In which order should be Drupal updates and configuration import/export run?

09 Aug. 2020

The answer is... generally run updates first. Whether to import or export the configuration afterwards depends on who updated the contrib code base.

You are updating the contrib code base

If you are updating the contrib code base, run the database updates and then export the configuration, as updates tend to alter the configuration storage data which needs to be commited into the version control system:

  • Pull changes from the repository
  • drush cim to import your colleagues' configuration changes
  • composer update to update the contrib code base
  • drush updb to update the Drupal database
  • drush cex to export potential configuration changes after the update
  • Commit changes into the repository

tl;dr

git pull \
&& drush cim -y \
&& composer update \
&& drush updb -y \
&& drush cex -y \
&& git commit

Someone else updated the contrib code base

If you are on the receiving end of an update (someone else updated the contrib code base), or you are in fact a deployment script and not a developer, run the database updates and then import the configuration:

  • Pull changes from the repository
  • composer install to synchronize your contrib code base with the remote
  • drush updb to update the Drupal database
  • drush cim to import your colleagues' configuration changes

tl;dr

git pull \
&& composer install \
&& drush updb -y \
&& drush cim -y

Comments

The title seems to be somewhat misleading. What you’re correctly pointing out is the difference in procedure when you are applying contrib updates to a codebase as opposed to when somebody else made those changes (at which point there doesn’t need to be any difference between a deployment that does or does not contain contrib updates; run updates, import config). Your central point is that the update process may apply changes to the configuration. When one understands that, the rest makes perfect sense.

Thanks for your input! I find the title on point, but the first sentence underneath the title may be slightly misleading - it is now fixed.

The answer is... generally run updates first. Whether to import or export the configuration afterwards depends on who updated the contrib code base.

In the "You are updating the contrib code base" part, you should add the step where you're locally modify your code, config or composer.json.

Note that the "Someone else updated the contrib code base" part could also be used for deploy.

Another chapter about dealing with rebasing and merge conflicts could be really helpful.

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