alembic / docs / build / ops.rst

Operation Reference

This file provides documentation on Alembic migration directives.

The directives here are used within user-defined migration files, within the upgrade() and downgrade() functions, as well as any functions further invoked by those.

All directives exist as methods on a class called :class:`.Operations`. When migration scripts are run, this object is made available to the script via the alembic.op datamember, which is a proxy to an actual instance of :class:`.Operations`. Currently, alembic.op is a real Python module, populated with individual proxies for each method on :class:`.Operations`, so symbols can be imported safely from the alembic.op namespace.

A key design philosophy to the :mod:`alembic.operations` methods is that to the greatest degree possible, they internally generate the appropriate SQLAlchemy metadata, typically involving :class:`~sqlalchemy.schema.Table` and :class:`~sqlalchemy.schema.Constraint` objects. This so that migration instructions can be given in terms of just the string names and/or flags involved. The exceptions to this rule include the :meth:`~.Operations.add_column` and :meth:`~.Operations.create_table` directives, which require full :class:`~sqlalchemy.schema.Column` objects, though the table metadata is still generated here.

The functions here all require that a :class:`.MigrationContext` has been configured within the script first, which is typically via :meth:`.EnvironmentContext.configure`. Under normal circumstances they are called from an actual migration script, which itself would be invoked by the :meth:`.EnvironmentContext.run_migrations` method.