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A simple Django app to enable audit logging

Project description

For the Python only implementation (which is used by this library) see

DataPunt Django Audit Log

DataPunt Audit Log is a simple Django app that will log all incoming requests and their corresponding responses to a configurable endpoint.

During the process request phase, the logger is attached to the request. Before returning a response the app can easily provide extra context. In the process response phase the audit_log middleware will send the log.


Quick start

  1. Install using pip

    pip install datapunt_django_audit_log
  2. Add "django_audit_log" to your INSTALLED_APPS:

  3. Add the AuditLogMiddleware to your MIDDLEWARE:

  4. When using the Django Rest Framework, let your viewsets extend AuditLogReadOnlyViewset or AuditLogViewSet. This will automatically add context to the audit log regarding filters, results and executed actions (see - Django Rest Framework).

    class MyViewSet(AuditLogViewSet):
        queryset = SomeModel.objects.all()
  5. Set the AUDIT_LOG_EXEMPT_URLS setting to make sure certain urls will not be logged (e.g. health check urls).

    # If a URL path matches a regular expression in this list, the request will not be redirected to HTTPS.
    # The AuditLogMiddleware strips leading slashes from URL paths, so patterns shouldn’t include them, e.g.
    # [r'foo/bar$']

At this point all requests/responses will be logged. For providing extra context (which you are strongly urged to do so), see next chapters.

Default context info

By default the audit log sends the following json structure per request:

  "http_request": {
    "method": "get|post|head|options|etc..",
    "url": "",
    "user_agent": "full browser user agent"
  "http_response": {
    "status_code": "http status code",
    "reason": "http status reason",
    "headers": {
      "key": "value"
  "user": {
    "authenticated": "True/False",
    "provider": "auth backend the user authenticated with",
    "realm": "optional realm when using keycloak or another provider",
    "email": "email of logged in user",
    "roles": "roles attached to the logged in user",
    "ip": "ip address"

Each json entry is set by its corresponding method. In this case, the middleware sets them automatically by calling set_http_request() and set_user_fom_request() in the process_request method. In the process_response method the last data is set by invoking set_http_response().

After the response has been processed the middleware automatically creates the log item by calling send_log().

Custom optional context info

Per request it is possible to add optional context info. For a complete audit log, you are strongly urged to add more info inside your view.

Adding extra context is quite simple. The audit_log object has been added to the request by the middleware. Therefore every view can simply access it via the request object.


request.audit_log.set_filter(self, object_name, fields, terms) allows to provide info on the requested type of object and the filters that have been used (a user searches for 'terms', which are matched on specific 'fields' of the 'object').

This method will add the following details to the log:

"filter": {
      "object": "Object name that is requested",
      "fields": "Fields that are being filtered on, if applicable",
      "terms": "Search terms, if applicable"


request.audit_log.set_results(self, results) allows to pass a json dict detailing exactly what results have been returned to the user.

It is up to the developer to decide whether the amount of data that would be added here will become a burden instead of a blessing.

This method will add the following details to the log:

"results": {

Message and loglevel

At last, a log message and loglevel can be provided to indicate what the request is actually doing. This is done by calling one of the following methods:

request.audit_log.debug(self, msg), msg)
request.audit_log.warning(self, msg)
request.audit_log.error(self, msg)
request.audit_log.critical(self, msg)

These methods will add the following details to the log:

"message": "log message"

Django Rest Framework

Two base-ViewSets are available if you use the Django Rest Framework.

The AuditLogReadOnlyViewSet extends the ReadOnlyModelViewSet and overrides the retrieve() and list() methods. The AuditLogViewSet extends the AuditLogReadOnlyViewSet and overrides the remaining (non-read-only) methods create(), update() and destroy().

Our classes inspect the request and will automatically add extra context information to the audit log. This context information provides info regarding filters, results and the action that is being performed.

Note that by default list() will not add the results to the log, unless the audit_log_list_response attribute is set. Only do so when the amount of data inside the list response is suitable to store inside a log entry.

class MyViewSet(AuditLogViewSet):
    audit_log_list_response = True

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