Skip to main content
Version: v2.x

Migrations Best Practices


Effective management of migrations is crucial for maintaining the health and stability of your Hasura projects. This guide outlines best practices for handling migrations, based on real-world experiences and common challenges encountered in enterprise-scale Hasura ecosystems.

Migrations generated by the Hasura Console are suitable for general use, but may not be optimized for performance under all conditions. If you have high traffic, or millions of records in your production database, you may want to manually tweak any auto-generated SQL to match best practices for your chosen database.

Name environment variables consistently

Consistent naming of environment variables is essential to avoid configuration issues between different environments.

Define a standard naming convention for your environment variables and apply it uniformly across all projects. This practice helps ensure that the correct databases are connected and reduces the risk of mismatches between source and target projects. Document your naming conventions clearly and include them in your project setup guides to maintain consistency across your team.


# .env file for development

# .env file for production

Track applied migrations

Keeping track of applied migrations is vital to prevent conflicts and ensure that your project state is accurately reflected.

Implement a robust migration tracking system that records the status of each migration. Use a version control system to manage migration files, and ensure that all changes are tracked and reviewed. Regularly synchronize your project's migration status with the database to catch any discrepancies early. This proactive approach helps avoid issues like "relation <some-object> already exists," ensuring smooth deployment processes.

To enhance the organization and clarity of your migrations, give each migration folder a name relevant to the feature it addresses. This practice aids in identifying the purpose of each migration, making it easier to manage and review changes.

Additionally, consider integrating the application of migrations in different environments into your CI/CD process. Automating this step ensures consistency across development, staging, and production environments, reducing the risk of manual errors and streamlining your deployment workflow.


# Apply and track migrations
hasura migrate apply
hasura metadata apply

# Check the status of your migrations
hasura migrate status

Hasura Cloud users can leverage the GitHub integration to automate deployments.

Optimize long-running processes

Long-running processes can disrupt your migration workflow and lead to issues.

To minimize the impact of long-running processes, plan and optimize your migrations carefully. Break down large migrations into smaller, manageable steps that can be executed without requiring extensive locks.

For example, instead of adding a column directly to a heavily used table with thousands of rows in production, consider creating a new table with the required columns, migrating the data in batches, and then swapping the tables. This approach reduces the risk of locking issues and improves overall migration performance.


  1. Create a new table with the additional columns:
ALTER TABLE new_table ADD COLUMN new_column TYPE;
  1. Migrate data in batches:
INSERT INTO new_table (columns) SELECT columns FROM old_table WHERE <condition> LIMIT <batch_size>;
  1. Swap the tables:
DROP TABLE old_table;
ALTER TABLE new_table RENAME TO old_table;