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A Django app to track changes to a model field.

Project description Documentation Status

A Django app to track changes to a model field. For Python 2.7/3.2+ and Django 1.7+.


The full documentation is at


  • Keeps a history of all changes to a particular model’s field.

  • Stores the field’s name, value, date and time of change, and the user that changed it.

  • Works with all model field types (except ManyToManyField).


Install django-field-history:

pip install django-field-history

Be sure to put it in INSTALLED_APPS.

    # other apps...

Then add it to your models.

from field_history.tracker import FieldHistoryTracker

class PizzaOrder(models.Model):
        ('ORDERED', 'Ordered'),
        ('COOKING', 'Cooking'),
        ('COMPLETE', 'Complete'),
    status = models.CharField(max_length=64, choices=STATUS_CHOICES)

    field_history = FieldHistoryTracker(['status'])

Now each time you change the order’s status field information about that change will be stored in the database.

from field_history.models import FieldHistory

# No FieldHistory objects yet
assert FieldHistory.objects.count() == 0

# Creating an object will make one
pizza_order = PizzaOrder.objects.create(status='ORDERED')
assert FieldHistory.objects.count() == 1

# This object has some fields on it
history = FieldHistory.objects.get()
assert history.object == pizza_order
assert history.field_name == 'status'
assert history.field_value == 'ORDERED'
assert history.date_created is not None

# You can query FieldHistory using the get_{field_name}_history()
# method added to your model
histories = pizza_order.get_status_history()
assert list(FieldHistory.objects.all()) == list(histories)

# Or using the custom FieldHistory manager
histories2 = FieldHistory.objects.get_for_model_and_field(pizza_order, 'status')
assert list(histories) == list(histories2)

# Updating that particular field creates a new FieldHistory
pizza_order.status = 'COOKING'
assert FieldHistory.objects.count() == 2

updated_history = histories.latest()
assert updated_history.object == pizza_order
assert updated_history.field_name == 'status'
assert updated_history.field_value == 'COOKING'
assert updated_history.date_created is not None

Management Commands

django-field-history comes with a few management commands.


This command will inspect all of the models in your application and create FieldHistory objects for the models that have a FieldHistoryTracker. Run this the first time you install django-field-history.

python createinitialfieldhistory


Use this command after changing a model field name of a field you track with FieldHistoryTracker:

python renamefieldhistory --model=app_label.model_name --from_field=old_field_name --to_field=new_field_name

For instance, if you have this model:

class Person(models.Model):
    username = models.CharField(max_length=255)

    field_history = FieldHistoryTracker(['username'])

And you change the username field name to handle:

class Person(models.Model):
    handle = models.CharField(max_length=255)

    field_history = FieldHistoryTracker(['handle'])

You will need to also update the field_name value in all FieldHistory objects that point to this model:

python renamefieldhistory --model=myapp.Person --from_field=username --to_field=handle

Storing Which User Changed the Field

There are two ways to store the user that changed your model field. The simplest way is to use the logged in user that made the request. To do this, add the FieldHistoryMiddleware class to your MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES setting:


Alternatively, you can add a _field_history_user property to the model that has fields you are tracking. This property should return the user you would like stored on FieldHistory when your field is updated.

class Pizza(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    updated_by = models.ForeignKey('auth.User')

    field_history = FieldHistoryTracker(['name'])

    def _field_history_user(self):
        return self.updated_by

Running Tests

Does the code actually work?

source <YOURVIRTUALENV>/bin/activate
(myenv) $ pip install -r requirements-test.txt
(myenv) $ python


0.5.0 (April 16, 2016)

  • Added the ability to track field history of parent models.

  • Added Django 1.7 compatibility.

0.4.0 (February 24, 2016)

  • Added a way to automatically store the logged in user on FieldHistory.user.

0.3.0 (February 20, 2016)

  • FieldHistory objects are now created using bulk_create, which means only one query will be executed, even when changing multiple fields at the same time.

  • Added a way to store which user updated a field.

  • Added get_latest_by to FieldHistory Meta options so .latest() and .earliest() can be used.

  • Added createinitialfieldhistory management command.

  • Added renamefieldhistory management command.

0.2.0 (February 17, 2016)

  • First release on PyPI.

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