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Today I was asked to provide documentation of our database to non-programmers and because I don't want to write it I searched the web for automation tools and found Skipper. Nice. Our relatively complex application is running on Symfony2 with several MongoDB collections and some MySQL tables. Both are on Doctrine (ORM and ODM).

Here's what I noticed almost immediately when trying to use alpha level ODM support of Skipper.

  • It is possible to import MongoDB schemas and see the fields inside them, yay! I see some real value as a documenting tool in this. :)
  • Automatic importer didn't find schemas with names such as User.mongodb.yml which is the default naming convention of MongoDB schema files (at least in Symfony2 / Doctrine ODM). However I was able to import them when I picked the up manually file by file.
  • It seems to be impossible to import ORM schemas into ODM project. I'm not sure how many people mix different databases in one application but at least we do it and that's why I see this as a relatively major problem.
  • Importer wasn't able to create any connections between documents. (Should it even be able to do it?)
  • Embed many relation with complex discriminator mapping (single collection inheritance) wasn't included in document at all, meaning, the field that contains embedded objects didn't show up at all.
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2 Answers

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Hi, first let me say thank you for testing and sending your experience.

As you wrote, currently published version is early alpha and the main purpose is to test if importer will be able to "survive" importing of real projects (not only the testing ones) ;-).

Now to your points:

  • It's great that Skipper was able to import it! ;-)
  • Originally we had only .orm and .dcm, then we added .odm and obviously now we will add one more .mongodb.* extension.
  • You're right, it's not possible to mix two different ORM technology into one project. This would cause a lot of complications. But it will be possible to have two projects, one for ORM and one for ODM. I'm not sure if this can be handled in different way because each orm has it's own properties and also different object-types (collections, embed, ...)
  • Importer was able to import it, but all information was stored inside magic "universal-object" which was our way how to test import & export without necessity to implement everything else. Now we're finalizing second alpha version which will be able to fully visualize imported project, currently without possibility to edit/create new object types (collections, associations to collections, embedded and embedded collection).
  • This was also implemented only in universal object, current alpha already know how to import & visualize it.

I suppose we will be able to deliver next alpha next week. I will be glad if you can test it again and send us your next ideas and observations.

Last question, would it be possible to send us your project files? Currently we have only few projects and schema files in our unit-testing repository. It would be great to extend it by more real-test scenarios. Your project will be used only for this automatic testing (import & save & load & export tests) and handled as strictly confidential. If so, please send it to me to [email protected]

Thank you and have a nice day!

by Skipper developer (141k points)

Hi again. Thanks for the quick reply. I'm afraid I cannot share the project files. They are quite proprietary and there are legal issues. Sorry about that. But I'm happy to try out the next alpha as soon as it gets out and report possible issues.

No problem, I fully understand that sometimes project can't be shared. I will definitely let you know when new alpha will be ready.

0 votes


since our last communication we have made a huge progress and MongoDB support is almost complete. Now we would need users to test it and let us know if everything works as expected.

Together with this new release, Skipper includes a lot of another fixes and improvements and as bonus, we are offering also new 14-day trial period for everyone who is willing to test it.

Complete list of changes together with download links is available here: http://support.skipper18.com/402/downloads-skipper-beta

For more information about MongoDB head here: http://support.skipper18.com/1840/mongodb-odm-rc-support

Have a nice day

by Skipper developer (141k points)