Introducing dotnet-db-migrate


I am a big fan of Db-up, if you haven’t used it or want to learn more about it you can find more info about the project on their GitHub.

When I have a solution that has an SQL DB as a data store I inevitably end up creating a Migrations project and setting up db-up. For example

.Net Core Global Tools

I started doing that exact same thing on a personal home automation project. But then along came dotnet core global tools. I found Nate McMaster’s article on how to get start writing your own global tools. This gave me the idea to wrap up my migrations project into a global tool so I would never have to write the same project again.


You can find dotnet-db-migrate on GitHub and Nuget.


You will need to have at least .Net Core 2.1 installed. Once installed, run…

dotnet tool install -g dotnet-db-migrate


Once installed, running dotnet db-migrate -h will print the following help information.

A tool to deploy changes to SQL databases.

Usage: dotnet-db-migrate [arguments] [options]

  ConnectionString    Required. The connection details for a database.

  -h|--help           Show help information
  -p|--provider       Optional. The connection provider. Default: mssql
  -s|--scripts        Optional. The path to the migration scripts. Default: scripts/
  --ensure-db-exists  Optional. Create the database if it doesn't exist. Default: false

Here is an example using a Azure SQL DB. dotnet db-migrate ",1433;Initial Catalog=db-migrate;User ID=ritasker;Password=SuperSecure10;" -s ./scripts/MSSQL

Console Output:

Beginning database upgrade
Checking whether journal table exists..
Journal table does not exist
Executing Database Server script '201806182121-Create-Contacts.sql'
Checking whether journal table exists..
Creating the [SchemaVersions] table
The [SchemaVersions] table has been created
Upgrade successful

And here are the tables the migrator created.

database tables

Wrapping Up

Currently dotnet-db-migrate only supports MS-SQL and PostgreSQL. The tool is open source and I am accepting pull requests if you want to extend it to other databases.

I am really pleased with dotnet-db-migrate and the introduction of global tools. I can’t wait to see what other tools people produce that help us develop better software.