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Liquibase Coding Style Guide


While the Liquibase code generally follows the original Sun Java Style Guide, the overall code goal is "favor readability" over adherence to strict standards.

Always be asking yourself "If I came back to this code in 6 months, what would make it more readable?" and do that.

When in doubt, match the style in the rest of the code and/or ask on the forum or Discord.

For information on pull request style, see the Create a Pull Request page.


Part of readability is consistency. Some specific examples of code styles we generally follow:

  • Line length of up to 120 is a soft limit.
    • It's fine to go longer than 120 if that's more readable, but consider breaking it up.
  • Curly braces on the same line as if, try, etc.
  • Use curly braces even with single-line if statements
  • Spaces, not tabs
  • Use native types (int, bool, etc.) for values that can never have null values
  • Include javadoc comments for public methods which describe the expected behavior more than the implementation.
    • No need for javadocs on methods that override already documented methods without changing the external behavior.
  • Include comments on private methods and around code with non-obvious logic.
    • Before adding a comment, ask yourself "What could I do to make this code more obvious?"
  • Don't include per-file license, author, or history information.
    • That is handled repository wide and in git
  • Acronyms/initials in class names don't remain in all caps. Example: SqlGenerator not SQLGenerator.
    • DB and Db are both found in the code, but Db is preferred.
    • When an acronym is part of a product name, we tend to preserve the product's capitalization. Example: MySQLDatabase not MySqlDatabase, DB2Database not Db2Database, PostgresDatabase to avoid the question
  • Common class name terms:
    • *Service for replaceable singletons that define a block of behavior. Example: LockService and LogService
    • *Factory for replaceable singletons that create instances of other classes. Example: LockServiceFactory and ChangeFactory
    • *Util for static methods holder classes. NOTE: Not *Utils
    • "Changeset" and "Changelog" vs "Change Set" and "Change Log"
      • One word in documentation and output strings. Example: Found 3 changesets
      • Two words in code references. Example: liquibase.change.ChangeSet and CHANGE_LOG_CSV
      • The reason for the difference is that the documentation standard changed to one word, but changing the code would be a breaking API change and has not been made yet. We are preserving consistency in naming until we can do a complete code change to the new style.
  • Tests conventions can be found in the unit tests and integration tests sections



As an ongoing effort to simplify the Liquibase codebase, we are now using Lombok. It's available as of Liquibase 4.24.0.

We started with the @Data directive that generates the boilerplate that is normally associated with simple POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects) and beans:

  • @Getter: getters for all fields
  • @Setter: setters for all non-final fields
  • @ToString: appropriate toString, equals and hashCode implementations that involve the fields of the class
  • @RequiredArgsConstructor: a constructor that initializes all final fields as well as all non-final fields with no initializer that have been marked with @NonNull (to ensure the field is never null)

Please use the @Data directive when you create your own classes to keep the code clean and easily maintainable.