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Sualeh Fatehi
Sualeh Fatehi

Posted on • Originally published at

How to Quickly Create a Test Database

Chinook is an open source test database (schema and data) that was created as an alternative to Microsoft's Northwind database. For a while now, Luis Rocha has provided scripts to create this database with his lerocha/chinook-database project. These scripts support building Chinook for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL and IBM DB2. However, this project has not been updated in a few years, and the scripts are in different formats and encodings.

schemacrawler/chinook-database builds on the earlier project. The project has an automatic build using GitHub Actions, which pulls scripts from lerocha/chinook-database, cleans them up, and converts them all to UTF-8 with consistent line-endings. Then are are repacked and redistributed in various ways - as a Java jar file for use in Java programs or in tests with database in Testcontainers. The SQLite database can be directly download from the project site. But probably the best way to use the package it is use the Docker image from schemacrawler/chinook-database to create the Chinook database on a database of your choice, whether the database server is running on a separate host or within a Docker container itself.

Create Chinook Database

Using schemacrawler/chinook-database is very simple. The Chinook database Docker image is published on Docker Hub. Pull the latest Docker image, and run it using a command like:

docker run -it schemacrawler/chinook-database /bin/bash
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and then from the shell run chinook-database-creator with a command like:

chinook-database-creator \
--url "jdbc:postgresql://localhost:5432/database" \
--user ***** --password *****
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The command uses JDBC internally, so your may want to refer to the JDBC connection URL documentation for each database.

Create Chinook Database with Server Running in Docker Compose

You can use chinook-database-creator with Docker Compose to create the Chinook database in any container that is running a database. First, create a Docker Compose file with the following contents, and name it "chinook-database.yml".

version: '3.7'


    image: schemacrawler/chinook-database
    container_name: chinook-database
    stdin_open: true
    tty: true

    image: postgres
    container_name: postgres
      - target: 5432
        published: 5432
        protocol: tcp
        mode: host
      POSTGRES_DB: schemacrawler
      POSTGRES_USER: schemacrawler
      POSTGRES_PASSWORD: schemacrawler
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Then, start the database server and the Chinook database container with:

docker-compose -f chinook-database.yml up -d
docker exec -it chinook-database /bin/bash
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and in the shell, create the database with:

chinook-database-creator \
--url "jdbc:postgresql://postgresql:5432/schemacrawler" \
--user schemacrawler \
--password schemacrawler
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(Don't forget to clean up.)

docker-compose -f chinook-database.yml down
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You can do something similar with any of the supported databases, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL and IBM DB2. And that is how easy it is to create a sample Chinook database.

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