A Django email backend for Amazon's Simple Email Service
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Info:A Django email backend for Amazon's Simple Email Service
Author: Harry Marr (http://github.com/hmarr, http://twitter.com/harrymarr)
Collaborator:Paul Craciunoiu (http://github.com/pcraciunoiu, http://twitter.com/embrangler)

A bird's eye view

Django-SES is a drop-in mail backend for Django. Instead of sending emails through a traditional SMTP mail server, Django-SES routes email through Amazon Web Services' excellent Simple Email Service (SES).

Why SES instead of SMTP?

Configuring, maintaining, and dealing with some complicated edge cases can be time-consuming. Sending emails with Django-SES might be attractive to you if:

  • You don't want to maintain mail servers.
  • You are already deployed on EC2 (In-bound traffic to SES is free from EC2 instances).
  • You need to send a high volume of email.
  • You don't want to have to worry about PTR records, Reverse DNS, email whitelist/blacklist services.
  • Django-SES is a truely drop-in replacement for the default mail backend. Your code should require no changes.

Getting going

Assuming you've got Django installed, you'll need Boto 2.1.0 or higher. Boto is a Python library that wraps the AWS API.

You can do the following to install boto 2.1.0 (we're using --upgrade here to make sure you get 2.1.0):

pip install --upgrade boto

Install django-ses:

pip install django-ses

Add the following to your settings.py:

EMAIL_BACKEND = 'django_ses.SESBackend'

# These are optional -- if they're set as environment variables they won't
# need to be set here as well

# Additionally, you can specify an optional region, like so:
AWS_SES_REGION_NAME = 'us-east-1'
AWS_SES_REGION_ENDPOINT = 'email.us-east-1.amazonaws.com'

Now, when you use django.core.mail.send_mail, Simple Email Service will send the messages by default.

Since SES imposes a rate limit and will reject emails after the limit has been reached, django-ses will attempt to conform to the rate limit by querying the API for your current limit and then sending no more than that number of messages in a two-second period (which is half of the rate limit, just to be sure to stay clear of the limit). This is controlled by the following setting:

AWS_SES_AUTO_THROTTLE = 0.5 # (default; safety factor applied to rate limit)

To turn off automatic throttling, set this to None.

Check out the example directory for more information.

SES Sending Stats

Django SES comes with two ways of viewing sending statistics.

The first one is a simple read-only report on your 24 hour sending quota, verified email addresses and bi-weekly sending statistics.

If you wish to use the SES sending statistics reports, you must include django.contrib.admin``(for templates) and ``django_ses in your INSTALLED_APPS and you must include django_ses.urls in your urls.py.

Additionally, you can install pytz to localize the Amazon timestamp (assumed UTC) to your locale. This will also make the date more readable, using Django's default formatting.

If you need to keep sending statistics around for longer than two weeks, django-ses also comes with a model that lets you store these. To use this feature you'll need to first run syncdb:

python manage.py syncdb

To collect the statistics, run the get_ses_statistics management command (refer to next section for details). After running this command the statistics will be viewable via /admin/django_ses/.

Django SES Management Commands

To use these you must include django_ses in your INSTALLED_APPS.

Managing Verified Email Addresses

Manage verified email addresses through the management command.

python manage.py ses_email_address -l

Collecting Sending Statistics

To collect and store SES sending statistics in the database, run:

python manage.py get_ses_statistics

Sending statistics are aggregated daily (UTC time). Stats for the latest day (when you run the command) may be inaccurate if run before end of day (UTC). If you want to keep your statistics up to date, setup cron to run this command a short time after midnight (UTC) daily.

Django Builtin-in Error Emails

If you'd like Django's Builtin Email Error Reporting to function properly (actually send working emails), you'll have to explicitly set the SERVER_EMAIL setting to one of your SES-verified addresses. Otherwise, your error emails will all fail and you'll be blissfully unaware of a problem.

Note: You will need to sign up for SES and verify any emails you're going to use in the from_email argument to django.core.mail.send_email(). Boto has a verify_email_address() method: https://github.com/boto/boto/blob/master/boto/ses/connection.py


django-ses requires boto version 2.1.0 or later.

Full List of Settings

Required. Your API keys from Amazon SES.
Optionally specify what region your SES service is using. Details: http://readthedocs.org/docs/boto/en/latest/ref/ses.html#boto.ses.regions
Instruct Amazon SES to forward bounced emails and complaints to this email. For more information please refer to http://aws.amazon.com/ses/faqs/#38
Default Django setting, optionally set this. Details: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/ref/settings/#time-zone


If you'd like to fix a bug, add a feature, etc

1. Start by opening an issue. Be explicit so that project collaborators can understand and reproduce the issue, or decide whether the feature falls within the project's goals. Code examples can be useful, too. 2. File a pull request. You may write a prototype or suggested fix. 3. Check your code for errors, complaints. Use check.py: https://github.com/jbalogh/check 4. Write and run tests. Write your own test showing the issue has been resolved, or the feature works as intended.

Running Tests

To run the tests:

python manage.py test django_ses