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Transaction signals for Django. Don't use this!

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For the common use case of running code after the current transaction is successfully committed, use django-transaction-hooks. It has some rough edges, but it’s sane.


Django doesn’t provide transaction signals because they’re a bad idea. Some of the reasons will be apparent in the “Limitations” paragraph below. Other reasons can be found in ticket 14051 and on the django-developers mailing list. However, I’m fed up with having this argument. People will shoot themselves into the foot anyway.

This package will help you experience the problems of transaction signals first-hand.

Use it at your own risk. I wouldn’t.


Add 'transaction_signals' to your INSTALLED_APPS setting.

This will monkey-patch Django’s transaction management features.

You can then register receivers for transaction signals:

from django.dispatch import receiver
from transaction_signals import post_commit

def print_commits(sender, **kwargs):
    print("COMMIT on %s" % sender)


Signals are available in the transaction_signals package. Their semantics are obvious, except when they aren’t.

Connection signals:

  • pre_open
  • post_open
  • pre_close
  • post_close

Autocommit signals:

  • pre_set_autocommit
  • post_set_autocommit

Transaction signals:

  • pre_commit
  • post_commit
  • pre_rollback
  • post_rollback

Savepoint signals:

  • pre_savepoint
  • post_savepoint
  • pre_savepoint_commit
  • post_savepoint_commit
  • pre_savepoint_rollback
  • post_savepoint_rollback

sender is the alias of the database connection e.g. 'default'. All signals pass the database connection in the 'connection' argument. Furthermore, pre/post_open provide a conn_params argument, pre/post_set_autocommit provide autocommit, and pre/post_savepoint/_commit/_rollback provide savepoint_id.


You cannot assume that pre/post_commit are sent whenever changes are committed. Signals aren’t sent when the connection is in autocommit mode, which is the default.

You cannot assume that pre/post_rollback are sent whenever changes are cancelled. Closing the connection to the database triggers an implicit rollback.

You cannot assume that pre/post_close are sent whenever an implicit rollback happens. Losing the connection to the database also triggers an implicit rollback.

After pre/post_savepoint is sent, you cannot assume that either pre/post_savepoint_commit or pre/post_savepoint_rollback will be sent with the same savepoint_id. The savepoint may be released or rolled back together with an earlier savepoint or the entire transaction.

You cannot use pre/post_set_autocommit on SQLite. The sqlite3 module doesn’t work in non-autocommit mode.

You cannot use pre/post_savepoint_commit on Oracle, MSSQL, or any other database that doesn’t support releasing savepoints.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. I cannot recommend you use this package if you learnt anything in this section. In fact, I cannot recommend it at all.


Fortunately, if you want to add custom logic to Django’s transaction handling, you have several alternatives. They’re much less likely to result in anger, facepalms, insanity, loss of self-esteem, and other regrettable side effects.

You may put your custom logic:

  • In a middleware, if you only care about transactions tied to requests when ATOMIC_REQUESTS is enabled.
  • In a decorator that wraps atomic, if you have more advanced needs, especially if you want to track partial commits and rollbacks.
  • In a database backend, if you want tight control over database operations. Since there’s no public API, you’ll have to read the source and figure out how Django works, rather than blindly hooking to signals that may or may not be sent. django-transaction-hooks uses this technique.


This package is released under a dual license: WTFPLv2 and GPLv2.

The distribution only includes the WTFPLv2 because the GPLv2 is too long.

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