to the latest, in which properties or options might have change.

Refactorings exists as a general concept in a catalog, they don’t need to be defined, but just declared as an operation to be executed.

How is a catalog defined?

The catalog comes in two flavors, the remote and the local catalog. The remote catalog - or in other words the catalog defined by the databases' schema - is the easier one to understand: It is a read-only view on all items contained in the database schema that Neo4j-Migrations supports, such as constraints and indexes. It can be retrieved on demand any time.

The local catalog is a bit more complex: It is build in an iterative way when discovering migrations. Catalog-based migrations are read in versioning order. Items in their <catalog /> definition are required to have a unique id (name) per migration. All items are added in a versioned manner to the local catalog. If an item named a is defined in both version n and n+x, it will be accessible in the catalog in both variants. Thus, Neo4j-Migrations can for example support dropping of unnamed items and recreating them in a new fashion. The approach of a versioned, local catalog also allows executing advanced operations like verify: The verification of the remote catalog against the local catalog triggered in migration n+1 can refer to the local catalog in version n (the default) to assert to ground for all following operations, or for the current version to make sure everything exists in a given point in time without executing further operations.

Last but not least: Sometimes it is required to start fresh in a given migration. For this purpose the catalog element supports an additional attribute reset. Setting this to true in any given migration will cause the catalog to be reset in this version. Resetting means either being replaced with an empty catalog (<catalog reset="true" />) or replaced with the actual content.

3.4.2. Operations working with a catalog

Operations available to catalog based migrations are

create

Creates an item

drop

Drops an item

verify

Verify the locally defined catalog against the remote schema

apply

Drops all supported types from the remote schema and creates all elements of the local catalog.

refactor

Executes one of several predefined refactorings

While create and drop work on single item, verify and apply work on the whole, known catalog in a defined version range.

A word on naming: Neo4j-Migrations requires unique names of catalog items across the catalog. In contrast to the Neo4j database itself, using the name wurstsalat for both a constraint and an index is prohibited. Recommended names in this case would be wurstsalat_exists and wurstsalat_index.

Both create and drop operations are idempotent by default. This behaviour can be changed using ifNotExists and ifExists attributes with a value of false.

Be aware that idempotent does not mean "force", especially in the create case. If you want to update / replace an existing constraint, and you are unsure if it does exist or not, use

<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
    <drop item="a" ifExists="true" />
    <create item="a" />
</migration>

The drop operation will ensure that the constraint goes away, and the create operation will safely build a new one.

Verification (or assertions)

verify asserts that all items in the catalog are present in an equivalent or identical form in the database. This is a useful step inside a migration to make sure things are "as you expect" before applying further migrations. Thus, it can only be used before running any create, drop or apply commands.

The catalog items that are subject to the verification are by default made up from all prior versions to the migration in which the verify appears. As an example, inside migration V2.1 a verify appears. All catalog items from versions 1.0 upto 2.0 will take part of the assertion. Items defined in 2.1 with the same name won’t be asserted, so that you can assert a given state and then redefine parts of it for example. This behavior can be changed by using the attribute latest, setting it to true on the element (<verify latest="true" />). This will take the catalog as defined in this version.

Applying the whole catalog

apply on the other hands drops all items in the current physical schema and creates all items in state of the catalog at the current version of migration. From the same example as above, everything from 1.0 upto and including 2.1 will be included, definitions will be identified by their name respectively id.

The apply operation loads all supported item types from the database, drops them and then creates all items of the local catalog. This is a potentially destructive operation as it might drop items you have no replacement for.
Also be aware that neo4j-migrations will never drop the constraints needed for the locking node to function proper (Basically, none of the constraints defined for the label __Neo4jMigrationsLock).

apply can’t be used together with drop or create in the same migration.

Executing refactorings

refactor is used to run parameterized predefined refactorings. The refactor element can be used after the verify operation and before, after or in between drop or create operations. It will be executed in the order in which it was defined. It cannot be used together with apply. Have a look at the general catalog example or at the appendix for some concrete examples of executing predefined refactorings.

3.4.3. Create a catalog from the actual database schema

The API provides getDatabaseCatalog and getLocalCatalog methods. The former reads all supported items in the Neo4j schema and creates a catalog view on them, the latter provides access to the catalog defined by all migrations.

Those methods are used by the CLI to provide the ability to dump the whole database schema as a catalog definition in our own XML format or as Cypher script targeting a specific Neo4j version.

Last but not least, there’s public API ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.catalog.CatalogDiff.between that can be used to diff two catalogs and evaluate whether they are identical, equivalent or different to each other.

Refactorings cannot be derived from an existing database.

3.5. Naming conventions

3.5.1. Cypher-based resources

All Cypher-based resources (especially migration and callback scripts) require .cypher as extension. The Core API, the Spring-Boot-Starter and the Maven-Plugin will by default search for such Cypher scripts in classpath:neo4j/migrations. The CLI has no default search-location.

Migration scripts

A Cypher script based migration must have a name following the given pattern to be recognized:

V1_2_3__Add_last_name_index.cypher
  • Prefix V for "Versioned Migrations"

  • Version with optional underscores separating as many parts as you like

  • Separator: __ (two underscores)

  • Required description: Underscores or spaces might be used to separate words

  • Suffix: .cypher

This applies to both Cypher scripts outside an application (in the file system) and inside an application (as resources).

Cypher-based migrations scripts are considered to be immutable once applied! We compute their checksums and record it inside the schema database. If you change a Cypher-based migration after it has been applied, any further application will fail.
Callback scripts

A Cypher script is recognized as a callback for a given lifecycle if it matches the following pattern:

nameOfTheLifecyclePhase.cypher
nameOfTheLifecyclePhase__optional_description.cypher

nameOfTheLifecyclePhase must match exactly (case-sensitive) the name of one of the supported lifecycle phases (see Section 3.3.1), followed by an optional description and the suffix .cypher, separated from the name of the phase by two underscores (__). The description is used to order different callback scripts for the same lifecycle phase. If you use more than one script in the same lifecycle phase without a description, the order is undefined.

Callback scripts are not considered to be immutable and can change between execution. If you use DDL statements such as CREATE USER or CREATE DATABASE in them make sure you look for an IF NOT EXITS option in your desired clause so that these statements become idempotent.

3.5.2. Catalog-based migrations

Catalog-based migrations (See Section 3.4) are XML files based on the migration.xsd scheme. As such they require the extension .xml and otherwise follow the same naming conventions as Cypher-based resources.

3.5.3. Java-based migrations

For Java (or actually anything that can be compiled to a valid Java class) based migrations, the same naming conventions apply as for Cypher-based scripts apart from the extension. To stick with the above example, V1_2_3__Add_last_name_index.cypher becomes V1_2_3__Add_last_name_index as simple class name, or in source form, V1_2_3__Add_last_name_index.java.

Our recommendation is to use something like this:

public class V1_2_3__AddLastNameIndex implements JavaBasedMigration {
    @Override
    public void apply(MigrationContext context) {
        // Your thing
    }

    @Override
    public String getSource() {
        return "Add last name index"; (1)
    }
}
1 Defaults to the simple class name being added to the history chain.

3.6. Chain of applied migrations

All migrations applied to a target database are stored in the schema database. The target and the schema database can be the same database. If you are an enterprise customer managing different databases for different tenants that are however used for the same application, it makes absolutely sense to use a separate schema database that stores all data related to Neo4j-Migrations.

The subgraph will look like this:

chain of migrations

In case you use a schema database for any database with a different name than the default (which is neo4j) the nodes labelled __Neo4jMigration will have an additional property name migrationTarget which contains the target graph.

The chain of applied migrations is stable, and you can of course query it (for example in callbacks), but you should not modify it in any way or form. In case you want to get rid of it, please use the clean operation.

3.7. Separate schema databases

Since version 1.1.0 you can use a different database for storing information about migrations. You need to run a Neo4j 4+ Enterprise Edition. The command line argument and the property, respectively, is schema-database throughout the configuration. The name given must be a valid Neo4j database name (See Administration and configuration). The database must exist and the user must have write access to it.

Valid scenarios are:

  • Using a schema database for one other database

  • Using a schema database for maintaining multiple migrations of different databases

  • Using pairs of schema databases and target databases

Neo4j-Migrations will create subgraphs in the schema database identifiable by a migrationTarget-property in the __Neo4jMigration-nodes. Neo4j-Migrations will not record a migrationTarget for the default database (usually neo4j), so that this feature doesn’t break compatibility with schemas created before 1.1.0.

It is usually a good idea to separate management data (like in this case the chain of applied migrations) from you own data, whether the latter is created or changed by refactorings itself or by an application). So we recommend to use separated databases when you’re on enterprise edition.

3.8. Transactions

All operations that are managed by Neo4j-Migrations directly, except catalog-based migrations, are executed inside transactional functions. This is essentially a scope around one or more statements which will be retried on certain conditions (for example, on losing connectivity inside a cluster setup).

You can configure if all statements of one Cypher-based migration go into one transactional function or if each statement goes into its own transactional scope:

Listing 17. Choose transaction behaviour
MigrationsConfig configPerMigration = MigrationsConfig.builder()
    .withTransactionMode(MigrationsConfig.TransactionMode.PER_MIGRATION)
    .build();

// OR

MigrationsConfig configPerStatement = MigrationsConfig.builder()
    .withTransactionMode(MigrationsConfig.TransactionMode.PER_STATEMENT)
    .build();

Per Migration is the default, as we think it’s safer: Either the whole migration is applied (or failed) or none. But there are certain scenarios that require a transaction per statement, for example most DDL operations such as creating databases might not be run together with DML operations in the same transaction.

Catalog-based migrations - that is creation of indexes and constraints through the dedicated Neo4j-Migrations API - are always executed inside auto-commit transactions, as the underlying connectivity has some deficiencies that don’t allow retries or continuing using a transaction in some failure conditions that might happen during the creation of schema items.

3.9. Preconditions

Our Cypher based migrations support a set of simple assertions and assumptions as preconditions prior to execution.

Preconditions can be added as a single-line Cypher comment to a script. Multiple preconditions in one script must all be met (logically chained with AND).

Assertions

Preconditions starting with // assert are hard requirements. If they cannot be satisfied by the target database, Neo4j-Migrations will abort.

Assumptions

Preconditions starting with // assume are soft requirements. If they cannot be satisfied, the corresponding script will be skipped and not be part of any chain.

