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4.0.0 • Public • Published

Postgrator CLI

Command line SQL database migration tool using SQL scripts. For PostgreSQL, MySQL and SQL Server.

Version control your SQL database using plain old SQL files.

Supports also undoing migrations.

Uses Postgrator node.js library developed by Rick Bergfalk.


As of postgrator-cli 4 Node.js version 10 or greater is required

npm install -g postgrator-cli

Or if you prefer to use it locally on your project using npm scripts of package.json:

npm install postgrator-cli --save-dev

And install the appropriate DB engine(s) if not installed yet:

npm install pg@8
npm install mysql@2
npm install mysql2@2
npm install mssql@6

See the Postgrator documentation for more information about the supported engines.


SQL Files

Create a folder and stick some SQL scripts in there that change your database in some way. It might look like:

  |- 001.do.sql
  |- 001.undo.sql
  |- 002.do.optional-description-of-script.sql
  |- 002.undo.optional-description-of-script.sql
  |- 003.do.sql
  |- 003.undo.sql
  |- 004.do.js
  |- 004.undo.js
  |- ... and so on

The files must follow the convention [version].[action].[optional-description].sql or [version].[action].[optional-description].js

Version must be a number, but you may start and increment the numbers in any way you'd like. If you choose to use a purely sequential numbering scheme instead of something based off a timestamp, you will find it helpful to start with 000s or some large number for file organization purposes.

Action must be either "do" or "undo". Do implements the version, and undo undoes it.

Optional-description can be a label or tag to help keep track of what happens inside the script. Descriptions should not contain periods.

SQL or JS You have a choice of either using a plain SQL file or you can also generate your SQL via a javascript module. The javascript module should export a function called generateSql() that returns back a string representing the SQL. For example:

module.exports.generateSql = function () {
  return (
    "CREATE USER transaction_user WITH PASSWORD '" +

You might want to choose the JS file approach, in order to make use (secret) environment variables such as the above.

The tool

You can specify all the parameters from command line (see below) but the easiest way is to:

  • Create postgrator.json configuration file. For example:
    "migrationDirectory": "migrations",
    "driver": "pg",
    "host": "",
    "port": 5432,
    "database": "myDatabaseName",
    "username": "user",
    "password": "pass"
  • Migrate to latest version (it looks settings by default from postgrator.json):
$ postgrator
  • Migrate to version 004 (it knows current version and migrates up/down automatically):
$ postgrator 4


postgrator [[--to=]<version>] --database=<db> [--driver=<driver>] [--host=<host>] [--port=<port>] [--username=<username>] [--password=<password>]
postgrator [[--to=]<version>] [--config=<config>]


  --to version                          Version number of the file to migrate to or 'max'. Default: 'max'
  -r, --driver pg|mysql|mssql           Database driver. Default: 'pg'
  -h, --host hostname                   Host. Default: ''
  -o, --port port                       Host. Default: '5432'
  -d, --database database               Database name
  -u, --username database               Username
  -p, --password password               Password
  -m, --migration-directory directory   A directory to run migration files from. Default: 'migrations''
  -s, --secure                          Secure connection (Azure). Default: false
  -c, --config file                     Load configuration from a JSON file. With a configuration file you can also
                                        use additional configuration parameters available on postgrator. See syntax
                                        from https://github.com/rickbergfalk/postgrator
  -v, --version                         Print version.
  -?, --help                            Print this usage guide.


  1. Specify parameters on command line                       postgrator 23 --host --database sampledb
                                                              --username testuser --password testpassword
  2. Use configuration file                                   postgrator 2 --config myConfig.json
  3. Use default configuration file (postgrator.json)         postgrator 5
  4. Migrate to latest version using default configuration    postgrator
  file (postgrator.json)


To run postgrator tests locally, you'll need:

  • A postgreSQL instance running on default port (5432), with a postgrator (password postgrator) account and a postgrator database

then run npm test


npm i postgrator-cli

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