Database changes log for Rails
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Logidze provides tools for logging DB records changes. Just like audited and paper_trail do (but faster).

Logidze allows you to create a DB-level log (using triggers) and gives you an API to browse this log. The log is stored with the record itself in JSONB column. No additional tables required. Currently, only PostgreSQL 9.5+ is supported (for PostgreSQL 9.4 try jsonbx extension).

Read the story behind Logidze

How is Logidze pronounced?

Other requirements:

  • Ruby ~> 2.1
  • Rails >= 4.2
Sponsored by Evil Martians


Add Logidze to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'logidze'

Install required DB extensions and create trigger function:

rails generate logidze:install

This creates migration for adding trigger function and enabling hstore extension.

Run migrations:

rake db:migrate

NOTE: you must use SQL schema format since Logidze uses DB functions and triggers:

# application.rb
config.active_record.schema_format = :sql
  1. Add log column and triggers to the model:
rails generate logidze:model Post
rake db:migrate

This also adds has_logidze line to your model, which adds methods for working with logs.

You can provide limit option to generate to limit the size of the log (by default it's unlimited):

rails generate logidze:model Post --limit=10

To backfill table data (i.e. create initial snapshots) add backfill option:

rails generate logidze:model Post --backfill

You can log only particular columns changes. There are mutually exclusive blacklist and whitelist options for this:

# track all columns, except `created_at` and `active`
rails generate logidze:model Post --blacklist=created_at active
# track only `title` and `body` columns
rails generate logidze:model Post --whitelist=title body

By default, Logidze tries to infer the path to the model file from the model name and may fail, for example, if you have unconventional project structure. In that case you should specify the path explicitly:

rails generate logidze:model Post --path "app/models/custom/post.rb"

By default, Logidze tries to get a timestamp for a version from record's updated_at field whenever appropriate. If your model does not have that column, Logidze will gracefully fall back to statement_timestamp(). To change the column name or disable this feature completely, you can use the timestamp_column option:

# will try to get the timestamp value from `time` column
rails generate logidze:model Post --timestamp_column time
# will always set version timestamp to `statement_timestamp()`
rails generate logidze:model Post --timestamp_column nil # "null" and "false" will also work

If you want to update Logidze settings for the model, run migration with --update flag:

rails generate logidze:model Post --update --whitelist=title body rating

Logidze also supports associations versioning. It is experimental feature, and disabled by default. You can learn more in the wiki.


The most common problem is "permission denied to set parameter "" caused by ALTER DATABASE ... query. Logidze requires at least database owner privileges (which is not always possible).

Here is a quick and straightforward workaround by @nobodyzzz.

NOTE: if you're using PostgreSQL >= 9.6 you need neither the workaround nor owner privileges because Logidze (>= 0.3.1) can work without ALTER DATABASE ....

Nevertheless, you still need super-user privileges to enable hstore extension (or you can use PostgreSQL Extension Whitelisting).

Upgrade from previous versions

We try to make upgrade process as simple as possible. For now, the only required action is to create and run a migration:

rails generate logidze:install --update

This updates core logdize_logger DB function. No need to update tables or triggers.


Your model now has log_data column which stores changes log.

To retrieve record version at a given time use #at or #at! methods:

post = Post.find(27)

# Show current version
post.log_version #=> 3

# Show log size (number of versions)
post.log_size #=> 3

# Get copy of a record at a given time
old_post = 2.days.ago)

# or revert the record itself to the previous state (without committing to DB)!(time: '201-04-15 12:00:00')

# If no version found '1945-05-09 09:00:00') #=> nil

You can also get revision by version number: 2)

It is also possible to get version for relations:

Post.where(active: true).at(time: 1.month.ago)

You can also get diff from specified time:

post.diff_from(time: 1.hour.ago)
#=> { "id" => 27, "changes" => { "title" => { "old" => "Logidze sucks!", "new" => "Logidze rulz!" } } }

# the same for relations
Post.where(created_at: 1.hour.ago)

There are also #undo! and #redo! options (and more general #switch_to!):

# Revert record to the previous state (and stores this state in DB)

# You can now user redo! to revert back

# More generally you can revert record to arbitrary version

Normally, if you update record after #undo! or #switch_to! you lose all "future" versions and #redo! is no longer possible. However, you can provide an append: true option to #undo! or #switch_to!, which will create a new version with old data. Caveat: when switching to a newer version, append will have no effect.

post = Post.create!(title: 'first post') # v1
post.update!(title: 'new title')         # v2
post.undo!(append: true)                 # v3 (with same attributes as v1)

Note that redo! will not work after undo!(append: true) because the latter will create a new version instead of rolling back to an old one. Alternatively, you can configure Logidze to always default to append: true.

Logidze.append_on_undo = true

Track meta information

You can store any meta information you want inside your version (it could be IP address, user agent etc). In order to add it you should wrap your code with a block:

Logidze.with_meta(ip: request.ip) do!

Meta expects a hash to be passed so you won't need to encode and decode JSON manually.

Track responsibility (aka whodunnit)

A special application of meta information is storing the author of the change, which is called Responsible ID. There is more likely that you would like to store the that way.

To provide responsible_id you should wrap your code in a block:

Logidze.with_responsible( do!

And then to retrieve responsible_id:


Logidze does not require responsible_id to be SomeModel ID. It can be anything. Thus Logidze does not provide methods for retrieving the corresponding object. However, you can easy write it yourself:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base

  def whodunnit
    id = log_data.responsible_id
    User.find(id) if id.present?

And in your controller:

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  around_action :set_logidze_responsible, only: %i[create update]

  def set_logidze_responsible(&block)
    Logidze.with_responsible(current_user&.id, &block)

Disable logging temporary

If you want to make update without logging (e.g. mass update), you can turn it off the following way:

Logidze.without_logging { Post.update_all(seen: true) }

# or

Post.without_logging { Post.update_all(seen: true) }

Log format

The log_data column has the following format:

  "v": 2, // current record version,
  "h": // list of changes
        "v": 1,  // change number
        "ts": 1460805759352, // change timestamp in milliseconds
        "c": {
            "attr": "new value",  // updated fields with new values
            "attr2": "new value"
        "r": 42, // Resposibility ID (if provided), not in use since 0.7.0
        "m": {
          "_r": 42 // Resposibility ID (if provided), in use since 0.7.0
          // any other meta information provided, please see Track meta information section for the details

If you specify the limit in the trigger definition then log size will not exceed the specified size. When a new change occurs, and there is no more room for it, the two oldest changes will be merged.


For development setup run ./bin/setup. This runs bundle install and creates test DB.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at


  • Enhance update_all to support mass-logging.
  • Other DB adapters.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.