If you think that preconditions might change (for example when asking for a specific version): Make sure you have alternative scripts with the same filename available, both having preconditions meeting the matching cases. We will treat them as alternatives and make sure that a changed checksum is not treated as an error. For example this would happen if you suddenly one migration has its precondition met which it didn’t before and therefore changing the chain of applied migrations.

3.9.1. Require a certain edition

The Neo4j edition can be required with either

// assume that edition is enterprise

or

// assume that edition is community.

3.9.2. Require a certain version

The Neo4j version can be required with

// assume that version is 4.3

Multiple versions can be enumerated after the is separated by a ,.

Version ranges can be required with lt (lower than) or ge (greater than or equals), for example:

// assume that version is ge 4.0

Both assumptions combined makes it safe to use version assumptions (see the warning above). We recommend using one refactoring for the minimum version you support and one for all higher that support the feature you want. For example: Your minimum supported database version is 4.3 and you want to create an existential constraint. You want to have 2 migrations:

Listing 18. 43/V0001__Create_existence_constraint.cypher
// assert that edition is enterprise
// assume that version is 4.3
CREATE CONSTRAINT isbn_exists IF NOT EXISTS ON (book:Library) ASSERT exists(book.isbn);

And the different one for 4.4 or higher:

Listing 19. 44/V0001__Create_existence_constraint.cypher
// assert that edition is enterprise
// assume that version is ge 4.4
CREATE CONSTRAINT isbn_exists IF NOT EXISTS FOR (book:Library) REQUIRE book.isbn IS NOT NULL;

The former will only applied to the 4.3, the latter to 4.4 or higher. If your user upgrades their database at some point, Neo4j-Migrations will recognize that it used an older, compatible script with it and wont fail, even though the new script has a different checksum.

3.9.3. Preconditions based on Cypher queries

You can require a precondition based on a query that must return a single, boolean value via

// assume q' RETURN true

The above case will of course always be satisfied.

Here’s a complete example:

// assert that edition is enterprise
// assert that version is 4.4
// assume q' MATCH (book:Library) RETURN count(book) = 0
CREATE CONSTRAINT isbn_exists IF NOT EXISTS FOR (book:Library) REQUIRE book.isbn IS NOT NULL;

This refactoring will only execute on Neo4j 4.4 enterprise (due to the requirements of existence constraints and the 4.4 syntax being used) and will be ignored when there are already nodes labeled Library.

3.9.4. Why only preconditions for scripts?

Since we offer full programmatic access to migrations together with the context that has information about the Neo4j version, edition and access to both target and schema database, it would be duplicate work if we take the decision away from you. You are completely free inside a programmatic refactoring not to do anything in a given context. The migration will be dutifully recorded nevertheless.

3.9.5. Upgrading older database

Given that your application needs to support multiple versions of Neo4j, including versions that didn’t exist when you created your application originally and you might have invalid Cypher now in potentially already applied migrations you can do the following

  • Create subfolders in your migration locations or configure additional locations

  • Duplicate the migrations that contain Cypher that is problematic in newer Neo4j versions

  • Keep the names of the migrations identical and distribute them accordingly in these folders

  • Add a precondition matching only older versions of Neo4j to one and keep the rest unaltered

  • Adapt the other one containing only "good" syntax and add a precondition for the newer Neo4j version

Thus you support the following scenarios:

  • On older database versions against which your application already ran, nothing will change; the migration with the fixed syntax will be skipped

  • Same for a clean slate on older database versions

  • On the newer database version, only the fixed syntax migration will be applied.

4. Usage

4.1. Common operations

4.1.1. Clean

clean applies by default to the schema database. It will remove Neo4j-Migrations related nodes and relationships. If there is no schema database selected, it works on the optional target database. If this isn’t configured either, the users home database will be used.

The clean operation will search for

  • Migration chains (those are the nodes containing information about the applied migrations)

  • Any log from this Neo4j-Migrations

  • Any constraints created by Neo4j-Migrations

and will delete and drop them in that order. This is a destructive operation, so make sure not to apply it to your production database without thinking at least twice. It cannot be undone via Neo4j-Migrations.

The operation takes in a boolean parameter. When set to false, only the migration chain for the currently configured target database will be deleted. When set to true, all objects created by Neo4j-Migrations will be deleted.

4.1.2. Info

The info operations returns information about the context, the database, all applied and all pending applications.

4.1.3. Migrate / apply

The migrate command (or its underlying method apply in the Migrations Core API) does exactly that: It applies all locally resolved migrations to the target database and stores the chain of applied migrations in the schema database.

It returns the last applied version.

4.1.4. Validate

The validate operations resolves all local migrations and checks whether all have applied in the same order and in the same version to the configured database. A target database will validate as valid when all migrations have been applied in the right order and invalid in any cases where migrations are missing, have not been applied, applied in a different order or with a different checksum.

The validation result provides an additional operation needsRepair(). In case the result is invalid you might check if it needs repair. If not, you can just call the apply operation to turn the database into a valid state.

4.2. CLI

Please choose the version of Neo4j-Migrations-CLI fitting your operating system or target system as described in Section 2.1. In the following we assume you downloaded and unzipped the architecture independent version. For that version to work, you need to have JDK 8 or higher installed:

Listing 20. Download and extraction of the JVM based version
java -version
curl -LO https://github.com/michael-simons/neo4j-migrations/releases/download/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
unzip neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
cd neo4j-migrations-1.13.0
./bin/neo4j-migrations -V

Those commands should first print out your Java version, then download, extract and run Neo4j-Migrations-CLI to give you its version.

If you only deal with Cypher-based migrations and don’t have the need for any programmatic migrations, we provide a native binary for your platform, make sure to choose that. Its startup time is faster, and you don’t need to have a JVM installed.

4.2.1. All options and arguments

The CLI comes with a build-in help, accessible via neo4j-migrations -h or neo4j-migrations --help:

./bin/neo4j-migrations --help
Usage: neo4j-migrations [-hvV] [--autocrlf] [--validate-on-migrate] -p
                        [=<password>] [-p[=<password>]]... [-a=<address>]
                        [-d=<database>] [--impersonate=<impersonatedUser>]
                        [--schema-database=<schemaDatabase>]
                        [--transaction-mode=<transactionMode>] [-u=<user>]
                        [--location=<locationsToScan>]...
                        [--package=<packagesToScan>]... [COMMAND]
Migrates Neo4j databases.
  -a, --address=<address>   The address this migration should connect to. The
                              driver supports bolt, bolt+routing or neo4j as
                              schemes.
      --autocrlf            Automatically convert Windows line-endings (CRLF)
                              to LF when reading resource based migrations,
                              pretty much what the same Git option does during
                              checkin.
  -d, --database=<database> The database that should be migrated (Neo4j EE 4.0
                              +).
  -h, --help                Show this help message and exit.
      --impersonate=<impersonatedUser>
                            The name of a user to impersonate during migration
                              (Neo4j EE 4.4+).
      --location=<locationsToScan>
                            Location to scan. Repeat for multiple locations.
  -p, --password[=<password>]
                            The password of the user connecting to the database.
      --package=<packagesToScan>
                            Package to scan. Repeat for multiple packages.
      --schema-database=<schemaDatabase>
                            The database that should be used for storing
                              information about migrations (Neo4j EE 4.0+).
      --transaction-mode=<transactionMode>
                            The transaction mode to use.
  -u, --username=<user>     The login of the user connecting to the database.
  -v                        Log the configuration and a couple of other things.
  -V, --version             Print version information and exit.
      --validate-on-migrate Validating helps you verify that the migrations
                              applied to the database match the ones available
                              locally and is on by default.
Commands:
  clean           Removes Neo4j-Migration specific data from the selected
                    schema database
  help            Displays help information about the specified command
  info            Retrieves all applied and pending information, prints them
                    and exits.
  init            Creates a migration project inside the current folder.
  migrate, apply  Retrieves all pending migrations, verify and applies them.
  run             Resolves the specified migrations and applies them. Does not
                    record any metadata.
  show-catalog    Gets the local or remote catalog and prints it to standard
                    out in the given format.
  validate        Resolves all local migrations and validates the state of the
                    configured database with them.

If no values are given to either location or packages we check for a directory structure of neo4j/migrations inside the current working directory and use that as a default for location if such a structure exists.

The info command takes a mode option as an optional argument:

Usage: neo4j-migrations info [mode=<mode>]
Retrieves all applied and pending informations, prints them and exits.
      mode=<mode>   Controls how the information should be computed. Valid
                      options are COMPARE, LOCAL, REMOTE with COMPARE being the
                      default. COMPARE will always compare locally discovered
                      and remotely applied migrations, while the other options
                      just check what's there.

This means that we by default compare what has been discovered locally with what has been applied in the database: We check for missing or superfluous migrations and also compare checksums. At times, you might want to have just a quick look at what is in the database, without configuring a local filesystem. Use mode=remote in that case: We just look at what is in the database and assume everything is applied. Use mode=local to print out what has been discovered locally with the current settings and would be applied to an empty database.

neo4j-migrations looks in the current working directory for a properties file called .migration.properties which can contain all supported options. Use such a file to avoid repeating long command lines all the time. Use neo4j-migrations init to create a file with the default values. Any options passed to neo4j-migrations before the init command will also be store.

4.2.2. Output

Direct information coming from the CLI itself will always go to standard out. Information coming from core migrations will be locked with a timestamp on standard error. This allows for controlled redirection of different information.

4.2.3. Safe passwords in CI/CD usage

There are 4 ways to specify the password:

  1. interactive: Use --password without arguments and your shell will prompt you with a hidden prompt.

  2. direct: Use --password not-so-secret. The password will be visible in the shell history and in the process monitor.

  3. Via environment variable: Define an environment variable like MY_PASSWORD and use --password:env MY_PASSWORD. Note that the parameter is the name of the variable, not the resolved value.

  4. Via a file: Create a file in a safe space and add your password in a single line in that file and use --password:file path/to/your/passwordFile. The password will be read from this file.

The last two options are a safe choice in scripts or in a CI/CD environment.

