Author: David Turner, The Open Planning Project

Versioning

Why

You have a table where rows can be altered, such as a table of wiki pages. You want to retain a history of changes for auditing, backup, or tracking purposes.

You could write a decorator that stores old versions and manage all access to this object through it. Or you could take advantage of the event system in SQLObject 0.8+ and just catch row accesses to the object. SQLObject's versioning module does this for you. And it even works with inheritance!

How

Here's how to set it up:

class MyClass(SQLObject):
    name = StringCol()
    versions = Versioning()

To use it, just create an instance as usual:

mc = MyClass(name='fleem')

Then make some changes and check out the results:

mc.set(name='morx')
assert mc.versions[0].name == 'fleem'

You can also restore to a previous version:

mc.versions[0].restore()
assert mc.name == "fleem"

Inheritance

There are three ways versioning can be used with inheritance:

  1. Parent versioned, children unversioned:

    class Base(InheritableSQLObject):
        name = StringCol()
        versions = Versioning()
    
    class Child(Base):
        toy = StringCol()
    

In this case, when changes are made to an instance of Base, new versions are created. But when changes are made to an instance of Child, no new versions are created.

  1. Children versioned, parents unversioned.

In this case, when changes are made to an instance of Child, new versions are created. But when changes are made to an instance of Base, no new versions are created. The version data for Child contains all of the columns from child and from base, so that a full restore is possible.

  1. Both children and parents versioned.

In this case, changes to either Child or Base instances create new versions, but in different tables. Child versions still contain all Base data, and a change to a Child only creates a new Child version, not a new Base version.

Version Tables

Versions are stored in a special table which is created when the table for a versioned class is created. Version tables are not altered when the main table is altered, so if you add a column to your main class, you will need to manually add the column to your version table.

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