2. Database and Schema

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Once the EdgeDB server has been installed on the system, it’s time to create the first EdgeDB instance. We’ll call it “tutorial”:

$ edgedb server init tutorial

Now, lets launch the EdgeDB CLI and connect to the instance we’ve just created:

$ edgedb -I tutorial

Now we need to set up the schema. Let’s create a schema for a movie database. It will have 2 types of objects: movies and people who directed and acted in them.

The recommended way to manage the database schema is by using the EdgeDB schema definition language (or SDL). It provides a way to describe a migration to a specific schema state. It is great for setting up a new database because it focuses on expressing the final types and their relationships without worrying about the order of the definitions. This is also the format that the EdgeDB built-in migration tools are designed to use.

Start by creating a directory which will contain the project’s schema and migrations:

$ mkdir dbschema

Inside this directory create the schema file we’ll be working with: dbschema/schema.esdl. Then using an editor of your choice add the following content to schema.esdl:

module default {
    type Person {
        required property first_name -> str;
        required property last_name -> str;
    type Movie {
        required property title -> str;
        # the year of release
        property year -> int64;
        required link director -> Person;
        multi link actors -> Person;

Now we’re all set to run the very first migration to apply the schema to the database. The built-in migration tool will ask a series of questions to make sure that EdgeDB correctly inferred the changes:

$ edgedb -I tutorial create-migration
did you create object type 'default::Person'? [y,n,l,c,b,s,q,?]

y - confirm the prompt, use the DDL statements
n - reject the prompt
l - list the DDL statements associated with prompt
c - list already confirmed EdgeQL statements
b - revert back to previous save point, perhaps previous question
s - stop and save changes (splits migration into multiple)
q - quit without saving changes
h or ? - print help
did you create object type 'default::Person'? [y,n,l,c,b,s,q,?]
did you create object type 'default::Movie'? [y,n,l,c,b,s,q,?]
Created ./dbschema/migrations/00001.edgeql, id:

Before moving on to the next step let’s unpack what just happened. The migration tool is asking whether new objects were added to the schema, which is what we expect for a brand new schema, so we can respond with y and proceed. Now that we have accepted all the changes for the migration a new file was added to our dbschema directory: dbschema/migrations/00001.edgeql. It contains all the DDL commands necessary for the migration. Now we can apply it to the database:

$ edgedb -I tutorial migrate
Applied m1la5u4qi33nsrhorvl6u7zdiiuvrx6y647mhk3c7suj7ex5jx5ija

Now that the schema is set up we’re ready to populate the database with data.