4.2.4. Well-known Neo4j environment variables

Neo4j AuraDB provides .env files when creating new instances that look like this:

Listing 21. A Neo4j AuraDB .env file
# Wait 60 seconds before connecting using these details, or login to https://console.neo4j.io to validate the Aura Instance is available
NEO4J_URI=neo4j+s://xxxx.databases.neo4j.io
NEO4J_USERNAME=neo4j
NEO4J_PASSWORD=somepassword
AURA_INSTANCENAME=Instance01

Neo4j-Migrations will recognize those environment variables when present. If you didn’t specify a value for username, password or address and those variables are present and not empty, Neo4j-Migrations will use them.

Above file can be directly used in a command like this (on a *Nix-system):

set -o allexport (1)
(source ~/Downloads/credentials-xxx.env; neo4j-migrations info)
set +o allexport
1 Might not be needed in your shell

4.2.5. Enable autocompletion for Neo4j-Migrations in your shell

Neo4j-Migrations can generate a shell script providing autocompletion for its options in Bash, zsh and others. Here’s how to use it:

Listing 22. Generate autocompletion script
./bin/neo4j-migrations generate-completion > neo4j-migrations_completion.sh

The generated script neo4j-migrations_completion.sh can than be run via . neo4j-migrations_completion.sh or permanently installed by sourcing it in your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc.

If you want to have autocompletion for Neo4j-Migrations just in your current shell use the following command

Listing 23. Add autocompletion to your current shell
source <(./bin/neo4j-migrations generate-completion)
Autocompletion for macOS is automatically installed when you use Homebrew.

4.2.6. Full example

Here’s an example that looks for migrations in a Java package, its subpackages and in a filesystem location for Cypher-based migrations. In this example we have exported the directory with our Java-based migrations like this: export CLASSPATH_PREFIX=~/Projects/neo4j-migrations/neo4j-migrations-core/target/test-classes/. Please adapt accordingly to your project and / or needs.

The example uses the info command to tell you which migrations have been applied and which not:

./bin/neo4j-migrations -uneo4j -psecret \
  --location file:$HOME/Desktop/foo \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset1 \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset2 \
  info

neo4j@localhost:7687 (Neo4j/4.4.0)
Database: neo4j

+---------+-----------------------------+--------+--------------+----+----------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------+
| Version | Description                 | Type   | Installed on | by | Execution time | State   | Source                                                       |
+---------+-----------------------------+--------+--------------+----+----------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------+
| 001     | FirstMigration              | JAVA   |              |    |                | PENDING | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset1.V001__FirstMigration                  |
| 002     | AnotherMigration            | JAVA   |              |    |                | PENDING | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset1.V002__AnotherMigration                |
| 023     | NichtsIstWieEsScheint       | JAVA   |              |    |                | PENDING | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset2.V023__NichtsIstWieEsScheint           |
| 023.1   | NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeu    | JAVA   |              |    |                | PENDING | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset2.V023_1__NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeu      |
| 023.1.1 | NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeuNeu | JAVA   |              |    |                | PENDING | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset2.V023_1_1__NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeuNeu |
| 030     | Something based on a script | CYPHER |              |    |                | PENDING | V030__Something_based_on_a_script.cypher                     |
| 042     | The truth                   | CYPHER |              |    |                | PENDING | V042__The_truth.cypher                                       |
+---------+-----------------------------+--------+--------------+----+----------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------+

You can repeat both --package and --location parameter for fine-grained control. Use migrate to apply migrations:

./bin/neo4j-migrations -uneo4j -psecret \
  --location file:$HOME/Desktop/foo \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset1 \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset2 \
  migrate
[2022-05-31T11:25:29.894372000] Applied migration 001 ("FirstMigration").
[2022-05-31T11:25:29.985192000] Applied migration 002 ("AnotherMigration").
[2022-05-31T11:25:30.001006000] Applied migration 023 ("NichtsIstWieEsScheint").
[2022-05-31T11:25:30.016117000] Applied migration 023.1 ("NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeu").
[2022-05-31T11:25:30.032421000] Applied migration 023.1.1 ("NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeuNeu").
[2022-05-31T11:25:30.056182000] Applied migration 030 ("Something based on a script").
[2022-05-31T11:25:30.077719000] Applied migration 042 ("The truth").
Database migrated to version 042.

If we go back to the info example above and grab all migrations again, we find the following result:

./bin/neo4j-migrations -uneo4j -psecret \
  --location file:$HOME/Desktop/foo \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset1 \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset2 \
  info

Database: Neo4j/4.0.0@localhost:7687

+---------+-----------------------------+--------+-------------------------------+---------------+----------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------+
| Version | Description                 | Type   | Installed on                  | by            | Execution time | State   | Source                                                       |
+---------+-----------------------------+--------+-------------------------------+---------------+----------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------+
| 001     | FirstMigration              | JAVA   | 2021-12-14T12:16:43.577Z[UTC] | msimons/neo4j | PT0S           | APPLIED | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset1.V001__FirstMigration                  |
| 002     | AnotherMigration            | JAVA   | 2021-12-14T12:16:43.876Z[UTC] | msimons/neo4j | PT0.032S       | APPLIED | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset1.V002__AnotherMigration                |
| 023     | NichtsIstWieEsScheint       | JAVA   | 2021-12-14T12:16:43.993Z[UTC] | msimons/neo4j | PT0S           | APPLIED | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset2.V023__NichtsIstWieEsScheint           |
| 023.1   | NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeu    | JAVA   | 2021-12-14T12:16:44.014Z[UTC] | msimons/neo4j | PT0S           | APPLIED | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset2.V023_1__NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeu      |
| 023.1.1 | NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeuNeu | JAVA   | 2021-12-14T12:16:44.035Z[UTC] | msimons/neo4j | PT0S           | APPLIED | a.s.n.m.c.t.changeset2.V023_1_1__NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeuNeu |
| 030     | Something based on a script | CYPHER | 2021-12-14T12:16:44.093Z[UTC] | msimons/neo4j | PT0.033S       | APPLIED | V030__Something_based_on_a_script.cypher                     |
| 042     | The truth                   | CYPHER | 2021-12-14T12:16:44.127Z[UTC] | msimons/neo4j | PT0.011S       | APPLIED | V042__The truth.cypher                                       |
+---------+-----------------------------+--------+-------------------------------+---------------+----------------+---------+--------------------------------------------------------------+

Another migrate - this time with all packages - gives us the following output and result:

./bin/neo4j-migrations -uneo4j -psecret \
  --location file:$HOME/Desktop/foo \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset1 \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset2 \
  migrate
[2022-05-31T11:26:23.054169000] Skipping already applied migration 001 ("FirstMigration")
[2022-05-31T11:26:23.058779000] Skipping already applied migration 002 ("AnotherMigration")
[2022-05-31T11:26:23.059185000] Skipping already applied migration 023 ("NichtsIstWieEsScheint")
[2022-05-31T11:26:23.059504000] Skipping already applied migration 023.1 ("NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeu")
[2022-05-31T11:26:23.059793000] Skipping already applied migration 023.1.1 ("NichtsIstWieEsScheintNeuNeu")
[2022-05-31T11:26:23.060068000] Skipping already applied migration 030 ("Something based on a script")
[2022-05-31T11:26:23.060329000] Skipping already applied migration 042 ("The truth")
Database migrated to version 042.

The database will be now in a valid state:

./bin/neo4j-migrations -uneo4j -psecret \
  --location file:$HOME/Desktop/foo \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset1 \
  --package ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.test_migrations.changeset2 \
  validate
All resolved migrations have been applied to the default database.

4.2.7. Using the CLI as a script runner

The CLI can be used as a simple runner for migrations scripts as well. The only necessity is that all scripts have well-defined names according to the format described here:

./bin/neo4j-migrations -uneo4j -psecret \
  run \
  --migration file:`pwd`/../../../neo4j-migrations-core/src/test/resources/manual_resources/V000__Create_schema.cypher \
  --migration file:`pwd`/../../../neo4j-migrations-core/src/test/resources/manual_resources/V000__Create_graph.cypher \
  --migration file:`pwd`/../../../neo4j-migrations-core/src/test/resources/manual_resources/V000__Refactor_graph.xml
[2022-09-27T17:24:11.589274000] Applied 000 ("Create graph")
[2022-09-27T17:24:11.860457000] Applied 000 ("Refactor graph")
Applied 2 migration(s).
You can specify as many resources as you want. They will be applied in order. No checks will be done whether they have already been applied or not and no metadata will be recored.

4.2.8. A template for Java-based migrations

As stated above, this will work only with the JVM distribution. Follow those steps:

wget https://github.com/michael-simons/neo4j-migrations/releases/download/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
unzip neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
cd neo4j-migrations-1.13.0
mkdir -p my-migrations/some/migrations
cat <<EOT >> my-migrations/some/migrations/V001__MyFirstMigration.java
package some.migrations;

import ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.JavaBasedMigration;
import ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.MigrationContext;

import org.neo4j.driver.Driver;
import org.neo4j.driver.Session;

public class V001__MyFirstMigration implements JavaBasedMigration {

    @Override
    public void apply(MigrationContext context) {
        try (Session session = context.getSession()) {
        }
    }
}
EOT
javac -cp "lib/*" my-migrations/some/migrations/*
CLASSPATH_PREFIX=my-migrations ./bin/neo4j-migrations -v -uneo4j -psecret --package some.migrations info
We do add this here for completeness, but we do think that Java-based migrations makes most sense from inside your application, regardless whether it’s a Spring Boot, Quarkus or just a plain Java application. The CLI should be seen primarily as a script runner.

4.3. Core API

We publish the Java-API-Docs here: Neo4j Migrations (Core) 1.13.0 API. Follow the instructions for your favorite dependency management tool to get hold of the core API as described in Section 2.2.

The classes you will be working with are ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.MigrationsConfig and its related builder and ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.Migrations and maybe ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.JavaBasedMigration in case you want to do programmatic refactorings.

4.3.1. Configuration and usage

Configuration is basically made up of two parts: Creating a driver instance that points to your database or cluster as described in Section 3.1 and an instance of MigrationsConfig. An instance of MigrationsConfig is created via a fluent-builder API. Putting everything together looks like this:

Listing 24. Creating an instance of Migrations based on a configuration object and the Java driver
Migrations migrations = new Migrations(
    MigrationsConfig.builder()
        .withPackagesToScan("some.migrations")
        .withLocationsToScan(
            "classpath:my/awesome/migrations",
            "file:/path/to/migration"
        )
        .build(),
    GraphDatabase.driver("bolt://localhost:7687", AuthTokens.basic("neo4j", "secret"))
);

migrations.apply(); (1)
1 Applies this migration object and migrates the database

In case anything goes wrong the API will throw a ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.MigrationsException. Of course your migrations will be recorded as a chain of applied migrations (as nodes with the label __Neo4jMigration) as well when you use the API directly.

The following operations are available:

info

Returns information about the context, the database, all applied and all pending applications

apply

Applies all discovered migrations

validate

Validates the database against the resolved migrations

clean

Cleans the selected schema database from every metadata created by this tool

The same operations are available in the CLI and Maven-Plugin. The corresponding starter for Spring Boot respectively the Quarkus extension will automatically run apply.

apply comes in a couple of overloads:

  • It will apply all discovered migrations when called without arguments or with a single boolean argument i

  • It will try to resolve URLS to supported migrations and apply them as is, without writing metadata when called with one or more URLs as argument. This method can also be ce called through the CLI (via the run command).

  • It will apply all refactorings in order when called with one or more instances of Refactoring. This method is only available in the Core API. Please read more about it here: Applying refactorings programmatically.

4.3.2. Running on the Java module-path

Neo4j-Migrations can be used on the Java module path. Make sure you require them in your module and export packages with Java-based migrations in case you’re using the latter. Resoruces on the classpath should be picked up automatically:

Listing 25. Using Neo4j-Migrations on the module path
module my.module {
    requires ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core;

    exports my.module.java_based_migrations; (1)
}
1 Only needed when you actually have those

4.4. Spring-Boot-Starter

We provide a starter with automatic configuration for Spring Boot. Declare the following dependency in your Spring Boot application:

<dependency>
    <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
    <artifactId>neo4j-migrations-spring-boot-starter</artifactId>
    <version>1.13.0</version>
</dependency>

Or follow the instructions for Gradle in Section 2.3.

That starter itself depends on the Neo4j Java Driver. The driver is managed by Spring Boot since 2.4, and you can enjoy configuration support directly through Spring Boot. For Spring Boot versions prior to Spring Boot 2.4, please have a look at version 0.0.13 of this library.

Neo4j-Migrations will automatically look for migrations in classpath:neo4j/migrations and will fail if this location does not exist. It does not scan by default for Java-based migrations.

Here’s an example on how to configure the driver and the migrations:

Listing 26. Configure both the driver, disable the existence check for migration scripts and scan for Java-based migration
spring.neo4j.authentication.username=neo4j
spring.neo4j.authentication.password=secret
spring.neo4j.uri=bolt://localhost:7687

# Add configuration for your migrations, for example, additional packages to scan
org.neo4j.migrations.packages-to-scan=your.changesets, another.changeset

# Or disable the check if the location exists
org.neo4j.migrations.check-location=false

Have a look at Section 4.4.2 for all supported properties.

The starter will log some details about the product version and the database connected to. This can be disabled by setting the logger ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.Migrations.Startup to a level higher than INFO.

4.4.1. Usage with @DataNeo4jTest

If you want to use your migrations together with @DataNeo4jTest which is provided with Spring Boot out of the box, you have to manually import our autoconfiguration like this:

import ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.MigrationsAutoConfiguration;

import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;
import org.neo4j.driver.Driver;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.ImportAutoConfiguration;
import org.springframework.boot.test.autoconfigure.data.neo4j.DataNeo4jTest;

import org.springframework.test.context.DynamicPropertyRegistry;
import org.springframework.test.context.DynamicPropertySource;
import org.testcontainers.containers.Neo4jContainer;
import org.testcontainers.junit.jupiter.Container;
import org.testcontainers.junit.jupiter.Testcontainers;
import org.testcontainers.utility.TestcontainersConfiguration;

@Testcontainers(disabledWithoutDocker = true)
@DataNeo4jTest (1)
@ImportAutoConfiguration(MigrationsAutoConfiguration.class) (2)
public class UsingDataNeo4jTest {

    @Container
    private static Neo4jContainer<?> neo4j = new Neo4jContainer<>("neo4j:4.4")
        .withReuse(TestcontainersConfiguration.getInstance().environmentSupportsReuse()); (3)

    @DynamicPropertySource
    static void neo4jProperties(DynamicPropertyRegistry registry) { (4)

        registry.add("spring.neo4j.uri", neo4j::getBoltUrl);
        registry.add("spring.neo4j.authentication.username", () -> "neo4j");
        registry.add("spring.neo4j.authentication.password", neo4j::getAdminPassword);
    }

    @Test
    void yourTest(@Autowired Driver driver) {
        // Whatever is tested
    }
}
1 Use the dedicated Neo4j test slice
2 Import this auto-configuration (which is not part of Spring Boot)
3 Bring up a container to test against
4 Use DynamicPropertySource for configuring the test resources dynamically

4.4.2. Available configuration properties

The following configuration properties in the org.neo4j.migrations namespace are supported:

Name Type Default Description

org.neo4j.migrations.check-location

java.lang.Boolean

true

Whether to check that migration scripts location exists.

org.neo4j.migrations.database

java.lang.String

null

The database that should be migrated (Neo4j EE 4.0+ only). Leave {@literal null} for using the default database.

org.neo4j.migrations.schema-database

java.lang.String

null

The database that should be used for storing information about migrations (Neo4j EE 4.0+ only). Leave {@literal null} for using the default database.

org.neo4j.migrations.impersonated-user

java.lang.String

null

An alternative user to impersonate during migration. Might have higher privileges than the user connected, which will be dropped again after migration. Requires Neo4j EE 4.4+. Leave {@literal null} for using the connected user.

org.neo4j.migrations.enabled

java.lang.Boolean

true

Whether to enable Neo4j-Migrations or not.

org.neo4j.migrations.encoding

java.nio.charset.Charset

UTF-8

Encoding of Cypher migrations.

org.neo4j.migrations.installed-by

java.lang.String

System user

Username recorded as property {@literal by} on the MIGRATED_TO relationship.

org.neo4j.migrations.locations-to-scan

java.lang.String[]

classpath:neo4j/migrations

Locations of migrations scripts.

org.neo4j.migrations.packages-to-scan

java.lang.String[]

An empty array

List of packages to scan for Java migrations.

org.neo4j.migrations.transaction-mode

TransactionMode

PER_MIGRATION

The transaction mode in use (Defaults to "per migration", meaning one script is run in one transaction).

org.neo4j.migrations.validate-on-migrate

boolean

true

Validating helps you verify that the migrations applied to the database match the ones available locally and is on by default.

org.neo4j.migrations.autocrlf

boolean

false

Automatically convert Windows line-endings (CRLF) to LF when reading resource based migrations, pretty much what the same Git option does during checkin.

Migrations can be disabled by setting org.neo4j.migrations.enabled to false.

4.5. Quarkus

We provide an extension with automatic configuration for Quarkus. Declare the following dependency in your Quarkus application:

<dependency>
    <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
    <artifactId>neo4j-migrations-quarkus</artifactId>
    <version>1.13.0</version>
</dependency>

That extension itself depends on the Neo4j Java Driver and the corresponding Quarkus extension Quarkus-Neo4j and requires at least Quarkus 2.6. You don’t need to declare those dependencies, they are already transitive dependencies of this extension.

Neo4j-Migrations will automatically look for migrations in classpath:neo4j/migrations and will fail if this location does not exist. It does not scan by default for Java-based migrations.

Here’s an example on how to configure the driver and the migrations:

Listing 27. Configure both the driver and scan for Java-based migrations, too
quarkus.neo4j.uri=bolt://localhost:7687
quarkus.neo4j.authentication.username=neo4j
quarkus.neo4j.authentication.password=secret

org.neo4j.migrations.packages-to-scan=foo.bar

If you disable Neo4j-Migrations via org.neo4j.migrations.enabled we won’t apply Migrations at startup but the Migrations object will still be in the context to be used.

All other properties available for the Spring-Boot-Starter are available for the Quarkus extension, too. Their namespace is the same: org.neo4j.migrations. The module will also log some details about the product version and the database connected to. This can be disabled by setting the logger ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.Migrations.Startup to a level higher than INFO.

4.5.1. Build-time vs runtime config

org.neo4j.migrations.packages-to-scan and org.neo4j.migrations.locations-to-scan are build-time configuration options and cannot be changed during runtime. This allows for optimized images to be created: All migrations that are part of the classpath (both scripts and class based migrations) are discovered during image build-time already and are included in the image themselves (this applies to both native and JVM images).

While scripts in file system locations (all locations starting with file://) are still discovered during runtime and thus allows for scripts being added without recreating the application image, the location cannot be dynamically changed. If you need a dynamic, file:// based location, use org.neo4j.migrations.external-locations. This property is changeable during runtime and allows for one image being used in different deployments pointing to different external locations with scripts outside the classpath

An alternative approach to that is using the CLI in a sidecar container, pointing to the dynamic location and keep applying database migrations outside the application itself.

4.5.2. Dev Services integration

Neo4j-Migrations will appear as a tile in the Quarkus Dev UI under http://localhost:8080/q/dev/. It provides a list of migrations which can be used to clean the database or apply all migrations. The latter is handy when migrate at start is disabled or in case there are callbacks that might reset or recreate testdata.

4.6. Maven-Plugin

You can trigger Neo4j-Migrations from your build a Maven-Plugin. Please refer to the dedicated Maven-Plugin page for a detailed list of all goals and configuration option as well as the default lifecycle mapping of the plugin.

4.6.1. Configuration

Most of the time you will configure the following properties for the plugin:

Listing 28. Configuring the Maven-Plugin
<plugin>
    <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
    <artifactId>neo4j-migrations-maven-plugin</artifactId>
    <version>1.13.0</version>
    <executions>
        <execution>
            <configuration>
                <user>neo4j</user>
                <password>secret</password>
                <address>bolt://localhost:${it-database-port}</address>
                <verbose>true</verbose>
            </configuration>
        </execution>
    </executions>
</plugin>

All goals provide those properties. By default, the plugin will look in neo4j/migrations for Cypher-based migrations. You can change that via locationsToScan inside the configuration element like this:

Listing 29. Changing the locations to scan for the Maven-Plugin
<locationsToScan>
    <locationToScan>file://${project.build.outputDirectory}/custom/path</locationToScan>
</locationsToScan>

Add multiple locationToScan elements for multiple locations to scan.

4.6.2. Goals

All goals as described in Section 4.1 are supported.

