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Ricardo Esteves
Ricardo Esteves

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Migrating from Supabase and Prisma Accelerate to Convex

Hello DEV Community,

I'm Ricardo Esteves, I love to constantly explore and adopt new technologies and tools within my preferred stack ecosystem.

The Tech stack that I work most with is TypeScript, React, Next.js, Node.js, Bun, Express, Hono, Prisma, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, etc... I like to crafted a versatile skill set that encompasses both front-end and back-end development. The joy of experimentation and discovery is palpable and not always possible at my work so I apply It on my personal projects. The freedom to explore and implement the chosen technologies brings a sense of fulfillment that is not always possible within the constraints of the workplace.

About Supabase, Prisma And Convex

In the rapidly evolving landscape of web development, the tools and technologies we use play a crucial role in shaping the efficiency and performance of our projects. Two popular technologies that have gained significant traction in recent years are Supabase and Prisma Accelerate. Supabase is an open-source Firebase alternative that provides real-time database capabilities using PostgreSQL, while Prisma Accelerate is an extension of the Prisma ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) designed to boost database query performance.

However, as the tech world never stands still, developers are constantly on the lookout for newer, more performant solutions. One such emerging player in the realm of databases is Convex. In this article, we will explore the journey of migrating from Supabase and Prisma Accelerate to Convex, evaluating the advantages, use cases, challenges, and steps involved in the migration process.

The Existing Stack: TypeScript, Next.js, Supabase, Prisma

Before delving into the migration journey, it's essential to understand the existing technology stack. The stack in question comprises TypeScript as the programming language, Next.js as the React framework for building web applications, Supabase with real-time database capabilities using PostgreSQL, and Prisma as the ORM for database interactions.

This stack has proven to be robust and reliable, but as development practices evolve, exploring new alternatives becomes imperative for staying ahead of the curve.

The Quest for Something New and Performant

In the pursuit of innovation and performance improvements, developers often find themselves exploring newer technologies. This yearning for something new led to the discovery of Convex, a promising database solution that aims to simplify database interactions and enhance performance.

Use Cases for Migrating to Convex

  1. Performance Optimization: Convex boasts impressive performance gains compared to traditional databases. Its optimized query execution and data retrieval mechanisms make it a compelling choice for projects with stringent performance requirements.

  2. Simplified Query Language: Convex introduces a simplified query language that can lead to more concise and readable code. This can be particularly beneficial for developers seeking a more intuitive and expressive way to interact with databases.

  3. Real-time Capabilities: Similar to Supabase, Convex provides real-time capabilities, allowing developers to build applications with dynamic, live-updating content without the need for complex configurations.

Advantages of Migrating to Convex

  1. Performance Boost: Convex is designed for speed, offering significantly improved query execution times compared to traditional database solutions. This can result in faster response times for applications.

  2. Simplified Syntax: Convex introduces a clean and straightforward syntax for database queries, reducing the learning curve for developers transitioning from other database management systems.

  3. Real-time Data Updates: The real-time capabilities of Convex enable seamless integration of live updates into applications, enhancing the user experience for dynamic content.

Disadvantages of Migrating to Convex

  1. Learning Curve: Developers accustomed to Prisma's syntax and structure may face a learning curve when adapting to Convex's approach to queries and mutations. This includes differences in schema definitions, syntax, and migration strategies.

  2. Integration Challenges: Projects heavily reliant on Prisma may face integration challenges during migration. Adapting existing code and ensuring a smooth transition can be time-consuming.

  3. Limited Ecosystem: As a relatively new player, Convex have a smaller ecosystem compared to established solutions like Prisma. This could mean fewer community-contributed plugins and integrations.

Challenges of Migration

  1. Data Migration: Moving data from the existing database to Convex requires careful planning and execution to ensure data integrity and consistency during the transition.

  2. Code Refactoring: Adapting existing code, especially if it heavily relies on Prisma-specific features, may require substantial refactoring to align with Convex's syntax and structure.

