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Django app to handle attachments (temporary uploads) grouped by sessions and bundles. Even for anonymous users

Project description

This app aims to work with attachments in Django.

Basically working with attachments is the same as working with ordinary uploads, except for a few distinctions:

  • Attachments “belong” to clients they have uploaded. In other words, attachments must be private and inaccessible to public.

  • Attachments are organized to “bundles”. It makes sense if your client decides to work with different attachment sets in different parts of your application (for example, he/she writes several emails or requests simultaniously and obviously doesn’t want to share his/her attachments between recipients.)

  • Attachments are temporary. There must be easy methods to remove attachments manually or by expiration.

  • Attachments must be usable even for unauthenticated users. It is due to our specifics. This is also the main reason why we created this app.

  • It is impossible to store two attachments with the same name in the same bundle. New attachment overwrite previous one. It looks like sane restriction given application usecase.

Installation and configuration

Install application from PyPI or GitHub:

$ pip install django-session-attachments  # or
$ pip install git://

Add a new application to your settings file:


Include a new line to your urlconf (

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    url(r'^attachments/', include('session_attachments.urls')),

There is a separate Django model to save attachments, so you should type:

./ syncdb session_attachments

How to use it

Providing that your app is available at localhost:8000, you get following number of URLs to work with from your frontend. It would probably be easier to work with the backend asynchronously, using JQuery forms extension or something similar.

Samples below use curl for the sake of simplicity. Because attachments are tied with session, it is important to keep session cookies between curl invocations. We do it by passing --cookie session.txt --cookie-jar session.txt options to curl.

Please note that curl examples don’t work unless the CSRF middleware is disabled in settings.

Upload files to the the bundle

To upload files POST data to /attachments/<bundle_id>/ URL. The form must contain at least one file field. The name of file fields can be arbitrary as they are ignored by the app:

$ echo spam > spam.txt
$ echo egg > egg.txt
$ curl --cookie session.txt --cookie-jar session.txt -F attach1=@spam.txt -F attach2=@egg.txt -X POST http://localhost:8000/attachments/foo/
[{"name": "egg.txt", ...}, {"name": "spam.txt", ...}]

Get the list of attachments in the bundle

$ curl --cookie session.txt --cookie-jar session.txt -X GET http://localhost:8000/attachments/foo/
$ [{"mimetype": "text/plain", "size": 4, "name": "egg.txt", "created": "2011-12-29 04:12"}, {"mimetype": "text/plain", "size": 5, "name": "spam.txt", "created": "2011-12-29 04:12"}]

The list of dicts in JSON format is returned.

Download the file from the bundle

$ curl --cookie session.txt --cookie-jar session.txt -X GET http://localhost:8000/attachments/foo/spam.txt/

Delete the attachment from the bundle

$ curl --cookie session.txt --cookie-jar session.txt -X POST http://localhost:8000/attachments/foo/spam.txt/delete/

Clean up the whole bundle

$ curl --cookie session.txt --cookie-jar session.txt -X POST http://localhost:8000/attachments/foo/delete/

Management command to cleanup outdated attachments

There is a management command which removes “outdated” attachments from the bundle. To set up the threshold to remove You can pass the number of days:

./ remove_outdated_attachments --older-than=3

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