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Logging Exceptions To Your SQLAlchemy Database

So you'd like to log to your database, rather than a file. Well, here's a brief rundown of exactly how you'd do that.

First we need to define a Log model for SQLAlchemy (do this in myapp.models):

from sqlalchemy import Column
from sqlalchemy.types import DateTime, Integer, String
from sqlalchemy.sql import func
from sqlalchemy.ext.declarative import declarative_base

Base = declarative_base()

class Log(Base):
    __tablename__ = 'logs'
    id = Column(Integer, primary_key=True) # auto incrementing
    logger = Column(String) # the name of the logger. (e.g. myapp.views)
    level = Column(String) # info, debug, or error?
    trace = Column(String) # the full traceback printout
    msg = Column(String) # any custom log you may have included
    created_at = Column(DateTime, # the current timestamp

    def __init__(self, logger=None, level=None, trace=None, msg=None):
        self.logger = logger
        self.level = level
        self.trace = trace
        self.msg = msg

    def __unicode__(self):
        return self.__repr__()

    def __repr__(self):
        return "<Log: %s - %s>" % (self.created_at.strftime('%m/%d/%Y-%H:%M:%S'), self.msg[:50])

Not too much exciting is occuring here. We've simply created a new table named 'logs'.

Before we get into how we use this table for good, here's a quick review of how logging works in a script:

import logging

# create logger
logger = logging.getLogger('simple_example')

# create console handler and set level to debug
ch = logging.StreamHandler()

# create formatter
formatter = logging.Formatter('%(asctime)s - %(name)s - %(levelname)s - %(message)s')

# add formatter to ch

# add ch to logger

# 'application' code
logger.debug('debug message')'info message')
logger.warn('warn message')
logger.error('error message')
logger.critical('critical message')

What you should gain from the above intro is that your handler uses a formatter and does the heavy lifting of executing the output of the logging.LogRecord. The output actually comes from logging.Handler.emit, a method we will now override as we create our SQLAlchemyHandler.

Let's subclass Handler now (put this in myapp.handlers):

import logging
import traceback

import transaction

from models import Log, DBSession

class SQLAlchemyHandler(logging.Handler):
    # A very basic logger that commits a LogRecord to the SQL Db
    def emit(self, record):
        trace = None
        exc = record.__dict__['exc_info']
        if exc:
            trace = traceback.format_exc(exc)
        log = Log(

For a little more depth, logging.LogRecord, for which record is an instance, contains all it's nifty log information in it's __dict__ attribute.

Now, we need to add this logging handler to our .ini configuration files. Before we add this, our production.ini file should contain something like:

We must add our SQLAlchemyHandler to the mix. So make the following changes to your production.ini file.

The changes we made simply allow Paster to recognize a new handler - sqlalchemy, located at [handler_sqlalchemy]. Most everything else about this configuration should be straightforward. If anything is still baffling, then use this as a good opportunity to read the Python logging documentation.

Below is an example of how you might use the logger in myapp.views:

import logging
from pyramid.view import view_config
from pyramid.response import Response

log = logging.getLogger(__name__)

def root(request):
    log.debug('exception impending!')
        log.exception('1/0 error')'test complete')
    return Response("test complete!")

When this view code is executed, you'll see up to three (depending on the level of logging you allow in your configuation file) records!

For more power, match this up with pyramid_exclog at

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