Getting ready for our Next Generation Schema!

After many years of planning, anticipating and gathering resources, we’re finally tangibly close to our Next Generation Schema (NGS).

This blog post is intended as an official notification to everyone in our community and our customers who are using MusicBrainz services right now. Our next generation schema is drastic evolution for MusicBrainz — we’ve included many of the features that our customers and our community has asked for over the past few years. This means that if you’re using the MusicBrainz data right now, you will need to prepare your systems in order to be ready for the switchover when it comes in the fall. Please do not delay examining our new schema — this change is drastic change from our previous schema!

Our current plans are to enter beta testing of the new server on August 31. The exact release date is very much dependent on the results of our beta phase, but I hope to have the release within 60 days of entering beta.

The most important changes that you will need to consider/address:

  • No old (RDF) web service — the old RDF web service will no longer be supported as of NGS.
  • We will provide an XML v1 web service that is backward compatible to our current XML web service.
  • We will also provide an XML v2 web service that will expose new NGS concepts.
  • Postgres 8.3 will be required. Upgrading your old database will not be possible. You will be required to import the first post NGS data-dump in order to upgrade to NGS. Our provided upgrade script (see below) is very useful for testing purposes but not suited for upgrading deployed servers.
  • MBID changes — The MBIDs will be stable and maintained for artists, release-groups and tracks. All of the MBIDs for our current releases will also be kept, but we are changing what we are calling releases. Essentially all release events (with label, date, country and barcode information) will become releases each with their own MBID. This means that we’re adding a whole slew of new MBIDs for the releases that will not be assigned a legacy MBID.

NGS is documented on our wiki — please take some time to read up on our documentation! If you’d like to play with NGS now, follow these steps:

1. Download and install the 20090524 release according to these instructions. For going to NGS, installing a database only install is the perfect approach. Download and import an existing data set.

2. Download the NGS codebase with subversion.

3. Follow the install instructions. Instructions are included for how to migrate the 20090524 data to NGS — please note that the upgrade script may run for quite some time!

There are a lot of changes to the database from the current release! Please note that we’re done with the overall database design — I am not anticipating major changes past this point. However, I do anticipate a few smaller changes as we get closer to our goal. We will keep the schema diagram and documentation up to date with our changes.

If you care to follow our progress getting to NGS, please see our roadmap.

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