Trigger based version tables with MariaDB/MySQL and Doctrine

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v3.0.0 2024-05-29 13:34 UTC

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Last update: 2024-05-31 12:32:27 UTC


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NetBrothers Version Bundle

This hybrid package works as a Symfony bundle or as a standalone PHP package for managing versioned tables in MariaDB and MySQL databases. It makes use of the Doctrine ORM to interact with your database.

NOTE: This package is designed to work with MariaDB/MySQL. It is not considered to work with other RDBMS.

In essence, this package provides one command which does two things.

  1. Create Version Tables
    For tables (e.g. orig_table) with a column named version of type INT/BIGINT the script will create a corresponding version table (e.g. orig_table_version) so that origin and version tables are structurally identical.

  2. Create Version Triggers
    For every versioned origin table the script creates a trigger, which will on INSERTs and UPDATEs increase the version number in the version column and save a copy of the row in the version table.


On the command prompt, change into your project's root directory and execute:

composer require netbrothers-gmbh/version-bundle

There are three installation variants:

Standalone Package

No further installation steps are necessary.

Symfony Bundle with Flex

No further installation steps are necessary. Symfony Flex will automatically register the bundle in config/bundles.php.

Symfony Bundle without Flex

You have to enable the bundle by adding it to the list of registered bundles in the file config/bundles.php in your project.

// config/bundles.php
return [
    // ...
    NetBrothers\VersionBundle\NetBrothersVersionBundle::class => ['all' => true],
    // ...


Symfony Bundle

Copy the file netbrothers_version.yaml from the install folder of this package to your Symfony project's config path.

Doctrine Migrations

If you are using Doctrine Migrations instruct it to ignore your version tables, by using/customizing the schema filter option. If you don't have any other schema filter, you might use this: schema_filter: ~(?<!_version)$~. See in the example file how it's done.

NOTE: If you don't filter your version tables, Doctrine may drop them on the next occasion.

Bundle Configuration

You can specify certain columns (by name) to always be ignored by the compare algorithm when creating versions. See how it's done in the example file netbrothers_version.yaml.


In most PHP frameworks you will have a PSR-11 compatible container to manage your dependencies. You'll have to provide this container to the script via a file argument.

vendor/bin/netbrothers-version --container-file=config/container.php --summary

The script will check if the provided container implements the PSR-11 ContainerInterface. If it does, it will assume an instance of the Doctrine EntityManagerInterface by the identifier EntityManagerInterface::class. Here's an example on how to check, if your container file works properly.


require_once '/path/to/vendor/autoload.php';

use Psr\Container\ContainerInterface;
use Doctrine\ORM\EntityManagerInterface;

$container = require '/path/to/your/container-file.php';

if (
    $container instanceof ContainerInterface
    && $container->get(EntityManagerInterface::class) instanceof EntityManagerInterface
) {
    // everything is fine
} else {
    // you need to check your container file

In standalone mode, ignoring tables and columns is controlled by command line options.

vendor/bin/netbrothers-version \
    --container-file=config/container.php \
    --ignore-table=unversioned_table_one \
    --ignore-table=unversioned_table_two \
    --exclude-column=unversioned_column_one \
    --exclude-column=unversioned_column_two \


Prepare your Entities/Origin Tables

Add a column named version (type INT/BIGINT) to every table you want to be versioned. This can be done by adding the Trait VersionColumn to your entities and then creating and applying a migration.

Create Version Tables and Triggers

Issue the following command.

# Symfony
bin/console netbrothers:version 

# Standalone
vendor/bin/netbrothers-version --container-file=config/container.php

For every table with a version-column the command will

  • create a corresponding version table (if it doesn't exist yet),
  • compare the columns in both tables and alter the version table to match the origin table,
  • (if present) it will drop the old version triggers and
  • (in any case) it will create the version triggers.

Create Version Tables and Triggers for a Single Table

If needed, you can apply the versioning to a single table. This can be done by providing the table name as an argument to the console command.

# Symfony
bin/console netbrothers:version [<tableName>]

# Standalone
vendor/bin/netbrothers-version --container-file=config/container.php [<tableName>]

Command Line Options

The version command provides these options (sub commands).

Option Meaning
--create-trigger (default) drop triggers, create non-existent version tables, recreate triggers
--drop-trigger drop triggers
--drop-version drop triggers, drop version tables
--sql print the SQL statements without doing anything
--summary print a human readable summary of what the command would do