Low-level API

You can use django-reversion’s API to build powerful version-controlled views outside of the built-in admin site.

Registering models with django-reversion

If you’re already using the admin integration for a model, then there’s no need to register it. However, if you want to register a model without using the admin integration, then you need to use the reversion.register() method.

import reversion


Warning: If you’re using django-reversion in an management command, and are using the automatic VersionAdmin registration method, then you’ll need to import the relevant admin.py file at the top of your management command file.

Warning: When Django starts up, some python scripts get loaded twice, which can cause ‘already registered’ errors to be thrown. If you place your calls to reversion.register() in the models.py file, immediately after the model definition, this problem will go away.

Creating revisions

A revision represents one or more changes made to your models, grouped together as a single unit. You create a revision by marking up a section of code to represent a revision. Whenever you call save() on a model within the scope of a revision, it will be added to that revision.

Note: If you call save() outside of the scope of a revision, a revision is NOT created. This means that you are in control of when to create revisions.

There are several ways to create revisions, as explained below. Although there is nothing stopping you from mixing and matching these approaches, it is recommended that you pick one of the methods and stick with it throughout your project.

reversion.create_revision() decorator

You can decorate any function with the reversion.create_revision() decorator. Any changes to your models that occur during this function will be grouped together into a revision.

def you_view_func(request):

reversion.create_revision() context manager

You can use a context manager to mark up a block of code. Once the block terminates, any changes made to your models will be grouped together into a revision.

with transaction.atomic(), reversion.create_revision():


The simplest way to create revisions is to use reversion.middleware.RevisionMiddleware. This will automatically wrap every request in a revision, ensuring that all changes to your models will be added to their version history.

To enable the revision middleware, simply add it to your MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES setting as follows:

    # Other middleware goes here...

Warning: Due to changes in the Django 1.6 transaction handling, revision data will be saved in a separate database transaction to the one used to save your models, even if you set ATOMIC_REQUESTS = True. If you need to ensure that your models and revisions are saved in the save transaction, please use the reversion.create_revision() context manager or decorator in combination with transaction.atomic().

Version meta data

It is possible to attach a comment and a user reference to an active revision using the following method:

with transaction.atomic(), reversion.create_revision():
    reversion.set_comment("Comment text...")

If you use RevisionMiddleware, then the user will automatically be added to the revision from the incoming request.

Custom meta data

You can attach custom meta data to a revision by creating a separate django model to hold the additional fields. For example:

from reversion.models import Revision

class VersionRating(models.Model):
    revision = models.OneToOneField(Revision)  # This is required
    rating = models.PositiveIntegerField()

You can then attach this meta class to a revision using the following method:

reversion.add_meta(VersionRating, rating=5)

Reverting to previous revisions

To revert a model to a previous version, use the following method:

your_model = YourModel.objects.get(pk=1)

# Build a list of all previous versions, latest versions first:
version_list = reversion.get_for_object(your_model)

# Build a list of all previous versions, latest versions first, duplicates removed:
version_list = reversion.get_unique_for_object(your_model)

# Find the most recent version for a given date:
version = reversion.get_for_date(your_model, datetime.datetime(2008, 7, 10))

# Access the model data stored within the version:
version_data = version.field_dict

# Revert all objects in this revision:

# Revert all objects in this revision, deleting related objects that have been created since the revision:

# Just revert this object, leaving the rest of the revision unchanged:

Recovering Deleted Objects

To recover a deleted object, use the following method:

# Built a list of all deleted objects, latest deletions first.
deleted_list = reversion.get_deleted(YourModel)

# Access a specific deleted object.
delete_version = deleted_list.get(id=5)

# Recover all objects in this revision:

# Just recover this object, leaving the rest of the revision unchanged:

Advanced model registration

Following foreign key relationships

Normally, when you save a model it will only save the primary key of any ForeignKey or ManyToMany fields. If you also wish to include the data of the foreign key in your revisions, pass a list of relationship names to the reversion.register() method.

reversion.register(YourModel, follow=["your_foreign_key_field"])

Please note: If you use the follow parameter, you must also ensure that the related model has been registered with django-reversion.

In addition to ForeignKey and ManyToMany relationships, you can also specify related names of one-to-many relationships in the follow clause. For example, given the following database models:

class Person(models.Model):

class Pet(models.Model):
    person = models.ForeignKey(Person)

reversion.register(Person, follow=["pet_set"])

Now whenever you save a revision containing a Person, all related Pet instances will be automatically saved to the same revision.

Multi-table inheritance

By default, django-reversion will not save data in any parent classes of a model that uses multi-table inheritance. If you wish to also add parent models to your revision, you must explicitly add them to the follow clause when you register the model.

For example:

class Place(models.Model):

class Restaurant(Place):

reversion.register(Restaurant, follow=["place_ptr"])

Saving a subset of fields

If you only want a subset of fields to be saved to a revision, you can specify a fields or exclude argument to the reversion.register() method.

reversion.register(YourModel, fields=["pk", "foo", "bar"])
reversion.register(YourModel, exclude=["foo"])

Please note: If you are not careful, then it is possible to specify a combination of fields that will make the model impossible to recover. As such, approach this option with caution.

Custom serialization format

By default, django-reversion will serialize model data using the 'json' serialization format. You can override this on a per-model basis using the format argument to the register method.

reversion.register(YourModel, format="yaml")

Please note: The named serializer must serialize model data to a utf-8 encoded character string. Please verify that your serializer is compatible before using it with django-reversion.

Really advanced registration

It’s possible to customize almost every aspect of model registration by registering your model with a subclass of reversion.VersionAdapter. Behind the scenes, reversion.register() does this anyway, but you can explicitly provide your own VersionAdapter if you need to perform really advanced customization.

class MyVersionAdapter(reversion.VersionAdapter):
    pass  # Please see the reversion source code for available methods to override.

reversion.register(MyModel, adapter_cls=MyVersionAdapter)

Automatic Registration by the Admin Interface

As mentioned at the start of this page, the admin interface will automatically register any models that use the VersionAdmin class. The admin interface will automatically follow any InlineAdmin relationships, as well as any parent links for models that use multi-table inheritance.

For example:

# models.py

class Place(models.Model):

class Restaurant(Place):

class Meal(models.Model):
    restaurant = models.ForeignKey(Restaurant)

# admin.py

class MealInlineAdmin(admin.StackedInline):
    model = Meal

class RestaurantAdmin(VersionAdmin):
    inlines = MealInlineAdmin,

admin.site.register(Restaurant, RestaurantAdmin)

Since Restaurant has been registered with a subclass of VersionAdmin, the following registration calls will be made automatically:

reversion.register(Restaurant, follow=("place_ptr", "meal_set"))

It is only necessary to manually register these models if you wish to override the default registration parameters. In most cases, however, the defaults will suit just fine.