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Schema migration library for Cassandra
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cassandra-migration-spring-boot-starter [maven-release-plugin] prepare for next development iteration Nov 7, 2019
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Cassandra Schema Migration for Java Maven Central


This library can be used to implement migrations for the Cassandra database schema inside your Java application. The usage is oriented on the popular tools for relational databases like flyway or liquibase.

If you want to use this library with Spring Boot you can also scroll down to the description of how to use the Spring Boot Starter.

Datastax Driver Version 4

If you already migrated your project to version 4 of the Datastax Driver you can use the code that is in the branch master_v4. You can use it by referencing the maven artifact version <current_version>_4. The first available version is 2.2.1_v4.

There are some things to consider when using it:

  • As the Cluster class has been removed by Datastax you have to pass a CqlSession instance into the Database object. You should not use the session that you pass here anywhere else because:
    • as the session can or cannot be connected to a keyspace, the Database has to trigger a USE <keyspace> command at some point, especially if the keyspace should be created before the migration.
    • the session will be closed after the migration
  • since the library will issue a USE <keyspace> on the session instance, the migrations scripts should continue to work as usual. So there is no need to add fully qualified table names to existing scripts.
  • If you are using spring boot, you have to provide a name to the current CqlSession instance that is supposed to be used with this library. You can do this by adding the name to the @Bean annotation. In order to make sure that this session will not be used by your application, you can mark the application session as primary. Here is an example for a programmatic configuration:
@Bean(name = "cassandraMigrationCqlSession")
public CqlSession cassandraMigrationCqlSession() {
  // session creation code here

public CqlSession applicationCqlSession() {
  // session creation code here

In order to be sure to use the correct name, there is a a public constant in CassandraMigrationAutoConfiguration that is called CQL_SESSION_BEAN_NAME. You can use that when declaring the session bean.

Testing in v4

Since cassandra-unit, the library that was used to start an in memory instance of Cassandra for testing, is not yet released with support for driver version 4, the only option at the moment to run the integration tests is to run them against a running instance on localhost. As the tests also test the creation of user defined functions you need to change the configuration parameter enabled_user_defined_functions from false to true in the cassandra.yaml config file.


Using this library is quite simple. Given that you have a configured instance of the cluster object all you need to do is integrate the next lines in your projects startup code:

Database database = new Database(cluster, "nameOfMyKeyspace");
MigrationTask migration = new MigrationTask(database, new MigrationRepository());

This assumes that all migration scripts can be found on the classpath in a folder '/cassandra/migration'. If you put your scripts on a different classpath location you just need to pass the path in the constructor like this:

new MigrationRepository("/my/path/here");


Scripts should be named in the following schema:


If the .cql extension is missing the file will be ignored. The version is required to figure out the latest version of the scripts and relates to the version that is stored in the database schema information table. The version should start with one as an empty database is considered to have a version of zero. Leading zeros for better sorting are accepted. The name is something that is just for the developers purpose and should be something descriptive.

In case there are multiple scripts with the same version (duo to a merge of branches for example), an exception is thrown immediately. This behavior can be changed by creating an instance of the MigrationRepository providing a ScriptCollector implementation like this:

new MigrationRepository(MigrationRepository.DEFAULT_SCRIPT_PATH, new IgnoreDuplicatesCollector());

Until the version 1.0.2 inclusive the default behavior was to ignore duplicates by considering only the first script file for a particular version. As this can lead to unpredictable behavior, since it is just a matter of which script is found first, this behavior is no longer the default.

Script content

The script format is rather simple. It allows one statement per line and lines should be finished with a ';' character. Every line that is not empty and is not a single line comment will be executed against the Cassandra instance. Single line comments are indicated by either '//' or '--' characters. Multi line comments are not supported.


Migrations are executed with the Quorum consistency level to make sure that always a majority of nodes share the same schema information. Besides this after the scripts are executed, it wil be checked if the schema is in agreement by calling the corresponding method on the metadata of the ResultSet. That call is blocking until either an agreement has been reached or the configured maxSchemaAgreementWaitSeconds have been passed. This value can be configured on the Cluster builder. Error handling is not really implemented (and as far as I know not really possible from a database point of view). If one script fails the migration is stopped and an exception is thrown. The exception contains the name of the failing script as well as the broken statement in case the error happened during the execution of a statement. Every script will result in an entry into the schema_migration table. If a script fails, an entry will be put into the 'migration_schema' table stating that this script failed. You can then fix the script and retry the migration. It should normally not be necessary to remove failed migrations from the 'migration_schema' table.

However, in case you have multiple statements in one script and one of them failed you need to make sure that the statements before the failing one are safe to be executed again. You either need to manually revert the actions or, the preferred approach, make use of Cassandras "IF EXISTS" or "IF NOT EXISTS" mechanism to ensure that the same script can be run multiple times without failing.

More details

The library checks if there is a table inside the given keyspace that is called "schema_migration". If it is not existing it will be created and it contains the following columns:

  • applied_successful (boolean)
  • version (int)
  • script_name varchar
  • script (text)
  • executed_at (timestamp)

"applied_successful" and "version" together make the primary key. The version of the database schema is equivalent to the highest number returned by the version column where applied_successful is true. This means, even if your counting does not start at one (because you removed some very old scripts) the schema version is not affected by this.

All migrations that are marked as applied_successful = false do not affect the version number in any way. It is also perfectly legal to have the same version number once with a successful execution and one with a failing execution, for example, if the first try failed and the script was fixed afterwards. However, you will only see the last failing execution. If the same script fails twice the first failure will be overwritten.

If you want the migration table to be prefixed, e.g. you are using the same keyspace for multiple applications (hint: you should not :)) and don't want all applications to write into the same migration table you can prefix the table name. Just provide the prefix in the constructor of the Database or as a spring option (see below). The prefix will be separated by an underscore from the "schema_migration" string, e.g. with prefix "myApp" the table name would be "myApp_schema_migration".


If you are using maven you can add cassandra-migration as a dependency to your project like this:


Spring Boot

Cassandra Migration comes with a Spring Boot Starter module that can be used to autoconfigure the migration. You have to include the following dependency to make it work:


In your properties file you will have four new properties that can be set:

  • cassandra.migration.keyspace-name Specifies the keyspace that should be migrated
  • cassandra.migration.script-location Overrides the default script location
  • cassandra.migration.strategy Can either be IGNORE_DUPLICATES or FAIL_ON_DUPLICATES
  • cassandra.migration.consistency-level Provides the consistency level that will be used to execute migrations
  • cassandra.migration.table-prefix Prefix for the the migrations table name
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