Records changes made to an object during CRUD operations.
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xhs345 Merge pull request #117 from JoeSong/master
Added plugin syntax for model names.
Latest commit 688f67d Aug 17, 2017

Audit Log Plugin

A logging plugin for CakePHP 2.x. The included AuditableBehavior creates an audit history for each instance of a model to which it's attached.

The behavior tracks changes on two levels. It takes a snapshot of the fully hydrated object after a change is complete and it also records each individual change in the case of an update action.


  • Support for CakePHP 2.2+. Thanks, @jasonsnider.
  • Tracks object snapshots as well as individual property changes.
  • Allows each revision record to be attached to a source -- usually a user -- of responsibility for the change.
  • Allows developers to ignore changes to specified properties. Properties named created, updated and modified are ignored by default, but these values can be overwritten.
  • Handles changes to HABTM associations.
  • Fully compatible with the PolymorphicBehavior.
  • Fully compatible with SoftDelete.


CakePHP 2.x

Use the current master branch and follow the instructions below.

CakePHP 3.x

The dev-3.x branch is now dedicated to any CakePHP 3.x development but is still WIP. If you are looking for working solutions you can look at the plugins listed at Awesome CakePHP

CakePHP 1.3.x

Use code from the 1.3 branch and follow the instructions in that README file. Please note that development has ended for this version.

Installation (2.x)

Installation Options

Using Composer

From your /app/ folder run:

$ composer require robwilkerson/cakephp-audit-log-plugin

This will automatically update your composer.json, download and install the required packages.

As an Archive

  1. Click the big ol' Downloads button next to the project description.
  2. Extract the archive to app/Plugin/AuditLog.

As a Submodule

  1. $ git submodule add git:// <path_to>/app/Plugin/AuditLog
  2. $ git submodule init
  3. $ git submodule update

Load the Plugin

In app/Config/bootstrap.php add the following line:


Setup Database

To create the necessary tables, you can use the schema shell. Run from your /app/ folder:

php ./Console/cake.php schema create -p AuditLog

This will create the audits and audit_deltas tables that will store each object's relevant change history.

Next Steps

  1. Create a currentUser() method, if desired.

    The AuditableBehavior optionally allows each changeset to be "owned" by a "source" -- typically the user responsible for the change. Since user and authentication models vary widely, the behavior supports a callback method that should return the value to be stored as the source of the change, if any.

    The currentUser() method must be available to every model that cares to track a source of changes, so I recommend that a copy of CakePHP's AppModel.php file be created and the method added there. Keep it DRY, right?

    Storing the changeset source can be a little tricky if the core Auth component is being used since user data isn't readily available at the model layer where behaviors lie. One option is to forward that data from the controller. One means of doing this is to include the following code in AppController::beforeFilter():

    if (!empty($this->request->data) && empty($this->request->data[$this->Auth->userModel])) {
    	$user['User']['id'] = $this->Auth->user('id');
    	$this->request->data[$this->Auth->userModel] = $user;

    The behavior expects the currentUser() method to return an associative array with an id key. It is also possible to set a description key to add additional details about the user. Continuing from the example above, the following code might appear in the AppModel:

     * Get the current user
     * Necessary for logging the "owner" of a change set,
     * when using the AuditLog behavior.
     * @return mixed|null User record. or null if no user is logged in.
    public function currentUser() {
        App::uses('AuthComponent', 'Controller/Component');
        return array(
            'id' => AuthComponent::user('id'),
            'description' => AuthComponent::user('username'),
  2. Attach the behavior to any desired model and configure it to your needs.


Applying the AuditableBehavior to a model is essentially the same as applying any other CakePHP behavior. The behavior does offer a few configuration options:

  • ignore An array of property names to be ignored when records are created in the deltas table.
  • habtm An array of models that have a HABTM relationship with the acting model and whose changes should be monitored with the model. If the HABTM model is auditable in its own right, don't include it here. This option is for related models whose changes are only tracked relative to the acting model.
 * A model that uses the AuditLog default settings
class SomeModel extends AppModel {

	 * Loading the AuditLog behavior without explicit settings.
	 * @var array
	public $actsAs = array('AuditLog.Auditable');

	// More model code here.

 * A model that sets explicit AuditLog settings
class AnotherModel extends AppModel {

	 * Loading the AuditLog behavior with explicit settings.
	 * @var array
	public $actsAs = array(
		'AuditLog.Auditable' => array(
			'ignore' => array('active', 'name', 'updated'),
			'habtm' => array('Type', 'Project'),

	// More model code here.


The plugin offers multiple Callbacks that allow the execution of additional logic before or after an operation of this Plugin.

To add a custom Callback create a method with one of the names listed below in your audited model.


afterAuditCreate(Model $Model)

Triggers if a new record is inserted in the Audit table

  • $Model Name of the model where the record is created


afterAuditCreate(Model $Model, array $original, array $updates, int $auditId)

Triggers if a record is updated in the Audit table.

  • $Model Name of the model where record is updated
  • $original Contains a copy of the object as it existed prior to the save
  • $updates Set of records that have been updated
  • $auditId Id of the record in the Audit table


afterAuditCreate(Model $Model, string $propertyName, string $oldValue, string $newValue)

Triggers each time a property is inserted into the audit_deltas table.

  • $Model Name of the model where record is created / updated
  • $propertyName Name of the property (field name)
  • $oldValue Original value of the property
  • $newValue New value of the property


This code is licensed under the MIT license.


Feel free to submit bug reports or suggest improvements in a ticket or fork this project and improve upon it yourself. Contributions welcome.