Call for opinions: advice for first time liquibase users

I’m working on a project for new users and would love some community feedback.

Based on your experiences, what advice would you give to a first-time Liquibase user?

I know it will sound a bit obvious and cliche coming from me, but the Liquibase University Fundamentals was so helpful for me in the very beginning.

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Me too! Although I have to say that in some ways the CI/CD course I just finished last night was even more enlightening. So many useful tools that work well with Liquibase, and knowing more about them and how to use them was very helpful.

i guess it depends on the kind of learner you are, but for me, i like to jump right in with examples and twiddle them here and there to see what changes (and hit the docs/courses later as questions arise). so for me:

  1. download the latest installer, and put liquibase in a new directory
  2. run liquibase init project and accept the defaults to have it set me up with example files
  3. run liquibase update
  4. follow the prompts to get included H2 database started, and then run the update command again

then go to the example files created for me and see what’s what, make minor changes and update again. (ps run liquibase dropall to clear our your local db and get a clean slate to experiment on.)

other good commands to see what’s happening or will happen or just happened:
liquibase status --verbose, liquibase updateSQL, and liquibase history

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I really learn best when I can experience the material through multiple learning modes. Reading the documentation, listening to a screen reader or audio description of the process, or watching someone else complete the process either live or with a video. The more ways I can experience it, the better my understanding and retention is. This sounds like a reasonable approach!

I like actually being able to jump into it to, so like the “liquibase init with h2” as well.

I wonder, though, if it would help to have a more explicit and web-based-walk-through-wizard part of the docs for that? Something sort of like A Tour of Go but without the “we run what you say in in our systems” like they have there.

But still sort of a step by step thing on the left with “what you put in your environment and run” and/or “example screenshots” on the right? And with always a “Is your setup not working like it says? Ask for help here” easy link to discord/forum/whatever?

Nathan

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No doubt: Liquibase University is the best at all.

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For the user-level knowledge.
For first time users, I strongly recommend checking out Liquibase University resources recommended by @ktaggart as well as the init command mentioned by @nvoxland.

I previously wrote a blog post about why a user would want to consider a different non-sql changelog format. This can help understand some cool extended benefits with migrating database changes for some specific scenarios.

For the organization-level knowledge
I would highly encourage first time users to think about the overall benefit of using Liquibase to bring DevOps to the database.
Understanding the organizational benefits of using Liquibase as part of your DevOps infrastructure early, can help mitigates issue down the pipeline (non the less in production).

Here are some useful links below: