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My First Impressions of Bytebase

· 8 min read



Bytebase is an open-source database DevOps tool, it's the GitLab for managing databases throughout the application development lifecycle. It offers a web-based workspace for DBAs and Developers to collaborate and manage the database change safely and efficiently. ——What is Bytebase

Recently, I have been working on migrating a project's database from SQLite to TiDB Cloud. To facilitate the management of database changes, I decided to use a database DevOps tool and discovered Bytebase. As a new user, I will share my first experience with Bytebase as I tackle the following tasks:

  1. Install Bytebase on macOS
  2. Quick start with Bytebase
  3. Query data and modify schema using the sample data
  4. Integrate Bytebase with TiDB Cloud

Install Bytebase on macOS

My development environment is:

  • macOS 13.2.1 (M1)
  • Podman 4.3.1

I tried following the instructions in Install Bytebase with Docker, but an error occurred:

$ docker run --init \
--name bytebase \
--platform linux/amd64 \
--restart always \
--publish 5678:8080 \
--health-cmd "curl --fail http://localhost:5678/healthz || exit 1" \
--health-interval 5m \
--health-timeout 60s \
--volume ~/.bytebase/data:/var/opt/bytebase \
bytebase/bytebase:1.12.1 \
--data /var/opt/bytebase \
--port 8080
Error: statfs /Users/user/.bytebase/data: no such file or directory

Due to a known bug #351 with Podman's volume mounting, I modified the command by replacing --volume ~/.bytebase/data:/var/opt/bytebase with --volume bytebase:/var/opt/bytebase:

docker run --init \
--name bytebase \
--platform linux/amd64 \
--restart unless-stopped \
--publish 5678:8080 \
--health-cmd "curl --fail http://localhost:5678/healthz || exit 1" \
--health-interval 5m \
--health-timeout 60s \
--volume bytebase:/var/opt/bytebase \
bytebase/bytebase:1.12.1 \
--data /var/opt/bytebase \
--port 8080

Bytebase has been successfully installed and is now up and running.

To access Bytebase, navigate to http://localhost:5678 and set up an admin account.

Register Bytebase account

Then, click Sign up, and the Bytebase dashboard is displayed.

Bytebase dashboard

Quick start with Bytebase

To quickly get started with Bytebase, you can follow the Quickstart guide.

View an issue

On the Issues page, you can approve an issue, leave a comment, or cancel it.

View an issue

Visit projects

On the Projects page, you can view all existing projects or create a new one.

View projects

To get detailed information about the Sample Project, you can click SAM and go to its overview page.

View sample project

Visit environments

On the Environments page, you can manage the existing environment (Test and Prod by default) or create a new one.

Visit environments

Visit instances

On the Instances page, you can manage the existing instances or add a new one.

Visit instances

For each instance, you can configure an admin user and a read-only user.

Visit databases

On the Databases page, you can manage the existing databases (Alter Schema, or Change Data) or add a new database (New DB).

Visit databases

For each database, you can use the Schema Diagram to view the schema or use the SQL Editor to query data.

The following is the schema diagram of the employee database.

Schema diagram

Query data

You can use the SQL Editor to query data. The following example lists employees who have been employed for more than 30 years and sorts the results by their hire date and gender.

Query data

Modify schema

To add a new column github_name to the employee table, you can click Alter Schema, select the employee table, and then click Add column.

Alter schema

After entering the column name (github_name) and type (text), click Preview issue and the New issue page is displayed with the SQL generated automatically.

New issue

After confirming the schema change, you can click Create and then Approve this change.

Then, you can view the change details on the Databases > employee > Change page.

Database change

Add a member

On the Settings > Members page, you can add a new member to the project and manage existing members.

Add a member

Use kbar (cmd-k)

To quickly navigate to the page you want, press Command+K.

Use kbar

Integrate Bytebase with TiDB Cloud

This section describes how to integrate Bytebase with TiDB Cloud.

  1. Create a TiDB Cloud cluster. For more details, refer to TiDB Cloud Quick Start.

The following uses a Serverless Tier cluster as an example.

  1. To create an instance in Bytebase, perform the following steps:

    1. Click Instances on the top bar and then click New Instance. The Create Instance page is displayed.

    2. Select TiDB as the Instance Type, enter an Instance Name, select the Environment, and enter the Host and Port of your TiDB Cloud cluster.

    Integrate: create instance

    1. Create a new user (prefix.bytebase) in TiDB Cloud and fill in the Username and Password of the user:
    CREATE USER 'prefix.bytebase'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'YOUR_DB_PWD';

    ON *.* to 'prefix.bytebase'@'%';
    1. Configure the SSL connection of TiDB Cloud. For Serverless Tier clusters, use the CA Certificate.

    Integrate: configure connection

    1. Click Test Connection and check the connection status.

    2. Once the message Successfully connected instance is displayed, click Create.

  2. Create a new project for TiDB Cloud by performing the following steps:

    1. Click Projects on the top bar and then click New Project. The Create Project page is displayed.

    2. Enter the Project Name (TiDB) and Project Key (TIDB), and then click Create.

    3. Click the newly created project, and then click Transfer in DB. The Transfer in database page is displayed.

    4. Select the gharchive_dev database and click Transfer.


Personal thoughts

  • Does the Quickstart guide help you get started with Bytebase?

    The guide is easy to follow and helps me quickly understand the main concepts and pages of Bytebase. However, I think it would be better if the guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task, such as creating a new instance, and includes information on what details to pay attention to, such as the details of a project.

  • Do you have a good understanding of the core features of Bytebase after completing these two tasks?

    Yes. By completing the two tasks, I am able to use the SQL advisor, schema editor, schema diagram, migration history, and SQL editor features. But I have not yet tried the VCS integration, backup and restore, and other features.

  • Do you encounter any difficulties when deploying Bytebase?

    Yes. As Bytebase is only available in x86 architecture, binary translation is required to run it on the M1 chip. However, when I tried to run Bytebase in a Ubuntu 22.04 ARM virtual machine (set up by UTM with Apple Virtualization backend), the container crashed due to a segmentation fault. Strangely, Bytebase runs without any problem in podman's virtual machine. The crash no longer occurred after I switched the x86 binary interpreter from Rosetta to QEMU. Something is likely incompatible with Rosetta.

  • Does the SQL editor meet your needs?

    Yes. The SQL editor meets my needs. It supports syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and anonymize data. It also provides a schema diagram, which helps to understand the database schema.