The above list links to the corresponding Maven-Plugin page, please check those goals out for further details.

4.7. Defining and using catalogs

This chapter is more about conceptional usage or scenarios one can implement by using Catalog-based migrations. All scenarios can be executed with any of the previously explained APIS, being it the CLI, the Core API or within Spring Boot, Quarkus or Maven, except easily dumping a local or a remote catalog as XML or Cypher file.

Catalogs are a powerful mechanism to shape your database’s schema exactly the way you want it and this is only a small subset of possible scenarios that can be implemented.

For the rest of these steps we assume that you are using the CLI and used the init command to create a local directory structure holding connection data such as URL and credentials as well as your migrations:

Listing 30. Create migrations directory with credentials etc.
neo4j-migrations -a bolt://localhost:7687 -u neo4j -p secret init
tree -a

which will result in

.
├── .migrations.properties
└── neo4j
    └── migrations

2 directories, 1 file

All migrations we are going to work with will be stored in neo4j/migrations.

One sensible step before doing anything with the schema is to assert our local catalog meets the remote catalog as expected. In this example we assert toe remote catalog to be empty and we define our first migration like this:

Listing 31. V010__Assert_empty_schema.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <verify useCurrent="true"/> (1)
</migration>
1 useCurrent has been set to true to refer to the local catalog as defined in version 10, which is been empty, exactly what we expect

Applying this now via neo4j-migrations apply yields the following result:

[2022-06-01T15:13:39.997000000] Applied migration 010 ("Assert empty schema").
Database migrated to version 010.

Of course this step is only executed once, when this migration is applied. If we add another one too it, that verification does not happen again, as the 010 has been applied. Therefore, a verification step can be added to each catalog based migration:

Listing 32. V020__Create_person_name_unique.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <catalog>
    <constraints>
      <constraint name="person_name_unique" type="unique">
        <label>Person</label>
        <properties>
          <property>name</property>
        </properties>
      </constraint>
    </constraints>
  </catalog>

  <verify/>
  <create ref="person_name_unique"/>
</migration>

Note that we didn’t specify useCurrent here. This means verification should happen based on the local catalog prior to version 020. Applying this migration yields:

[2022-06-01T15:17:27.508000000] Skipping already applied migration 010 ("Assert empty schema")
[2022-06-01T15:17:27.771000000] Applied migration 020 ("Create person name unique").
Database migrated to version 020.

A day later you figure out that a unique constraint on a persons names isn’t the best of all ideas, and you decide to fix that. Assuming for sake of sanity that every person has a name, we replace that uniqueness with an existential constraint.

Existential constraints are a Neo4j enterprise feature, so we must cater for that as well and we define two different files for the next version:

Listing 33. V030__Fix_person_name_constraint_CE.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <?assume that edition is community ?>
  <drop item="person_name_unique"/>
</migration>

and for the enterprise edition, we can redefine the constraint like this:

Listing 34. V030__Fix_person_name_constraint_EE.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <?assume that edition is enterprise ?>
  <catalog>
    <constraints>
      <constraint name="person_name_unique" type="exists">
        <label>Person</label>
        <properties>
          <property>name</property>
        </properties>
      </constraint>
    </constraints>
  </catalog>

  <drop ref="person_name_unique"/>
  <create ref="person_name_unique"/>
</migration>

Note how we can refer to the constraint by ref in Listing 34 and how we must use item in Listing 33. The reason for that is that we refer to an older item only in the migration for community edition. We redefined the item in the script for the enterprise edition, so we might as well refer to it. In older Neo4j versions not supporting names for constraints Neo4j-Migrations will use the old definition to drop the item in question.

Applying the current state now yields

[2022-06-01T16:04:46.446188000] Skipping 030 ("Fix person name constraint CE") due to unmet preconditions:
// assume that edition is COMMUNITY
[2022-06-01T16:04:46.493400000] Skipping already applied migration 010 ("Assert empty schema")
[2022-06-01T16:04:46.496401000] Skipping already applied migration 020 ("Create person name unique")
[2022-06-01T16:04:46.659585000] Applied migration 030 ("Fix person name constraint EE").
Database migrated to version 030.

Assuming you some other enterprise stuff related items in the following listing:

Listing 35. V040__Additional_stuff.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <?assume that edition is enterprise ?>
  <catalog>
    <indexes/>
    <constraints>
      <constraint name="liked_day" type="exists">
        <type>LIKED</type>
        <properties>
          <property>day</property>
        </properties>
      </constraint>
      <constraint name="person_keys" type="key">
        <label>Person</label>
        <properties>
          <property>firstname</property>
          <property>surname</property>
        </properties>
      </constraint>
    </constraints>
  </catalog>

  <create ref="liked_day"/>
  <create ref="person_keys"/>
</migration>

To get some information about your database, you can inspect the remote catalog:

Listing 36. Inspecting the remote catalog
neo4j-migrations show-catalog

and it will print the catalog in XML:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
    <catalog>
        <indexes/>
        <constraints>
            <constraint name="liked_day" type="unique">
                <label>LIKED</label>
                <properties>
                    <property>day</property>
                </properties>
            </constraint>
            <constraint name="person_keys" type="key">
                <label>Person</label>
                <properties>
                    <property>firstname</property>
                    <property>surname</property>
                </properties>
            </constraint>
            <constraint name="person_name_unique" type="exists">
                <label>Person</label>
                <properties>
                    <property>name</property>
                </properties>
            </constraint>
        </constraints>
    </catalog>
</migration>

You can also get the catalog as Cypher with

neo4j-migrations show-catalog format=CYPHER version=4.4

yielding

CREATE CONSTRAINT person_keys IF NOT EXISTS FOR (n:Person) REQUIRE (n.firstname, n.surname) IS NODE KEY;
CREATE CONSTRAINT liked_day IF NOT EXISTS FOR ()-[r:LIKED]-() REQUIRE r.day IS NOT NULL;
CREATE CONSTRAINT person_name_unique IF NOT EXISTS FOR (n:Person) REQUIRE n.name IS NOT NULL;

Changing the version number to an older version will give the correct syntax, too:

> neo4j-migrations show-catalog format=CYPHER version=3.5
CREATE CONSTRAINT ON (n:Person) ASSERT (n.firstname, n.surname) IS NODE KEY;
CREATE CONSTRAINT ON ()-[r:LIKED]-() ASSERT exists(r.day);
CREATE CONSTRAINT ON (n:Person) ASSERT exists(n.name);

After all, you decide it’s best not to stick with any constraint on the persons name and also drop your experiments. You could use <apply /> to make your database look exactly like your catalog. But that would include all previously defined items, too.

Therefore, you need to reset the catalog as shown in the following listing:

Listing 37. V050__A_new_start.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <catalog reset="true">
    <constraints>
      <constraint name="unique_person_id" type="unique">
        <label>Person</label>
        <properties>
          <property>id</property>
        </properties>
      </constraint>
    </constraints>
  </catalog>
  <apply/>
</migration>

followed by a final verification:

Listing 38. V060__Assert_final_state.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">

  <verify allowEquivalent="false"/>
</migration>

Run the following commands to see the outcome:

neo4j-migrations apply

applies everything:

[2022-06-01T19:16:20.058218000] Skipping 030 ("Fix person name constraint CE") due to unmet preconditions:
// assume that edition is COMMUNITY
[2022-06-01T19:16:20.223937000] Skipping already applied migration 010 ("Assert empty schema")
[2022-06-01T19:16:20.225464000] Skipping already applied migration 020 ("Create person name unique")
[2022-06-01T19:16:20.225748000] Skipping already applied migration 030 ("Fix person name constraint EE")
[2022-06-01T19:16:20.226022000] Skipping already applied migration 040 ("Additional stuff")
[2022-06-01T19:16:20.501686000] Applied migration 050 ("A new start").
[2022-06-01T19:16:20.551983000] Applied migration 060 ("Assert final state").
Database migrated to version 060.
neo4j-migrations show-catalog format=CYPHER

presents the remote catalog as

CREATE CONSTRAINT unique_person_id IF NOT EXISTS FOR (n:Person) REQUIRE n.id IS UNIQUE;

and so does the local catalog

neo4j-migrations show-catalog format=CYPHER mode=LOCAL 2&>/dev/null

The redirect is included here so that log messages on stderr are skipped (the message about one migration skipped due to unmet preconditions).

Appendix

Glossary

Pending migration

See Resolved migration.

Resolved migration

A migration that has been resolved in the classpath or the filesystem which has not been yet applied.

Schema database

A database inside a Neo4j enterprise instance or cluster that stores the schema information from Neo4j-Migrations.

Target database

A database inside a Neo4j enterprise instance or cluster that is refactored by Neo4j-Migrations.

XML Schemes

migration.xsd

Before we jump into the pure joy of an XML Schema, lets read in plain english what our schema can do:

  • A <migration /> can have zero or exactly one <catalog /> element.

  • A <catalog /> consists of zero or one <constraints /> and zero or one <indexes /> elements. In addition, it can indicate a reset attribute, replacing the current known content with the catalog currently being in definition.

  • Both of them can contain zero or more of their individual elements, according to their definition.

  • A <migration /> can have zero or one <verify /> operations and the <verify /> operation must be the first operation.

  • A <migration /> can than have zero or more <create /> and <drop /> operations or exactly one <apply /> operation. The <apply /> operation is mutual exclusive to all operations working on single items.

  • Operations that work on a single item (create and drop) are allowed to define a single item locally. This item won’t participate in the global catalog.

  • Operations that work on a single item can refer to this item by either using the attribute item (a free form string) or ref (an xs:IDREF). While the latter is useful for referring to items defined in the same migration (it will usually be validated by your tooling), the former is handy to refer to items defined in other migrations.

A catalog item will either have a child-element <label /> in which case it will always refer to nodes or a mutual exclusive child-element <type /> in which it always refers to relationships. The type attribute is unrelated to the target entity. This attribute defines the type of the element (such as unique- or existential constraints).

We do support the following processing instructions:

  • <?assert followed by a valid precondition ?>

  • <?assume followed by a valid precondition ?>

Look up valid preconditions here. The full XMl schema for catalog-based migrations looks like this:

Listing 39. migration.xsd
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<!--

    Copyright 2020-2022 the original author or authors.

    Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
    you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
    You may obtain a copy of the License at

         https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

    Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
    distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
    WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
    See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
    limitations under the License.

