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Database Branching

All database operations in Tigris are performed in the context of a branch. Every database comes with the main branch by default. Tigris allows you to branch your database and create an isolated copy of your database schema with all the collections.

Using a branch

To use a database branch in TypeScript projects, initialize the Tigris client with the branch name.

Initialize Tigris client using a .env file and environment variables:


By instantiating a Tigris client without passing any configuration, the client will attempt to pull configuration from environment variables:

const tigrisClient = new Tigris();

By setting the branch as development, all the schema changes and database queries would be against the development branch. When you create a database, a main branch always exists, which essentially is the primary database and only intended to be used in production.

Initializing the branch automatically

A branch needs to exist for any operations to succeed. You can automate the creation of the configured database branch:

const db = tigrisClient.getDatabase();
await db.initializeBranch();

In the code above, the db.initializeBranch() call creates a new branch with the name defined in the environment flag TIGRIS_DB_BRANCH if a branch with that name does not already exist.

Create a database branch

We recommend using branch initialization, as shown above. However, if you need to explicitly control branch creation, use the createBranch() function.

const db = tigrisClient.getDatabase();
await db.createBranch("new-branch-name");

Unlike initializeBranch, the createBranch function throws an error if the branch you are trying to create already exists.

Delete a database branch

Deleting a branch will delete all the collections and data in that branch. This operation cannot be undone.

const db = tigrisClient.getDatabase();
await db.deleteBranch("existing-branch-name");

If you only want to delete some data or drop an entire collection, use collection operations.


The main database branch can never be deleted.

Automating your development workflow

With database branching, Tigris allows you to protect your production data from any unwanted changes by having your main branch configured to be used only in the production environment. You can use a setup script in the project to keep your branch up to date with models in your code.

Below is an example of a setup script:

import { Tigris } from "@tigrisdata/core";
import { Catalog } from "./db/models/catalog";
import { User } from "./db/models/user";

async function main() {
// setup client
const tigrisClient = new Tigris();
// ensure branch exists, create it if it needs to be created dynamically
await tigrisClient.getDatabase().initializeBranch();
// register schemas
await tigrisClient.registerSchemas([Catalog, User]);

.then(async () => {
console.log("Setup complete ...");
.catch(async (e) => {

By triggering this setup script during build time, you always have an up-to-date schema in your branch.