Future of Liquibase?

Hello Nathan,

First of all, thank you so much for all the hard work you’ve done on Liquibase over the years! I’ve been using it for about 6 years now, and it’s enabled a lot productivity gains on many different projects I’ve used it on. 

I was hoping that perhaps you could give us an update on your realistic future plans for Liquibase. 

It’s been over a year since the last release and progress seems to have fully halted on new public development as well as bug fixes and PR approval / merges. I know there was a bit of activity when DBManul was announced and some changes were merged back in, but it’s since stopped again. PRs for rather important things like Java 9 support are sitting unreviewed. I notice that there is a significant amount of work happening in the Datical Liquibase fork, but while that is ostensibly open source (i can certainly see the code) - there is no indication of what those changes are or if there is ever an expectation of public binaries to be released from it. Is the intention there something that you are at liberty to clarify?

If I look back over the last 7 years of history on Liquibase - I can see that tickets were closed fairly consistently up until 2016, when it looks like progress came to a halt. 

I promise, I’m not trying to pass any judgement here. You created this project and if even if it never receives another update you’ve given a lot to the community! What I am trying to do though, is understand what I should plan for when starting new projects. Is it realistic to expect to continue to be able to use Liquibase or should I invest my time learning an alternative more actively maintained project e.g. Flyway. (Though I admittedly much prefer Liquibase’s model). 

Again, thank you so much for all the work you’ve put in over the years, it’s much appreciated by me and many others!



It's always great to hear from people who find value in and who are actively using Liquibase. I can take a moment to provide some updates regarding the future plans for Liquibase.

To be fully transparent, as of late, I’ve been very committed to other projects and have not been able to make time to contribute to Liquibase. This isn’t how I want things to go, and I agree that updates on Liquibase are overdue. To directly address your question, we do have a plan to push out a release that includes a number of high value pull requests that are currently sitting in review. In all honesty, this is something that will be out early next year (likely in January) as I simply don’t have many spare cycles right now. 

Going forward, I know that both myself and the broader team at Datical know we need to do more to keep the Liquibase project moving forward. It’s common for open source efforts to sometimes stagnate or slow, but we certainly don’t want things to come to a halt. As such, you can expect more active maintenance and involvement than there has been of late.

In regards to the the Datical fork, it's not really a fork but simply a branch which will get merged in when I get a chance to make sure it is does not include any changes that will adversely affect other Liquibase users. It will be brought in as part of the 3.6 release.

Lastly, we are spending some time thinking about how we can add more committers to the Liquibase project. When I do get busy, I don’t want to continue to be the sole bottleneck to progress on this project. I don’t have a vetted strategy yet, but I’d look to active, engaged members from the user community to step up and serve as committers. The DBManul merge was a good example of this where a community member was able to go through the work of testing and integrating a large set of pull requests that I was able to bring in a bundle. That was very helpful, but we need something more consistent and organized. As the project and community has grown over the years it has become well past time that I found ways to scale process of accepting pull requests.

Thanks again for being an active user for all these years. I appreciate you sticking with this project, and I hope that you (and others that a part of the Liquibase community) remain with us as we bring development of Liquibase back to a more predictable pace. 




No problem, transparency is always the best approach. It’s not the first time in the life of Liquibase where I’ve been not able to keep up with the project needs, but hopefully it will be the last time. 

I will try to take a look at some of the more straight forward pull requests over the next couple weeks, though, and merge in what I can.



Thanks so much for the thoughtful and thorough reply! 

This is just the type of transparency I was hoping for - and it clears up any doubts I had about the viability of continuing to use Liquibase. Clearly you and the Datical team understand the present pain points and plan to address both the short term (a new release with important PRs) and the more long term (growing the team with approval permissions) issues. 

Again, I (and the community) appreciate the all the work you’ve done over the years and I look forward to continuing to use Liquibase and to introduce it to new folks on future projects.