-->
<xs:schema xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"
       targetNamespace="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations"
       xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations"
       elementFormDefault="qualified">

  <xs:element name="migration" type="migration"/>

  <xs:complexType name="migration">
    <xs:sequence>
      <xs:element name="catalog" minOccurs="0" type="catalog"/>
      <xs:element name="verify" minOccurs="0" type="verifyOperation" />
      <xs:choice>
        <xs:choice maxOccurs="unbounded">
          <xs:element name="refactor" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="unbounded" type="refactoring"/>
          <xs:choice maxOccurs="unbounded">
            <xs:element name="create" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="unbounded" type="createOperation"/>
            <xs:element name="drop" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="unbounded" type="dropOperation"/>
          </xs:choice>
        </xs:choice>
        <xs:element name="apply" minOccurs="0" type="applyOperation"/>
      </xs:choice>
    </xs:sequence>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="refactoring">
    <xs:sequence minOccurs="0">
      <xs:element name="parameters">
        <xs:complexType>
          <xs:sequence maxOccurs="unbounded">
            <xs:any processContents="lax"/>
          </xs:sequence>
        </xs:complexType>
      </xs:element>
    </xs:sequence>
    <xs:attribute name="type">
      <xs:simpleType>
        <xs:restriction base="xs:string">
          <xs:enumeration value="merge.nodes"/>
          <xs:enumeration value="migrate.createFutureIndexes"/>
          <xs:enumeration value="migrate.replaceBTreeIndexes"/>
          <xs:enumeration value="normalize.asBoolean"/>
          <xs:enumeration value="rename.label"/>
          <xs:enumeration value="rename.type"/>
          <xs:enumeration value="rename.nodeProperty"/>
          <xs:enumeration value="rename.relationshipProperty"/>
        </xs:restriction>
      </xs:simpleType>
    </xs:attribute>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="catalog">
    <xs:all>
      <xs:element name="constraints" minOccurs="0">
        <xs:complexType>
          <xs:sequence>
            <xs:element type="constraint" name="constraint"
                  maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="0"/>
          </xs:sequence>
        </xs:complexType>
      </xs:element>
      <xs:element name="indexes" minOccurs="0">
        <xs:complexType>
          <xs:sequence>
            <xs:element type="index" name="index"
                  maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="0"/>
          </xs:sequence>
        </xs:complexType>
      </xs:element>
    </xs:all>
    <xs:attribute name="reset" type="xs:boolean" default="false"/>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="operation" />

  <xs:complexType name="applyOperation">
    <xs:complexContent>
      <xs:extension base="operation" />
    </xs:complexContent>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="verifyOperation">
    <xs:complexContent>
      <xs:extension base="operation" >
        <xs:attribute name="useCurrent" type="xs:boolean" default="false"/>
        <xs:attribute name="allowEquivalent" type="xs:boolean" default="true"/>
        <xs:attribute name="includeOptions" type="xs:boolean" default="false"/>
      </xs:extension>
    </xs:complexContent>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="itemOperation">
    <xs:complexContent>
      <xs:extension base="operation">
        <xs:sequence>
          <xs:choice minOccurs="0">
            <xs:element name="constraint" type="constraint"/>
            <xs:element name="index" type="index"/>
          </xs:choice>
        </xs:sequence>
        <xs:attribute name="item" type="xs:string"/>
        <xs:attribute name="ref" type="xs:IDREF"/>
      </xs:extension>
    </xs:complexContent>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="createOperation">
    <xs:complexContent>
      <xs:extension base="itemOperation">
        <xs:attribute name="ifNotExists" type="xs:boolean" default="true"/>
      </xs:extension>
    </xs:complexContent>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="dropOperation">
    <xs:complexContent>
      <xs:extension base="itemOperation">
        <xs:attribute name="ifExists" type="xs:boolean" default="true"/>
      </xs:extension>
    </xs:complexContent>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="properties">
    <xs:sequence>
      <xs:element type="xs:string" name="property" maxOccurs="unbounded"/>
    </xs:sequence>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="catalogItem">
    <xs:attribute name="name" use="required" type="xs:ID"/>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="constraint">
    <xs:complexContent>
      <xs:extension base="catalogItem">
        <xs:sequence>
          <xs:choice>
            <xs:element name="label" type="xs:string"/>
            <xs:element name="type" type="xs:string"/>
          </xs:choice>
          <xs:element type="properties" name="properties"/>
          <xs:element type="xs:string" name="options" minOccurs="0"/>
        </xs:sequence>
        <xs:attribute name="type" use="required">
          <xs:simpleType>
            <xs:restriction base="xs:string">
              <xs:enumeration value="unique"/>
              <xs:enumeration value="exists"/>
              <xs:enumeration value="key"/>
            </xs:restriction>
          </xs:simpleType>
        </xs:attribute>
      </xs:extension>
    </xs:complexContent>
  </xs:complexType>

  <xs:complexType name="index">
    <xs:complexContent>
      <xs:extension base="catalogItem">
        <xs:sequence>
          <xs:choice>
            <xs:element name="label" type="xs:string"/>
            <xs:element name="type" type="xs:string"/>
          </xs:choice>
          <xs:element type="properties" name="properties"/>
          <xs:element type="xs:string" name="options" minOccurs="0"/>
        </xs:sequence>
        <xs:attribute name="type">
          <xs:simpleType>
            <xs:restriction base="xs:string">
              <xs:enumeration value="property" />
              <xs:enumeration value="fulltext"/>
              <xs:enumeration value="text"/>
            </xs:restriction>
          </xs:simpleType>
        </xs:attribute>
      </xs:extension>
    </xs:complexContent>
  </xs:complexType>
</xs:schema>

Refactorings

Neo4j-Migrations contains a set of ready-to-use database refactorings. These refactorings are all modelled very closely to those available in APOC but none of them requires APOC to be installed in your database. The refactorings are mostly designed to work from within a catalog but they work very well on their own to. While they are part of the Core API, they don’t depend on a Migration instance. Their API is subject to the same versioning guarantees as the rest of Neo4j-Migrations. Refactorings might evolve into a their module at a later point in time.

Some refactorings require certain Neo4j versions. If you do support multiple Neo4j versions, define those refactorings as single itemed migrations and add assumptions like in the following example:

Listing 40. Normalize boolean properties when running Neo4j 4.1+
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">

  <?assume that version is ge 4.1 ?>

  <refactor type="normalize.asBoolean">
    <parameters>
      <parameter name="property">watched</parameter>
      <parameter name="trueValues">
        <value>y</value>
        <value>YES</value>
      </parameter>
      <parameter name="falseValues">
        <value>n</value>
        <value>NO</value>
      </parameter>
    </parameters>
  </refactor>
</migration>

Applying refactorings programmatically

While you would normally use the declarative approach of applying refactorings from within XML / catalog based migrations, Neo4j-Migrations offers an API for it as well:

Listing 41. Rename one type and normalize attributes to boolean in a programmatic fashion
try (Session session = driver.session()) {
  session.run("CREATE (m:Person {name:'Michael'}) -[:LIKES]-> (n:Person {name:'Tina', klug:'ja'})"); (1)
}

Migrations migrations = new Migrations(MigrationsConfig.defaultConfig(), driver); (2)

Counters counters = migrations.apply(
  Rename.type("LIKES", "MAG"), (3)
  Normalize.asBoolean("klug", List.of("ja"), List.of("nein"))
);

try (Session session = driver.session()) {
  long cnt = session
    .run("MATCH (m:Person {name:'Michael'}) -[:MAG]-> (n:Person {name:'Tina', klug: true}) RETURN count(m)")
    .single().get(0).asLong();
  assert cnt == 1
}
1 The graph that will be refactored
2 You can create the instance as shown here or use the existing one when you already use the Spring Boot starter or the Quarkus extensions
3 Build as many refactorings as needed, they will be applied in order. You can use the counters to check for the numbers of modifications

Merging nodes

Merge.nodes(String source, List<PropertyMergePolicy> mergePolicies) merges all the nodes, their properties and relationships onto a single node (the first in the list of matched nodes). It is important that your query uses an ordered return for this to work proper.

The Merge refactoring requires Neo4j 4.4+.

As catalog item:

<refactor type="merge.nodes">
  <parameters>
    <parameter name="sourceQuery">MATCH (p:Person) RETURN p ORDER BY p.name ASC</parameter>
    <!-- Repeat as often as necessary -->
    <parameter name="mergePolicy">
      <pattern>name</pattern>
      <strategy>KEEP_LAST</strategy>
    </parameter>
    <parameter name="mergePolicy">
      <pattern>.*</pattern>
      <strategy>KEEP_FIRST</strategy>
    </parameter>
  </parameters>
</refactor>

Normalizing

Normalizing is the process to take an humongous set of properties and other Graph Items and apply a scheme to it. The normalizing refactoring requires at least Neo4j 4.1, running it with batches requires Neo4j 4.4 or higher.

Normalize properties as boolean

Often times database schemes evolved over time, and you find properties with a boolean meaning and a string datatype with content such as ja, HiddenB, yes, NO or literal null. To use them proper in queries, you might want to normalize them into a real boolean value. This is done with Normalize.asBoolean.

Normalize.asBoolean takes in the name of a property and a list of values that are treated as true and a list of values that are treated as false. A property with a value that is not in any of those lists will be deleted. null as value is a non-existent property. However, if either lists contains literal null, a property will be created with the corresponding value.

By default all properties of all nodes and relationships will be normalized. To only apply this refactoring to a subset, i.e. only to nodes, you would want to use a custom query.

A Java example looks like this:

Normalize.asBoolean(
    "watched",
    List.of("y", "YES", "JA"),
        // List.of does not support literal null,
        // so we need to this the old-school
    Arrays.asList("n", "NO", null)
);

The same as a catalog item:

<refactor type="normalize.asBoolean">
  <parameters>
    <parameter name="property">watched</parameter>
    <parameter name="trueValues">
      <value>y</value>
      <value>YES</value>
      <value>JA</value>
    </parameter>
    <parameter name="falseValues">
      <value>n</value>
      <value>NO</value>
      <value />
    </parameter>
    <!-- Optional custom query and batch size -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="customQuery">MATCH (n:Movie) return n</parameter>
    <parameter name="batchSize">42</parameter>
    -->
  </parameters>
</refactor>

Renaming labels, types and properties

ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.refactorings.Rename renames labels, types and properties and requires in its default form only Neo4j 3.5 to work. Custom queries for filtering target entities require Neo4j 4.1, batches Neo4j 4.4.

Common methods
inBatchesOf

Enables or disables batching, requires Neo4j 4.4

withCustomQuery

Provides a custom query matching an entity (Node or Label) for renaming. The query must return zero or more rows each containing one item. This feature requires Neo4j 4.1

Renaming labels

Rename.label(String from, String to) renames all labels on all nodes that are equal the value of from to the value of to.

As catalog item:

<refactor type="rename.label">
  <parameters>
    <parameter name="from">Engineer</parameter>
    <parameter name="to">DevRel</parameter>
    <!-- Optional custom query -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="customQuery"><![CDATA[
      MATCH (person:Engineer)
      WHERE person.name IN ["Mark", "Jennifer", "Michael"]
      RETURN person
    ]]></parameter>
    -->
    <!-- Optional batch size (requires Neo4j 4.4+) -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="batchSize">23</parameter>
    -->
  </parameters>
</refactor>
Renaming types

Rename.type(String from, String to) renames all types on all relationships that are equal the value of from to the value of to.

As catalog item:

<refactor type="rename.type">
  <parameters>
    <parameter name="from">COLLEAGUES</parameter>
    <parameter name="to">FROLLEAGUES</parameter>
    <!-- Optional custom query -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="customQuery"><![CDATA[
      MATCH (:Engineer {name: "Jim"})-[rel]->(:Engineer {name: "Alistair"})
      RETURN rel
    ]]></parameter>
    -->
    <!-- Optional batch size (requires Neo4j 4.4+) -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="batchSize">23</parameter>
    -->
  </parameters>
</refactor>
Renaming node properties

Rename.nodeProperty(String from, String to) renames all properties on all nodes that are equal the value of from to the value of to.

As catalog item:

<refactor type="rename.nodeProperty">
  <parameters>
    <parameter name="from">released</parameter>
    <parameter name="to">veröffentlicht im Jahr</parameter>
    <!-- Optional custom query -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="customQuery"><![CDATA[
      MATCH (n:Movie) WHERE n.title =~ '.*Matrix.*' RETURN n
    ]]></parameter>
    -->
    <!-- Optional batch size (requires Neo4j 4.4+) -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="batchSize">23</parameter>
    -->
  </parameters>
</refactor>
Renaming type properties

Rename.typeProperty(String from, String to) renames all properties on all relationships that are equal the value of from to the value of to.

As catalog item:

<refactor type="rename.relationshipProperty">
  <parameters>
    <parameter name="from">roles</parameter>
    <parameter name="to">rollen</parameter>
    <!-- Optional custom query -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="customQuery"><![CDATA[
      MATCH (n:Movie) <-[r:ACTED_IN] -() WHERE n.title =~ '.*Matrix.*' RETURN r
    ]]></parameter>
    -->
    <!-- Optional batch size (requires Neo4j 4.4+) -->
    <!--
    <parameter name="batchSize">23</parameter>
    -->
  </parameters>
</refactor>

Migrating BTREE indexes to "future" indexes

Neo4j 4.4 introduces future indexes, RANGE and POINT which replace the well known BTREE indexes of Neo4j 4.x. These new indexes are available from Neo4j 4.4 onwards but will not participate in any query planing in Neo4j 4.4. They exist merely for migration purposes in Neo4j 4.4: Neo4j 5.0 does not support BTREE indexes at all. This means a database that contains BTREE indexes cannot be upgraded to Neo4j 5.0. Existing BTREE indexes need to be dropped prior to attempting the upgrade. The class ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.core.refactorings.MigrateBTreeIndexes has been created for this purpose. It allows creation of matching new indexes and optionally dropping the indexes that are no longer supported in Neo4j 5.0 and higher prior to upgrading the store.

As with all the other refactorings, it can be used programmatically in your own application or through Neo4j-Migrations.

Preparing an upgrade to Neo4j 5.0 by creating future indexes in parallel
Listing 42. Creating future indexes in parallel to old indexes
<refactor type="migrate.createFutureIndexes">
    <parameters> (1)
        <parameter name="suffix">_future</parameter> (2)
        <parameter name="excludes"> (3)
            <value>a</value>
            <value>b</value>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="typeMapping"> (4)
            <mapping>
                <name>c</name>
                <type>POINT</type>
            </mapping>
            <mapping>
                <name>d</name>
                <type>TEXT</type>
            </mapping>
        </parameter>
    </parameters>
</refactor>
1 All parameters are optional
2 The default suffix is _new
3 An excludes list can be used to exclude items from being processed by name. Its pendant is the includes list. If the latter is not empty, only the items in the list will be processed
4 By default, RANGE indexes are created. The type mapping allows to map specific old indexes to either RANGE, POINT or TEXT. The type mappings are not consulted when migrating constraint-backing indexes.

When the above refactoring is applied, new indexes and constraints will be created in parallel to the old ones. The refactoring will log statements for dropping the old constraints.

Preparing an upgrade to Neo4j 5.0 by replacing BTREE indexes with future indexes

The advantage of this approach is the fact that it won’t need additional manual work before doing a store upgrade. However, the store upgrade should follow closely after dropping the old indexes and creating the replacement indexes as the latter won’t participate in planning at all prior to the actual upgrade to Neo4j 5.0 or higher.

Listing 43. Replacing BTREE indexes with future indexes
<refactor type="migrate.replaceBTreeIndexes">
    <parameters>
        <parameter name="includes">
            <value>x</value>
            <value>y</value>
        </parameter>
    </parameters>
</refactor>

The suffix parameter is not supported as it is not needed. The other parameters have the same meaning as with migrate.createFutureIndexes. The above example shows the includes parameter.

Annotation processing

Neo4j-Migrations offers annotation processing for SDN 6 and generates catalogs containing unique constraints for all @Node entities using either assigned or externally generated ids (via @Id plus an optional external @GeneratedValue or without further annotation).

This is in line with recommended best practices for SDN 6:

  • Use externally assigned or generated IDs instead of Neo4j internal id values (especially when making those ids available to external systems)

  • Create at least indexes for them, better unique constraint to ensure that any assigned value is fit for its purpose

For more ideas and ruminations around that, please have a look at How to choose an unique identifier for your database entities. While that article is still from an SDN5+OGM perspective, it’s core ideas still apply.

The annotation processor is available under the following coordinates:

Listing 44. Annotation processor as Maven dependency
<dependency>
    <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
    <artifactId>neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor</artifactId>
    <version>1.13.0</version>
</dependency>

It has no dependencies apart from Neo4j-Migrations itself (neither SDN6 nor Neo4j-OGM), so it is safe to use it either directly as dependency so that it will be picked up by all recent Java compilers or as dedicated processor for the compiler:

Listing 45. Annotation processor configured as processor fot the compiler plugin inside a Maven pom
<plugin>
    <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
    <artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
    <configuration>
        <annotationProcessorPaths>
            <annotationProcessorPath>
                <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
                <artifactId>neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor</artifactId>
                <version>1.13.0</version>
            </annotationProcessorPath>
        </annotationProcessorPaths>
        <compilerArgs>
            <arg>-Aorg.neo4j.migrations.catalog_generator.default_catalog_name=V${next-migration-version}__Create_sdn_constraints.xml</arg>
            <arg>-Aorg.neo4j.migrations.catalog_generator.output_dir=my-generated-migrations</arg>
        </compilerArgs>
    </configuration>
</plugin>

The latter approach allows for passing additional configuration to the processor, such as the output location relativ to target/generated-sources and various name generators. There is a limited API to the processor living in the neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor-api module, such as ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.annotations.proc.ConstraintNameGenerator and the CatalogNameGenerator. You can provide implementations, but they must live outside the project that is being subject to compilation, as otherwise those classes can’t be loaded by us. All implementations must provide a default, publicly accessible constructor or - if they take in any nested options - a public constructor taking in exactly one argument of type Map<String, String>.

The scope of the generator is limited on purpose: It will generate a valid catalog declaration and by default an <apply /> operation. The latter is safe todo because catalogs are internally bound to their migration version and elements added or changed in v2 of a catalog will be appended, no elements will be deleted from the known catalog. Optionally the generator can be configured to generate a reset catalog, which will start the catalog at the given version fresh.

The generator does not generate a migration in a known migrations directory nor does it use a name that will be picked up Neo4j-Migrations by default. It is your task to configure the build system in such a way that any generated migration will

  • have a recognized naming schema

  • a name that evaluates to a correctly ordered version number

  • be part of the directories in the target that are configured to be picked by Neo4j-Migrations

Taking the above configuration of the processor one exemplary way to take this further is this:

Listing 46. Adding generated migrations to the actual target dir
<plugin>
    <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
    <artifactId>maven-resources-plugin</artifactId>
    <executions>
        <execution>
            <id>copy-resources</id>
            <goals>
                <goal>copy-resources</goal>
            </goals>
            <phase>process-classes</phase>
            <configuration>
                <outputDirectory>${project.build.outputDirectory}/neo4j/migrations/</outputDirectory>
                <resources>
                    <resource>
                        <directory>${project.build.directory}/generated-sources/annotations/my-generated-migrations</directory>
                        <filtering>false</filtering>
                    </resource>
                </resources>
            </configuration>
        </execution>
    </executions>
</plugin>

This works in our examples but bear in mind: The migration will always be regenerated. This is fine as long as you don’t change your annotated model in any capacity that results in a new or modified index (renaming attributes, labels etc.).

One approach is to add the processor to your build and run a diff with the last "good" generated catalog and the new one. If it is different, add the new catalog under an incremented version number.

A simpler approach is using a name generator that is connected to your target dev-database using a Migrations instance and our api (MigrationChain info = migrations.info(MigrationChain.ChainBuilderMode.REMOTE);) to get the latest applied version from the info instance (via .getLastAppliedVersion) and take that and increment it and just add the catalog fresh with a new version if it has change, otherwise resuse the old name.

For the naming generation APIs are provided and for the rest, maven-resources-plugin and maybe build-helper-maven-plugin are helpful. The decision to delegate that work has been made as it is rather difficult to propose a one-size-fits-all solution within this tool for all the combinations of different setups and build-systems out there.

