Tutorial for Updating Database Files

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WARNING! This page is obsolete.
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The following are instructions from Chris Cormack to Nicole Engard for fixing Bug #2761 which required database editing:

  • When making db changes you need to do a few things
    • First is make the change locally and check it works
    • Log into MySQL
      • On Debian: mysql -uUser -pPass
    • Connect to your DB
      • On Debian: use DBNAME;
    • Write the SQL to edit the table in question
      • For BUG #2761: ALTER TABLE items MODIFY itemcallnumber varchar(255);
    • Make sure that your edit doesn't break anything and does what you expected
    • Next step is to edit the appropriate SQL files
      • In the case of this patch, installer/data/mysql/kohastructure.sql
        • On Debian: vim installer/data/mysql/kohastructure.sql
      • Other SQL files can be found in installer/data/mysql/
    • Find the line where the field you changed is
      • For BUG #2761: type /itemcallnumber
    • Make the same change here that you made earlier
      • For BUG #2761: change the varchar(30) to varchar(255)
    • Save your changes
    • Next step is to edit installer/data/mysql/updatedatabase.pl and add a new database version
      • On Debian: vim installer/data/mysql/updatedatabase.pl
    • Come down in the file to just before sub DropAllForeignKeys
      • On Debian: /sub DropAllForeignKeys
    • Scroll up until you see $DBversion= 'some number'; followed by an IF block
    • Copy the following lines (remember the version number will be different in your file)
      $DBversion = '3.01.00.041';
      if (C4::Context->preference("Version") < TransformToNum($DBversion)) {
    • Paste them below the IF block
    • Change the version to the next one on the DB Revisions Table
      • For BUG #2761: '3.01.00.042'
    • Next enter your SQL into the $dbh->do statement below the 2 lines you copied
      $dbh->do("ALTER TABLE items MODIFY itemcallnumber varchar(255);");
    • Next enter your update message and close the IF block.
      SetVersion ($DBversion);
      print " Upgrade to $DBversion done (change max length of itemcallnumber to 255 from 30.)\n";
      }
    • In the end you should have a block that looks like this to define your new db version:
      $DBversion = '3.01.00.041';
      if (C4::Context->preference("Version") < TransformToNum($DBversion)) {
      $dbh->do("ALTER TABLE items MODIFY itemcallnumber varchar(255);");
      SetVersion ($DBversion);
      print " Upgrade to $DBversion done (change max length of itemcallnumber to 255 from 30.)\n";
      }

    • Save your changes

It is best to leave this final step to the Release Manager, but it is included here for education purposes:

    • Lastly you need to edit kohaversion.pl in the base directory of your git checkout
      • On Debian: vim kohaversion.pl
    • Update the version here to match the one you entered in updatedatabase.pl
    • Save your changes
And that is how we make a patch that changes the database!!
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