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How to compare two databases, identify the diferences and generate the necessary SQL to update the structure of one of them

Lawrence Lagerlof
Avid Isaac Asimov reader. Backend and frontend developer.
Updated on ・1 min read

Tool: DBDiff (

Note: It works on Linux or Windows

What do you need

  • PHP, GIT and Composer on PATH
  • Credentials to access the source and target databases

Quick start

  • Download and enter the DBDiff directory
$ git clone
$ cd DBDiff
$ composer update
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  • Create a .dbdiff file in DBDiff directory with the connection settings for 2 servers. Add to "tablesToIgnore" a list of tables and views that should be ignored on comparisson.

.dbdiff file:

    user: root
    port: 3306
    host: localhost
    user: AzureDiamond
    password: hunter2
    port: 3306
template: templates/db-migrate.tmpl
type: schema
include: up
nocomments: true
- view1
- view2
- table5
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  • Create a db-migrate.tmpl file in templates directory with the content:
-- UP

{{ $up }}


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  • Execute the command below to generate the database diff file migration.sql
$ php dbdiff server1.yourdatabase:server2.yourdatabase
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  • Run the commands that are inside the migration.sql using a database client of your preference on server2.yourdatabase to upgrade your database. I recommend review the commands before running them.

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