What are the best methods for tracking and/or automating DB schema changes? Our team uses Subversion for version control and we've been able to automate some of our tasks this way (pushing builds up to a staging server, deploying tested code to a production server) but we're still doing database updates manually. I would like to find or create a solution that allows us to work efficiently across servers with different environments while continuing to use Subversion as a backend through which code and DB updates are pushed around to various servers.
Many popular software packages include auto-update scripts which detect DB version and apply the necessary changes. Is this the best way to do this even on a larger scale (across multiple projects and sometimes multiple environments and languages)? If so, is there any existing code out there that simplifies the process or is it best just to roll our own solution? Has anyone implemented something similar before and integrated it into Subversion post-commit hooks, or is this a bad idea?
While a solution that supports multiple platforms would be preferable, we definitely need to support the Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP stack as the majority of our work is on that platform.