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1.1.2 • Public • Published

Sequential migrate

A database migration tool written in Node.js. sequential-migrate is unopinionated about your database of choice, format of migration files and how it knows which migrations have been run, but still does the heavy lifting in organising your migrations. It does this by exposing files with clear, statically typed interfaces which it uses to manage your migrations as a stack.

It has 0 dependencies and good documentation. You can use it via the command line or by importing functions in your scripts.

PRs welcome.

The package at a glance

sequential-migrate analyses the state of your migrations by comparing two things. Firstly, it reads the contents of your migrations folder. Each folder or file inside migrations represents one migration, and should export an object with the MigrationScript interface.

The package compares the contents of the migrations folder with a stored history of migrations. It does this by using the stateInterface, a script you should write that exports an object with the StateScript interface.

By comparing the migration scripts with the stored states, the sequential-migrate CLI can assign a status to the scripts.

When you run up or down, the program iterates through the list of scripts. For each script, it calls the up or down function from the MigrationScript, and then it tells the stateInterface about the change by calling StateScript.add or StateScript.remove. If a migration is missing (the StateScript says it has been run, but the files cannot be found) or skipped, the up and down scripts will halt and prompt you to fix the problem.

It treats the set of migrations derived by combining the migration files with the stored state as a stack - that is, it only adds to or removes the most recent item. It encourages you to order migrations by the time they're released, rather than the time they're written, and in development to always run migrations in order, even if that means rolling back and then forward again. When you run up or down, if the sequential-migrate encounters a migration with status MISSING or SKIPPED, it will halt and ask you to examine the issue.

Getting started

npm i -D sequential-migrate


yarn add --save-dev sequential-migrate

Run the scaffold command with

npx sequential-migrate scaffold

From here you have two options, either use the package from the command line, or import functions into your Node scripts. Most use-cases are covered with the command-line API.

Command line API

Create a migration with:

npx sequential-migrate new my-first-migration

Check your migrations with:

npx sequential-migrate status

Run all pending migrations:

npx sequential migrate up

Run all pending migrations up to and including 1641903774203-my-cool-feature:

npx sequential-migrate up 1641903774203-my-cool-feature

sequential-migrate down works the same as sequential-migrate up except that if you run down to a migration, that migration is not rolled back, only those that come after it are.

Check whether your migration state is OK in a machine-friendly way:

npx sequential-migrate ci-check

For more details on all of these commands, please see the docs.

Programmatic API

Here's a sample script

import { getStatus, up, down } from "sequential-migrate";

const main = async () => {
  const { state, containsMissing, containsSkipped } = await getStatus()
  if (containsMissing || containsSkipped) {
    throw new Error("Please check migration state manually");
  // migrate to the penultimate migration to demonstrate up function optional parameter
  const penultimateMigration = state[state.length - 2]
  await up(


For documentation for these functions, please refer to the exports section of the docs.

Certain functionality, like scaffolding the project or creating new migration scripts, is limited to the command-line API - but if you have a usecase for exposing these features in JavaScript, let me know and I can add them.


npm i sequential-migrate

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  • ivo-evans