django-pgtrigger helps you write Postgres triggers for your Django models.

Why should I use triggers?

Triggers can solve a variety of complex problems more reliably, performantly, and succinctly than application code. For example,

All of these examples require no overridden methods, no base models, and no signal handling.

Quick start

Install django-pgtrigger with pip3 install django-pgtrigger and add pgtrigger to settings.INSTALLED_APPS.

pgtrigger.Trigger objects are added to triggers in model Meta. django-pgtrigger comes with several trigger classes, such as pgtrigger.Protect. In the following, we’re protecting the model from being deleted:

class ProtectedModel(models.Model):
    """This model cannot be deleted!"""

    class Meta:
        triggers = [
            pgtrigger.Protect(name='protect_deletes', operation=pgtrigger.Delete)

When migrations are created and executed, ProtectedModel will raise an exception anytime a deletion is attempted.

Let’s extend this example further and only protect deletions on inactive objects. In this example, the trigger conditionally runs when the row being deleted (the OLD row in trigger terminology) is still active:

class ProtectedModel(models.Model):
    """Active object cannot be deleted!"""
    is_active = models.BooleanField(default=True)

    class Meta:
        triggers = [

django-pgtrigger uses pgtrigger.Q and pgtrigger.F objects to conditionally execute triggers based on the OLD and NEW rows. Combining these Django idioms with pgtrigger.Trigger objects can solve a wide variety of problems without ever writing SQL. Users, however, can still use raw SQL for complex cases.

Triggers are installed like other database objects. Run python makemigrations and python migrate to install triggers.


django-pgtrigger is compatible with Python 3.7 – 3.10, Django 2.2 – 4.1, and Postgres 10 – 14.

Next steps

We recommend everyone first read:

After this, there are several usage guides:

There’s additional help in these sections:

Finally, core API information exists in these sections:

  • Settings for all available Django settings.

  • Commands for using the python pgtrigger management commands.

  • Module for documentation of the pgtrigger module.

  • Release Notes for information about every release.

  • Contributing Guide for details on contributing to the codebase.