Generating Database Migrations for Evolving Web Applications

Sander Vermolen, Guido Wachsmuth and Eelco Visser


WebDSL is a domain-specific language for the implementation of dynamic web applications with a rich data model. It provides developers with object-oriented data modeling concepts but abstracts over implementation details for persisting application data in relational databases. When the underlying data model of an application evolves, persisted application data has to be migrated. While implementing migration at the database level breaks the abstractions provided by WebDSL, an implementation at the data model level requires to intermingle migration with application code. In this paper, we present a domain-specific language for the coupled evolution of data models and application data. It allows to specify data model evolution as a separate concern at the data model level and can be compiled to migration code at the database level. Its linguistic integration with WebDSL enables static checks for evolution validity and correctness.