  3. Testing and QA: Thorough testing is essential to identify and address any compatibility issues or unexpected behaviors that may arise post-migration.

How to Set Up Convex and Steps to Take

  1. Installation: Begin by installing Convex in your project using the recommended installation method for your development environment.

  2. Configuration: Configure Convex with the necessary connection details, such as database URL and authentication credentials.

  3. Schema Definition: Define your database schema using Convex's schema definition, which differ from Prisma's schema syntax.

  4. Data Migration: Develop a strategy for migrating data from the existing database to Convex, ensuring data consistency throughout the process.

  5. Code Adaptation: Refactor your application code to align with Convex's query and mutation syntax. Pay special attention to areas where Prisma-specific features were heavily utilized.

  6. Testing: Conduct comprehensive testing to identify and resolve any issues that may arise from the migration. This includes unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing.

  7. Deployment: Once satisfied with the testing results, deploy the updated application with Convex as the database backend.

Conclusion

Migrating from Supabase and Prisma Accelerate to Convex is a strategic decision that comes with its set of challenges and advantages. While Convex offers impressive performance improvements and a simplified query language, developers must navigate the learning curve and potential integration challenges.

As technology continues to evolve, staying abreast of new developments and exploring alternative solutions is essential for ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your projects. The migration process outlined here provides a roadmap for developers considering the shift to Convex, offering insights into the considerations, advantages, and challenges associated with this transition.

Follow me: @ricardogesteves

On Twitter: @RicardoGEsteves

On GitHub:

RicardoGEsteves (Ricardo Esteves) ยท GitHub

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป Front-end enthusiast & full-stack aficionado | Crafting captivating user experiences | Based in Lisbon, Portugal ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น | Explore my code below! - RicardoGEsteves

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Top comments (7)

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aditya_raj_1010 profile image
A.R

very brief information ... thanks @ricardogesteves Esteves

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ricardogesteves profile image
Ricardo Esteves

Thank you.

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aditya_raj_1010 profile image
A.R

welcome you can Follow back for more insightful discussion

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ianmacartney profile image
Ian Macartney • Edited

Very cool Ricardo! Were there any syntax pieces in particular that felt like a downside? Or anything in migrating that you felt we could more easily enable?

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ricardogesteves profile image
Ricardo Esteves

Here's the corrected version of your text:

Thank you, @ianmacartney. Well, it depends on the use case. Let's say that you are used to working with relational database structures and relationships between tables, and with RLS (row level security) policies. If the answer is yes, then it will be a bit challenging to figure out how you will implement the same logic for your data structures.

But if you are used to working with NoSQL object-oriented data structures, it will be a breeze. The only challenge, or one of the top challenges, was to figure out how to implement RLS Policies, also with JWT Claims because Convex just supports some claims and you need to implement a workaround, other than that, everything is pretty smooth.

A feature that I found awesome was the separation of concerns between front and back. The auto-creation of schemas/tables for fast prototyping and the internal queries and mutations from the internal API are also impressive.

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ianmacartney profile image
Ian Macartney • Edited

Gotcha. Thanks so much for clarifying. And glad you like those features! I've been trying to help people manage relationships and RLS with articles like:

Out of curiosity, was stack.convex.dev discoverable as you were learning the platform? If not, where would have been a good place to link you to it?

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ricardogesteves profile image
Ricardo Esteves • Edited

Thank you @ianmacartney for sharing those insightful articles! I appreciate the effort you're putting into helping people manage relationships and Row-Level Security (RLS). The links you provided seem like valuable resources, and I'll definitely check them out.

To answer your question, I did come across stack.convex.dev during my learning journey, and I found it to be a great source of information. However, it's always beneficial to have a direct link for quick access. Maybe incorporating it into platform tutorials or documentation could help others discover it more easily.
It would be really helpful if there were some tutorials here on dev or at medium and also maybe some youtube videos.
Also, it would be nice to be able to access metadata from user object in the identity object, that would solve unnecessary workarounds.

Once again, thanks for the useful content, and I look forward to exploring more on stack.convex.dev.