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Sequelize Paper Trail

Track changes to your models, for auditing or versioning. See how a model looked at any stage in its lifecycle, revert it to any version, or restore it after it has been destroyed. Record the user who created the version.

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Table of Contents


npm install --save sequelize-paper-trail

Note: the current test suite is very limited in coverage.


Sequelize Paper Trail assumes that you already set up your Sequelize connection, for example, like this:

var Sequelize = require('sequelize');
var sequelize = new Sequelize('database', 'username', 'password');

then adding Sequelize Paper Trail is as easy as:

var PaperTrail = require('sequelize-paper-trail').init(sequelize, options);

which loads the Paper Trail library, and the defineModels() method sets up a Revisions and RevisionHistory table.

Note: If you pass userModel option to init in order to enable user tracking, userModel should be setup before defineModels() is called.

Then for each model that you want to keep a paper trail you simply add:


hasPaperTrail returns the hasMany association to the revisionModel so you can keep track of the association for reference later.


var Sequelize = require('sequelize');
var sequelize = new Sequelize('database', 'username', 'password');
var PaperTrail = require('sequelize-paper-trail').init(sequelize, options || {});
var User = sequelize.define('User', {
  username: Sequelize.STRING,
  birthday: Sequelize.DATE
User.Revisions = User.hasPaperTrail();

User Tracking

There are 2 steps to enable user tracking, ie, recording the user who created a particular revision.

  1. Enable user tracking by passing userModel option to init, with the name of the model which stores users in your application as the value.
var options = {
  /* ... */
  userModel: 'user',
  1. Pass the id of the user who is responsible for a database operation to sequelize-paper-trail either by sequelize options or by using continuation-local-storage.
  /* ... */
}, {
}).then(() {
  /* ... */


var createNamespace = require('continuation-local-storage').createNamespace;
var session = createNamespace('my session');
  /* ... */
}).then(() {
  /* ... */

In second case, you may have to call .run() or .bind() on your cls namespace, as described in the docs.


Paper Trail supports various options that can be passed into the initialization. The following are the default options:

Default options

// Default options
var options = {
  exclude: [
  revisionAttribute: 'revision',
  revisionModel: 'Revision',
  revisionChangeModel: 'RevisionChange',
  enableRevisionChangeModel: false,
  UUID: false,
  underscored: false,
  underscoredAttributes: false,
  defaultAttributes: {
    documentId: 'documentId',
    revisionId: 'revisionId'
  enableCompression: false,
  enableMigration: false,
  enableStrictDiff: true,
  continuationNamespace: 'current_user_request',
  continuationKey: 'userId'

Options documentation

Option Type Default Value Description
[debug] Boolean false Enables logging to the console.
[exclude] Array ['id', 'createdAt', 'updatedAt', 'deletedAt', 'created_at', 'updated_at', 'deleted_at', [options.revisionAttribute]] Array of global attributes to exclude from the paper trail.
[revisionAttribute] String 'revision' Name of the attribute in the table that corresponds to the current revision.
[revisionModel] String 'Revision' Name of the model that keeps the revision models.
[revisionChangeModel] String 'RevisionChange' Name of the model that tracks all the attributes that have changed during each create and update call.
[enableRevisionChangeModel] Boolean false Disable the revision change model to save space.
[UUID] Boolean false The [revisionModel] has id attribute of type UUID for postgresql.
[underscored] Boolean false The [revisionModel] and [revisionChangeModel] have 'createdAt' and 'updatedAt' attributes, by default, setting this option to true changes it to 'created_at' and 'updated_at'.
[underscoredAttributes] Boolean false The [revisionModel] has a [defaultAttribute] 'documentId', and the [revisionChangeModel] has a [defaultAttribute] 'revisionId, by default, setting this option to true changes it to 'document_id' and 'revision_id'.
[defaultAttributes] Object { documentId: 'documentId', revisionId: 'revisionId' }
[userModel] String Name of the model that stores users in your.
[enableCompression] Boolean false Compresses the revision attribute in the [revisionModel] to only the diff instead of all model attributes.
[enableMigration] Boolean false Automatically adds the [revisionAttribute] via a migration to the models that have paper trails enabled.
[enableStrictDiff] Boolean true Reports integers and strings as different, e.g. 3.14 !== '3.14'
[continuationNamespace] String 'current_user_request' Name of the name space used with the continuation-local-storage module.
[continuationKey] String 'userId' The continuation-local-storage key that contains the user id.


Please use:


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request


© Niels van Galen Distributed under the MIT license. See LICENSE for more information.


This project was inspired by: