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Mix tasks accessing the db with `Mix.Ecto`

UPDATE: ensure_started is no longer available. Try Application.ensure_all_started(:tilex), where tilex is the module/atom that represents your application.


When running reports or one-off data operations it might be necessary to create a mix task that can access the database. Ecto provides convenience functions in the Mix.Ecto module to help facilitate setting up and starting the Ecto repos.

The function parse_repo(args) will process the arguments used when calling the mix task. It looks specifically for -r MyApp.Repo but if you don’t pass anything it will return all the repos from the configuration.

The function ensure_started(repo) takes the repo as an argument ensures that the Repo application has been started. Without calling this function the Repo will throw an error when used.

Put it all together:

defmodule Mix.Tasks.MyApp.SayHi do
  use Mix.Task
  import Mix.Ecto

  def run(args) do
    repo = parse_repo(args) |> hd

    ensure_started(repo)

    result = repo.query("select 'hi!';")

    result.rows
    |> hd
    |> hd
    |> IO.puts
  end
end
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