Release: 0.8.7 | Release Date: July 22, 2014

SQLAlchemy 0.8 Documentation

Events

SQLAlchemy includes an event API which publishes a wide variety of hooks into the internals of both SQLAlchemy Core and ORM.

New in version 0.7: The system supersedes the previous system of “extension”, “proxy”, and “listener” classes.

Event Registration

Subscribing to an event occurs through a single API point, the listen() function. This function accepts a user-defined listening function, a string identifier which identifies the event to be intercepted, and a target. Additional positional and keyword arguments may be supported by specific types of events, which may specify alternate interfaces for the given event function, or provide instructions regarding secondary event targets based on the given target.

The name of an event and the argument signature of a corresponding listener function is derived from a class bound specification method, which exists bound to a marker class that’s described in the documentation. For example, the documentation for PoolEvents.connect() indicates that the event name is "connect" and that a user-defined listener function should receive two positional arguments:

from sqlalchemy.event import listen
from sqlalchemy.pool import Pool

def my_on_connect(dbapi_con, connection_record):
    print "New DBAPI connection:", dbapi_con

listen(Pool, 'connect', my_on_connect)

Targets

The listen() function is very flexible regarding targets. It generally accepts classes, instances of those classes, and related classes or objects from which the appropriate target can be derived. For example, the above mentioned "connect" event accepts Engine classes and objects as well as Pool classes and objects:

from sqlalchemy.event import listen
from sqlalchemy.pool import Pool, QueuePool
from sqlalchemy import create_engine
from sqlalchemy.engine import Engine
import psycopg2

def connect():
    return psycopg2.connect(username='ed', host='127.0.0.1', dbname='test')

my_pool = QueuePool(connect)
my_engine = create_engine('postgresql://ed@localhost/test')

# associate listener with all instances of Pool
listen(Pool, 'connect', my_on_connect)

# associate listener with all instances of Pool
# via the Engine class
listen(Engine, 'connect', my_on_connect)

# associate listener with my_pool
listen(my_pool, 'connect', my_on_connect)

# associate listener with my_engine.pool
listen(my_engine, 'connect', my_on_connect)

Modifiers

Some listeners allow modifiers to be passed to listen(). These modifiers sometimes provide alternate calling signatures for listeners. Such as with ORM events, some event listeners can have a return value which modifies the subsequent handling. By default, no listener ever requires a return value, but by passing retval=True this value can be supported:

def validate_phone(target, value, oldvalue, initiator):
    """Strip non-numeric characters from a phone number"""

    return re.sub(r'(?![0-9])', '', value)

# setup listener on UserContact.phone attribute, instructing
# it to use the return value
listen(UserContact.phone, 'set', validate_phone, retval=True)

Event Reference

Both SQLAlchemy Core and SQLAlchemy ORM feature a wide variety of event hooks:

  • Core Events - these are described in Core Events and include event hooks specific to connection pool lifecycle, SQL statement execution, transaction lifecycle, and schema creation and teardown.
  • ORM Events - these are described in ORM Events, and include event hooks specific to class and attribute instrumentation, object initialization hooks, attribute on-change hooks, session state, flush, and commit hooks, mapper initialization, object/result population, and per-instance persistence hooks.

API Reference

sqlalchemy.event.listen(target, identifier, fn, *args, **kw)

Register a listener function for the given target.

e.g.:

from sqlalchemy import event
from sqlalchemy.schema import UniqueConstraint

def unique_constraint_name(const, table):
    const.name = "uq_%s_%s" % (
        table.name,
        list(const.columns)[0].name
    )
event.listen(
        UniqueConstraint,
        "after_parent_attach",
        unique_constraint_name)
sqlalchemy.event.listens_for(target, identifier, *args, **kw)

Decorate a function as a listener for the given target + identifier.

e.g.:

from sqlalchemy import event
from sqlalchemy.schema import UniqueConstraint

@event.listens_for(UniqueConstraint, "after_parent_attach")
def unique_constraint_name(const, table):
    const.name = "uq_%s_%s" % (
        table.name,
        list(const.columns)[0].name
    )