Options can be passed to name generators via -Aorg.neo4j.migrations.catalog_generator.naming_options=<nestedproperties> with nestedproperties following a structure like a=x,b=y and so on. If you want to use that, your own name generator must provide a public constructor taking in one single Map<String, String> argument.

Our recommended approach is to use javac directly and script it’s invocation in your CI/CD system as shown in the following paragraph!

Using Javac and our annotation processor

The annotation processor itself is made of 3 artifacts:

neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.jar

Needed to generate the catalogs

neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor-api-1.13.0.jar

Contains the API and built-in annotations

neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor-1.13.0.jar

The processor itself

You need to make sure to include all of them in the processor path, otherwise you will most likely read something like error: Bad service configuration file, or exception thrown while constructing Processor object: javax.annotation.processing.Processor: ac.simons.neo4j.migrations.annotations.proc.impl.CatalogGeneratingProcessor Unable to get public no-arg constructor, which is a bit misleading.

For OGM entities

You need at least neo4j-ogm-core as dependency for processing Neo4j-OGM entities and most likely all libraries that you are used in addition to OGM annotations in those entities. The following statement generates V01__Create_OGM_schema.xml in a directory output. It only does annotation processing:

Listing 47. Generating a catalog from Neo4j-OGM entities
javac -proc:only \
-processorpath neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.jar:neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor-api-1.13.0.jar:neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor-1.13.0.jar \
-Aorg.neo4j.migrations.catalog_generator.output_dir=output \
-Aorg.neo4j.migrations.catalog_generator.default_catalog_name=V01__Create_OGM_schema.xml \
-cp neo4j-ogm-core-3.2.37.jar \
extensions/neo4j-migrations-annotation-processing/processor/src/test/java/ac/simons/neo4j/migrations/annotations/proc/ogm/*
For SDN Entities

The only difference here is that you must use SDN 6.0+ and its dependencies as a dependencies to JavaC:

Listing 48. Generating a catalog from Neo4j-OGM entities
javac -proc:only \
-processorpath neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.jar:neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor-api-1.13.0.jar:neo4j-migrations-annotation-processor-1.13.0.jar \
-Aorg.neo4j.migrations.catalog_generator.output_dir=output \
-Aorg.neo4j.migrations.catalog_generator.default_catalog_name=V01__Create_SDN6_schema.xml \
-cp apiguardian-api-1.1.2.jar:spring-data-commons-2.7.2.jar:spring-data-neo4j-6.3.2.jar \
extensions/neo4j-migrations-annotation-processing/processor/src/test/java/ac/simons/neo4j/migrations/annotations/proc/sdn6/movies/*

Extensions

AsciiDoctor Support (Experimental)

What does it do?

When added to one of the supported use-case scenarios as an external library, it allows Neo4j-Migrations to discover AsciiDoctor files and use them as sources of Cypher statements for defining refactorings.

An AsciiDoctor based migration can have zero to many code blocks of type cypher with an id matching our versioning scheme and valid inline Cypher content. The block definition looks like this:

[source,cypher,id=V1.0__Create_initial_data]
----
// Your Cypher based migration
----

In fact, this README.adoc is a source of migrations on its own. It contains the following refactorings:

CREATE (a:Author {
  id: randomUUID(),
  name: 'Stephen King'
})
CREATE (b:Book {
  id: randomUUID(),
  name: 'The Dark Tower'
})
CREATE (a)-[:WROTE]->(b)

We can have as many migrations as we want.

MATCH (a:Author {
  name: 'Stephen King'
})
CREATE (b:Book  {
  id: randomUUID(),
  name: 'Atlantis'
})
CREATE (a)-[:WROTE]->(b);


CREATE (a:Author {
  id: randomUUID(),
  name: 'Grace Blakeley'
})
CREATE (b:Book {
  id: randomUUID(),
  name: 'Stolen: How to Save the World From Financialisation'
})
CREATE (a)-[:WROTE]->(b);

And to make queries on peoples name perform fast, we should add some indexes and constraints. This we do with a separate document, V1.2__Create_id_constraints.xml to be included here:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<migration xmlns="https://michael-simons.github.io/neo4j-migrations">
  <catalog>
    <indexes>
      <index name="idx_author_name">
        <label>Author</label>
        <properties>
          <property>name</property>
        </properties>
      </index>
      <index name="idx_book_name">
        <label>Book</label>
        <properties>
          <property>name</property>
        </properties>
      </index>
    </indexes>
    <constraints>
      <constraint name="unique_id_author" type="unique">
        <label>Author</label>
        <properties>
          <property>id</property>
        </properties>
      </constraint>
      <constraint name="unique_id_book" type="unique">
        <label>Book</label>
        <properties>
          <property>id</property>
        </properties>
      </constraint>
    </constraints>
  </catalog>

  <apply/>
</migration>
Includes are not processed. To make the system process the above xml content respectively any included Cypher file, these files must live in a configured location, as described in the manual.
We opted against resolving includes for two reasons: It’s easier to reason about the sources of migrations when just inline code is processed and also, inclusion of arbitrary URLs may expose a security risk.
Please have a look at the source of this file itself to understand what works and what not.

The following block is an example of an included Cypher file, that will be used from its own location when this changeset is applied, but can still be referenced in this documentation:

CREATE (m:User {
  name: 'Michael'
})
WITH m
MATCH (a:Author {
  name: 'Stephen King'
})-[:WROTE]->(b)
WITH m, a, collect(b) AS books
CREATE (m)-[:LIKES]->(a)
WITH m, books
UNWIND books AS b
CREATE (m)-[:LIKES]->(b);

The checksum of AsciiDoctor based migrations is computed individually per Cypher block, not for the whole file. So one AsciiDoctor file basically behaves as a container for many migrations.

How to use it?

The extension is loaded via service loader. In a standard Spring Boot or Quarkus application you just need to add one additional dependency:

Listing 49. AsciiDoctor extension as Maven dependency
<dependency>
    <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
    <artifactId>{artifactIdFormatAdoc}</artifactId>
    <version>1.13.0</version>
</dependency>

Or in case you fancy Gradle:

Listing 50. AsciiDoctor extension as Gradle dependency
dependencies {
    implementation 'eu.michael-simons.neo4j:{artifactIdFormatAdoc}:1.13.0'
}

And that’s all.

For the CLI, you should download the -all artifact from Maven Central: neo4j-migrations-formats-adoc-1.13.0-all.jar This will work only with the JVM based CLI version, which is available here.

A full example looks like this:

curl -LO https://github.com/michael-simons/neo4j-migrations/releases/download/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
curl -LO https://repo.maven.apache.org/maven2/eu/michael-simons/neo4j/neo4j-migrations-formats-adoc/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-formats-adoc-1.13.0-all.jar
unzip neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
cd neo4j-migrations-1.13.0
CLASSPATH_PREFIX=../neo4j-migrations-formats-adoc-1.13.0-all.jar \
  bin/neo4j-migrations --password secret \
  --location file:///path/to/neo4j/adoc-migrations \
  info

Which will result in:

neo4j@localhost:7687 (Neo4j/4.4.4)
Database: neo4j

+---------+---------------------------+---------+---------+----------------------------------------------+
| Version | Description               | Type    | State   | Source                                       |
+---------+---------------------------+---------+---------+----------------------------------------------+
| 1.0     | initial data              | CYPHER  | PENDING | initial_schema_draft.adoc#V1.0__initial_data |
| 1.2     | more data                 | CYPHER  | PENDING | initial_schema_draft.adoc#V1.2__more_data    |
| 2.0     | lets rock                 | CYPHER  | PENDING | more_content.adoc#V2.0__lets_rock            |
| 3.0     | We forgot the constraints | CATALOG | PENDING | V3.0__We_forgot_the_constraints.xml          |
| 4.0     | Plain cypher              | CYPHER  | PENDING | V4.0__Plain_cypher.cypher                    |
+---------+---------------------------+---------+---------+----------------------------------------------+

(Note: empty columns have been omitted for brevity.)

Markdown Support (Experimental)

What does it do?

When added to one of the supported use-case scenarios as an external library, it allows Neo4j-Migrations to discover Markdown files and use them as sources of Cypher statements for defining refactorings.

A Markdown based migration can have zero to many fenced code blocks with an id matching our versioning scheme and valid inline Cypher content. The block definition looks like this:

```id=V1.0__Create_initial_data
// Your Cypher based migration
How to use it?

The extension is loaded via service loader. In a standard Spring Boot or Quarkus application you just need to add one additional dependency:

Listing 51. Markdown extension as Maven dependency
<dependency>
    <groupId>eu.michael-simons.neo4j</groupId>
    <artifactId>{artifactIdFormatMarkdown}</artifactId>
    <version>1.13.0</version>
</dependency>

Or in case you fancy Gradle:

Listing 52. AsciiDoctor extension as Gradle dependency
dependencies {
    implementation 'eu.michael-simons.neo4j:{artifactIdFormatMarkdown}:1.13.0'
}

And that’s all.

For the CLI, you should download the -all artifact from Maven Central: neo4j-migrations-formats-markdown-1.13.0-all.jar This will work only with the JVM based CLI version, which is available here.

A full example looks like this:

curl -LO https://github.com/michael-simons/neo4j-migrations/releases/download/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
curl -LO https://repo.maven.apache.org/maven2/eu/michael-simons/neo4j/neo4j-migrations-formats-markdown/1.13.0/neo4j-migrations-formats-markdown-1.13.0-all.jar
unzip neo4j-migrations-1.13.0.zip
cd neo4j-migrations-1.13.0
CLASSPATH_PREFIX=../neo4j-migrations-formats-markdown-1.13.0-all.jar \
  bin/neo4j-migrations --password secret \
  --location file:///path/to/neo4j/markdown-migrations \
  info

Which will result in:

neo4j@localhost:7687 (Neo4j/4.4.8)
Database: neo4j

+---------+---------------------+--------+---------+--------------------------------------------+
| Version | Description         | Type   | State   | Source                                     |
+---------+---------------------+--------+---------+--------------------------------------------+
| 1.0     | initial data        | CYPHER | PENDING | initial_schema_draft.md#V1.0__initial_data |
| 1.2     | more data           | CYPHER | PENDING | initial_schema_draft.md#V1.2__more_data    |
| 1.3     | something different | CYPHER | PENDING | more_content.md#V1.3__something_different  |
+---------+---------------------+--------+---------+--------------------------------------------+

(Note: empty columns have been omitted for brevity.)