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Projects:UUIDs Usage/Functional Specifications


UUID Identifiers - Functional Specifications



Current implementation

Currently in Openbravo, database records are identified by one (for some tables it is two) numeric column which is known as primary key (PK). The value of a primary key cannot be repeated for the same table, or in other words once a primary key is taken it can't be used again in the same table while the record that identifies it is still in the table. Before any insertion in database a PK is requested and reserved. This PKs are sequential numbers: for each request the reserved number is the next to the last reserved one for the table where it is going to be used. Additionally for each table two ranges of primary keys are maintained: one is for the system entries and another one for the common data entries. System entries are the ones that can be used by the system (they define application dictionary data and information shared among all the users).

As system information is intended to be shared between different installations the PKs for this kind of data is generated in a way that do not provoke collisions inter-installations, making thus possible to work different developers in different projects inserting data in the same tables at once. The way numbers are generated for these identifiers is having a different range for each development environment (it is called development environment ID).


The current approach has two main problems:

These two problems (specially the second one) need to be solved before being possible to have an efficient way to develop modules that can include common data as well as dictionary modifications.

Another related problem is that even though most of the tables have as primary key a single numeric column there are some of them with two columns as primary key. This causes problems because it is not the Openbravo standard way to treat records.


The solution is the replacement of the current system to obtain PKs by a new system using Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID). Doing so it is guaranteed that every database object has an unique identifier regardless the environment it was created in.


This project will affect all the tables in the application modifying their structure to be able to store UUIDs as primary key as well as all the queries to these tables.


Functional Requirements

Business process definition

Before an insertion of any record in database a new UUID is obtained to identify it, the insertion is performed using this identifier as primary key.

User stories

Mike downloads Openbravo standard and he localizes it to his country including some specific processes and the taxes used in the country. Once he has finished the localization he packages it as a module and uploads it.

Maria downloads Openbravo standard and after working with it for a while she downloads the Mike's localization module and installs it without being bothered about the used PKs.

Functional requirements based on business processes

1st Iteration: Prepare UUID generation infrastructure
Requirement Importance Status Estimated time Comments
Create functions to generate new UUIDs in Oracle, PostgreSQL and Java Must have Complete 2d In PostgreSQL it is necessary to have at least 8.3 with contrib/uuid-ossp installed.
2nd Iteration: Use UUID as PK identifier
Requirement Importance Status Estimated time
Modify db structure and dictionary references to change all the primary key columns, foreing key columns and columns that store references but are not marked in db as so to a type suitable for UUIDs storage. Must have Complete 2d
Edit manual code to ensure it works with this new pk format.

This includes xsql files and PL code

Must have Complete 10d
Deprecate AD_Update_Sequence procedure and all the related stuff. Must have Complete 2h
3rd Iteration: Standardize double PK tables to single PK
Requirement Importance Status Estimated time
Modify db structure and dictionary references for tables with double primary key to transform them into single primary key. Should have Complete 1d
Prepare an upgrade system for existing installations that transforms data in double primary key tables to single primary key. Should have Complete 2d

Known Issues

Once this project is applied support for PostgreSQL is for at least v8.3 and it will be necessary to have contrib/uuid-ossp module installed.

Open Discussion Items

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