Magento 2

Master InstallSchema in Magento 2: Your Essential Guide

InstallSchema in Magento 2 is a pivotal setup script used during the installation of new modules to create or modify database tables. It ensures efficient and error-free database schema management, allowing developers to define table structures, fields, and relationships seamlessly within Magento’s dynamic environment.


What is InstallSchema.php?

InstallSchema.php is a setup script in Magento 2 that is used to create or modify database tables. It is executed when a new module is installed. The script is located in the Setup directory of a module and is part of Magento’s mechanism for managing database schemas.

Why is it important?

The InstallSchema.php script is crucial for several reasons. First, it allows developers to define the basic structure of the database tables associated with a module. This includes creating new tables, defining fields, and setting up the relationships between tables.

Second, InstallSchema.php ensures that these database changes are executed only once, during the installation of the module. This eliminates the need for manual SQL operations, making the installation process more efficient and less error-prone.

Workflow of installschema in Magento 2

The workflow of InstallSchema.php begins when a new module is installed. The script is executed after the module’s registration, meaning after the module and its version entries are added to the setup_module table.

The InstallSchema.php script then creates or modifies the necessary database tables. It defines the structure of these tables, including the fields and their attributes.

After the InstallSchema.php script has run, the InstallData.php script is executed. This script is used to add data to the newly created or existing tables.

How installschema works in Magento 2

The InstallSchema.php script works by implementing the InstallSchemaInterface. This interface defines a single method, install(), which is called when the module is installed.

The install() method takes two parameters: SchemaSetupInterface $setup and ModuleContextInterface $context. The SchemaSetupInterface provides methods for managing the database schema, such as creating tables and adding columns. The ModuleContextInterface provides access to the module’s version information.

Inside the install() method, the script defines the structure of the database tables. This includes creating new tables, adding columns, setting column attributes, and defining indexes and foreign keys.

Once the structure is defined, the installschema.php script uses the SchemaSetupInterface to execute the necessary SQL statements. After all the statements have been executed, the script calls $installer->endSetup() to finalize the setup process.

Understanding the InstallSchema Class

The InstallSchema class is a crucial part of Magento 2’s database setup system. It defines the install() method, which is responsible for setting up the database schema for a module. Let’s delve deeper into the InstallSchema class and its key methods and properties.

Key methods and properties

The InstallSchema class implements the InstallSchemaInterface, which requires an install() method. This method is called when Magento 2 installs or updates a module. Here are some key methods and properties:

  • install(SchemaSetupInterface $setup, ModuleContextInterface $context) : This is the main method of the InstallSchema class. It receives two parameters: a SchemaSetupInterface and a ModuleContextInterface.
  • SchemaSetupInterface: This interface provides methods for defining the database schema, such as createTable(), addColumn(), and addIndex().
  • ModuleContextInterface: This interface provides information about the module, such as the current version.
  • startSetup() and endSetup(): These methods are called at the beginning and end of the install() method, respectively. They prepare the database for setup and then finalize the setup process.

Example code and it’s breakdown

Let’s break down an example of an InstallSchema script to understand how it works:

namespace Vendor\Module\Setup;

use Magento\Framework\Setup\InstallSchemaInterface;
use Magento\Framework\Setup\ModuleContextInterface;
use Magento\Framework\Setup\SchemaSetupInterface;

class InstallSchema implements InstallSchemaInterface
    public function install(SchemaSetupInterface $setup, ModuleContextInterface $context)
        $installer = $setup;

        // Define a new table
        $table = $installer->getConnection()->newTable(
            ['identity' => true, 'unsigned' => true, 'nullable' => false, 'primary' => true],
            'Entity ID'
        // Additional columns and constraints go here

        // Create the table


In this example, the install method starts by initiating the setup process. It then defines a new table with an entity_id column as the primary key. Additional columns and constraints would be added following this pattern. Finally, the table is created in the database, and the setup process is concluded.
This overview should provide a clear understanding of the InstallSchema class and its role in defining the database schema for Magento 2 modules.

Creating a Custom Table with InstallSchema

Creating a custom table in Magento 2 involves defining the table schema, adding columns and constraints, and using data types effectively. Let’s explore each of these steps in detail.

Defining Table Schema

The first step in creating a custom table is to define the table schema. This is done in the install method of the InstallSchema class. Here’s an example:

$table = $setup->getConnection()->newTable(

In this code, newTable is a method that creates a new table object. The getTable method is used to get the name of the table with the appropriate prefix.

Adding Columns And Constraints

Once the table object is created, you can add columns and constraints to it. Here’s an example

    ['identity' => true, 'nullable' => false, 'primary' => true],
    'Entity ID'
// Add more columns as needed

// Add constraints like primary key, foreign keys, etc.
    $installer->getIdxName('custom_table', ['entity_id']),

In this code, addColumn is a method that adds a new column to the table. The parameters are the column name, the data type, the size, the options, and the comment. After adding column you can use constraints like primary key, foreign keys, index etc.

Using Data Types Effectively

Magento 2 supports various data types for defining columns in a table. These include TYPE_INTEGER, TYPE_TEXT, TYPE_TIMESTAMP, and more. Choosing the right data type is crucial for the efficient storage and retrieval of data.

Here’s an example of how to add a text column:

    ['nullable' => false],

In this code, TYPE_TEXT is the data type, and 255 is the size of the column.

Advanced Topics

In this section, we will delve into some advanced topics related to Magento 2’s InstallSchema class, including adding foreign keys, creating indexes.

Adding Foreign Keys

Foreign keys are a powerful feature in Magento 2 that allow you to establish relationships between tables. They ensure the integrity of your data by enforcing rules about what values can exist in certain columns.

Here’s an example of how to add a foreign key:

    $installer->getFkName('child_table', 'child_entity_id', 'parent_table', 'parent_entity_id'),

In this example, a foreign key is added to the child_entity_id column of the child_table. The foreign key references the parent_entity_id column of the parent_table. If a row in the parent_table is deleted, the corresponding rows in the child_table will also be deleted due to the ACTION_CASCADE option.

Creating Indexes

Indexes are used in Magento 2 to optimize the performance of your database. They speed up the retrieval of data by creating a sort of “lookup table” for certain columns.

Here’s an example of how to create an index:

    $installer->getIdxName('table_name', ['table_field']),

In this example, an index is added to the table_field column of the table_name table. This index will speed up queries that search for specific values in the table_field column.


In conclusion, the InstallSchema in Magento 2 plays a pivotal role in setting up and modifying database tables during module installation. It ensures a streamlined and error-free process by automating SQL operations, which is essential for maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the database. By utilizing the InstallSchemaInterface, developers can define table structures, add columns, and set up relationships between tables with ease. The InstallSchema script, with its ability to handle complex database operations, exemplifies Magento 2’s robust and developer-friendly architecture.

To deepen your understanding on Magento 2, check out these valuable resources: Magento 2 Developer Documentation

Expand your knowledge by checking out this fascinating blog : Master Radios Field in Magento 2

I hope that this blog post has been of value to you.  If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to comment below.

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