How it works

Saving Revisions

Enabling version control for a model is achieved using the reversion.register method. This registers the version control machinery with the post_save signal for that model, allowing new changes to the model to be caught.

import reversion


Any models that use subclasses of VersionAdmin in the admin interface will be automatically registered with django-reversion. As such, it is only necessary to manually register these models if you wish to override the default registration settings.

Whenever you save changes to a model, it is serialized using the Django serialization framework into a JSON string. This is saved to the database as a reversion.models.Version model. Each Version model is linked to a model instance using a GenericForeignKey.

Foreign keys and many-to-many relationships are normally saved as their primary keys only. However, the reversion.register method takes an optional follow clause allowing these relationships to be automatically added to revisions. Please see Low Level API for more information.

Reverting Versions

Reverting a version is simply a matter of loading the appropriate Version model from the database, deserializing the model data, and re-saving the old data.

There are a number of utility methods present on the Version object manager to assist this process. Please see Low Level API for more information.

Revision Management

Related changes to models are grouped together in revisions. This allows for atomic rollback from one revision to another. You can automate revision management using either reversion.middleware.RevisionMiddleware, or the reversion.revision.create_on_success decorator.

For more information on creating revisions, please see Low Level API.

Admin Integration

Full admin integration is achieved using the reversion.admin.VersionAdmin class. This will create a new revision whenever a model is edited using the admin interface. Any models registered for version control, including inline models, will be included in this revision.

The object_history view is extended to make each LogEntry a link that can be used to revert the model back to the most recent version at the time the LogEntry was created.

Choosing to revert a model will display the standard model change form. The fields in this form are populated using the data contained in the revision corresponding to the chosen LogEntry. Saving this form will result in a new revision being created containing the new model data.

For most projects, simply registering a model with a subclass of VersionAdmin is enough to satisfy all its version-control needs.