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Prior to Registry v5.0.0, the database schema was defined using the ADOdb xmlschema format.

Starting with Registry v5.0.0, schema management is handled via Doctrine's Database Abstraction Layer (DBAL). DBAL does not have a schema file format, so Registry defines one (that is also used by Match) that closely aligns with DBAL's internal format. Processing is handled by DatabaseCommand.

The schema file is found in config/schema/schema.json. The format is not exhaustively defined here, since it's pretty straightforward to look at existing tables to see how things work. However, there are several shortcuts available to reduce copy/paste and redundancy, and those are highlighted here:

Column Library

The column library pre-defines common columns (such as co_id). The library values become defaults that are merged into the actual column definition, so portions (or the whole definition) can be overridden. For example, the column library defines co_id as not null. If a table needs to be defined where co_id is optional, the following could be used in the table column definition:

"co_id": { "notnull": false }


By default, DBAL will create indexes for all foreign keys, and will create random identifiers for them. To facilitate index reconstruction (which can be very slow for large datasets), define indexes using names of the form table_i1. Define indexes for foreign keys even if they aren't necessary, to avoid DBAL random identifier names.

DatabaseCommand will automatically generate certain indexes, as described below (for ChangelogBehavior, Multi-Valued Entity Attributes, and Organizational Identity Sources).


Columns and indexes for ChangelogBehavior are automatically inserted for all tables by default. This can be disabled by adding the following to the table definition:

"changelog": false

Multi-Valued Entity Attributes

DatabaseCommand will automatically generate columns and indexes for Multi-Valued Entity Attributes (MVEAs, previously known as Multi-Valued Person Attributes or MVPAs) if configured with the list of parent tables in the table definition:

"mvea": [ "co_person", "org_identity" ]

Organizational Identity Sources

Tables associated with Organizational Identity Source Records track their provenance via source foreign keys. DatabaseCommand will automatically generate columns and indexes for these foreign keys if configured with the following in the table definition:

"sourced": true
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