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Make emailing users easy and entity-based.

Project description

Django Entity Emailer

Do you:

  • Use Django-Entity-Event?

  • Want to have emailing as another medium for entity events?

  • Want a record of emails sent?

  • Want automatic assurance that you don’t accidentally send hundreds of emails over the course of a few minutes?

Then use Django Entity Emailer!


This package can currently be installed by downloading and installing from source:

git clone python install

Coming soon: pip install.

Setup and Configuration

In order to use django-entity-emailer, you must be mirroring entities using the django-entity framework. Additionally, in order to send email to entities, those entities must include a value for the key 'email' in their entity_meta field.

If both of those conditions are true, setup is fairly straightforward:

  1. Add entity_emailer to INSTALLED_APPS.

  2. Either set a value for settings.ENTITY_EMAILER_FROM_EMAIL, or be sure that the settings.DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL is set to an appropriate value.

  3. Ensure that all the dependencies are installed and listed in INSTALLED_APPS

    • pip: django-db-mutex, INSTALLED_APPS: db_mutex

    • pip: django-entity-subscription, INSTALLED_APPS: entity_subscription

  4. Add the scheduled email task to your CELERYBEAT_SCHEDULE (see configuring celery section).

  5. Run python syncdb and python migrate

  6. Ensure that a email medium is set up by running python add_email_medium.

When sending an email, django-entity-emailer will first check if the ENTITY_EMAILER_FROM_EMAIL exists. If it does, it will use that value in the email’s ‘from’ field, otherwise it will fall back to the value set in DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL.

Finally, django-entity-emailer is an installable medium that is used with django-entity-event . This libary makes it easy for developers and users to manage what sorts of notifications users recieve over various mediums. However, it does require some configuration. For a simple emailer configuration, see the ‘Basic entity-subscription configuration’ section.

Getting 'email' into 'entity_meta'

The requirement that entities be mirrored with an 'email' field in their entity_meta is not difficult.

After installing django-entity, it is as simple as creating a model inheriting from entity.BaseEntityModel, with a get_entity_meta that returns the email along with any other data to be mirrored. A simple example could be:

from django.db import models
from entity import BaseEntityModel

class Account(BaseEntityModel)
    username = models.CharField(max_length=64)
    email = models.CharField(max_length=254)

    def get_entity_meta(self):
        return {'email':, 'username': self.username}

Also note that it is not necessary for every mirrored entity to include an email, only those entities that will actually be sent emails need to have emails mirrored in their entity_meta.

For a more complete description of how entity mirroring works, see the documentation for django-entity.

Basic entity-event configuration

In order to ensure that users of your site will not recieve emails that they don’t want to recieve, the entity-emailer application ties in to the entity-event framework. As a developer it is up to you to expose the ability for users to subscribe and unsubscribe from emails. Here, we will show the basic configuration required to start sending emails.

Running add_email_medium will add the medium that entity-emailer relies on to send emails. We must also have a source of emails, and a subscription to that combination of email and source.

from entity_emailer import get_medium
from entity_event.models import Source, Subscription
from entity.models import Entity, EntityKind

super_entity = Entity.objects.get_for_obj(my_group_object)
user_entity_kind = EntityKind.objects.get(name='myusermodel')

email_medium = get_medium()
admin_source = Source.objects.create(
    name='admin', display_name='Admin Notifications',
    description='Important notifications for the site Admin.',
    source=admin_source, medium=email_medium,
    entity=super_entity, subentity_kind=user_entity_kind

Along with this, you will need to associate the email medium with a RenderingStyle object in entity event so that it can perform email rendering. More about this in the next section.

Django Entity Emailer must know the email addresses of entities and assumes that an email address has been mirrored by default in the entity metadata. By default, it uses the “email” metadata key, but this can be overridden by setting a ENTITY_EMAILER_EMAIL_KEY in the settings.

Django Entity Emailer also has the ability to exclude certain entities from ever being emailed. In order to do this, mirror metadata that when None or False means that the entity should never be emailed. Then set the ENTITY_EMAILER_EXCLUDE_KEY setting to the key of this metadata.

Sending an Email about an Event

Sending an email is as simple as saving an event to the database and subscribing to the email medium after templates are defined for the email. The entity emailer will go through the events, send out emails to the subscribed targets, and mark the events as seen so that duplicate emails are never sent.

For example, let’s say that we wish to be notified via email when a user logs into a site. Assuming that the email medium and admin sources are setup from our previous examples, we can make an email template (login.html) that looks like the following:

{{ user }} just logged in!

We then set up a rendering style and a context renderer for this template so that emails can be rendered:

from entity_event.models import RenderingStyle, ContextRenderer

style = RenderingStyle.objects.create(name='email')

When the context renderer is in place, the email medium will need to be updated to point to the appropriate rendering style we want to use. To continue our example:

email_medium.rendering_style = style

Once we have the rendering style in place, assume an Event is created with the following context:

    'user': 'User name'

When this happens, an email will be sent to the subscribed user that says ‘User name just logged in!’.

The subject line of this email will use the first 40 characters from the rendered email template. However, if one specifies a <title> HTML tag in their template, the contents of the tag will be used as the email subject.

For more detailed information on event rendering, checkout django-entity-event.


Users may want to be able to unsubscribe from certain types of emails. This is easy in django-entity-emailer. Emails can be unsubscribed from by individual sources, by using the entity-subscription framework.

from entity_emailer import get_medium
from entity_event import Source, Unsubscribe

admin_emails = Source.objects.get(name='admin')

This user will be excluded both from receiving emails of this type that were sent to them individually, or as part of a group email.

Showing Emails in the Browser

Users may view emails in a browser with this application. This is accomplished by including the entity_emailer urls into the Django project and providing the view_uid of the email as the url argument. The url view will use the text/html templates of the email to render it as a web page.

Release Notes

  • 0.9.0

    • Added Django 1.8 support and dropped 1.6 support

  • 0.8.4

    • Added the abilty to override the email key in entity metadata.

    • Added the ability to exlude entities from being emailed based on a metadata key.

  • 0.8.1

    • Added Django 1.7 support

    • Added Python 3.4 support

  • 0.7.1

    • Squashed entity emailer migrations and removed entity subscription dependency.

  • 0.7

    • Converted entity emailer to solely be a medium for entity event.

  • 0.6

    • Added a recipients field to the Email model and removed the send_to field. This allows the user

      to provide more than one receiver (or group of receivers) for the email.

  • 0.5

    • Added a context_loader field on the EmailTemplate model. This function allows a user to provide a function

      path that for fetching and returning data from the stored Email context.

    • Added a basic EmailView and urls for rendering emails through a Django view.

  • 0.4

    • Updated to use EntityKind models rather than ContentType models for specifying entity groups.

      A schema migration to remove the old subentity_type field while adding the new subentity_kind field were added so that users may make appropriate data migrations. Note that it is up to the user to write the appropriate data migration for converting entity types to entity kinds.

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