Skip to main content

Input Variables

In some cases, it is desirable to reuse an Atlas HCL document in different contexts. For example, many organizations manage a multi-tenant architecture where the same database schema is replicated per tenant. For this reason, the Atlas DDL supports input variables.

Input variables are defined using the variable block:

variable "comment" {
type = string // | int | bool
default = "rotemtam"
}

Once defined, their value can be referenced using var.<name>:

schema "main" {
comment = var.comment
}

Finally, input variables are passed to Atlas in the schema apply command using the --var flag:

atlas schema apply -u ... -f atlas.hcl --var comment="hello"

If a variable is not set from the command line, Atlas tries to use its default value. If no default value is set, an error is returned:

schemahcl: failed decoding: input value "tenant" expected but missing

Variable schema names

Returning to the use case we described above, let's see how we can use input variables to manage a multi-tenant architecture.

First, we define our schema in a file named multi.hcl:

multi.hcl
// Define the input variable that contains the tenant name.
variable "tenant" {
type = string
}

// Define the schema, "tenant" here is a placeholder for the final
// schema name that will be defined at runtime.
schema "tenant" {
// Reference to the input variable.
name = var.tenant
}
table "users" {
// Refer to the "tenant" schema. It's actual name will be
// defined at runtime.
schema = schema.tenant
column "id" {
type = int
}
}

Now suppose we have two tenants, jerry and george. We can apply the same schema twice:

Once for Jerry:

atlas schema apply -u mysql://user:pass@localhost:3306/ --schema jerry --var tenant=jerry

Observe the generated queries apply to the jerry schema:

-- Planned Changes:
-- Add new schema named "jerry"
CREATE DATABASE `jerry`
-- Create "users" table
CREATE TABLE `jerry`.`users` (`id` int NOT NULL)
✔ Apply

And again for George:

atlas schema apply -u mysql://user:pass@localhost:3306/ --schema george --var tenant=george

The generated queries create the george schema:

-- Planned Changes:
-- Add new schema named "george"
CREATE DATABASE `george`
-- Create "users" table
CREATE TABLE `george`.`users` (`id` int NOT NULL)
✔ Apply