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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.

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Table of Contents


npm install --save sequelize-paper-trail


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')(sequelize, options={});

which loads the Paper Trail library, and the defineModels() method sets up a Revisions and RevisionHistory table. Then for each model that you want to keep a paper trail you simply add:



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


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',
  UUID: false,
  underscored: false,
  underscoredAttributes: false,
  defaultAttributes: {
    documentId: 'documentId',
    revisionId: 'revisionId'
  userModel: 'User',
  enableCompression: false,
  enableMigration: true,
  enableStrictDiff: true

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.
[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' }
[UUID] Boolean false (only for Postgres) uses UUID's instead of id's.
[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'


A working demo application is available at

Local development and running tests

Clone repo:

git clone

Install dependencies:

npm install

Run test script:

npm test

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


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: