A reload of the popular audit trail extension

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2.1.0 2015-10-04 19:58 UTC

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Last update: 2024-04-13 12:53:46 UTC


This is basically a modification of a previous extension made by MadSkillsTisdale at

I have basically cleaned up some of the code and made a few additions to the behaviour bundled within this extension.

Installing the extension

The method of installation has changed. I have removed the need to install a module since:

  • It only provided global configuration variables for the audit log widget
  • It was extra bloat that didn't justify the needs
  • I found that in a real system you wouldn't want a page showing all audit log entries since the audit logs
  • The audit log is quite easy to add to a page using CGridView

As such, for these reasons, the module itself has been deleted.


This extension is listed on packagist.

Step 1

To install you must first choose a folder in which to place this repository. I have chosen:


Since this seems most right to me. Clone this repository to that location.

Step 2

Time to install the table. You can use the migration file provided by the original author of this extension or you can use the SQL file bundled within the migrations folder. Simply run it on your DB server (using PHPMyAdmin or something) and watch the magic unfold.

Step 3

Reference the AuditTrail model within your configuration:


Note You can move AuditTrail to your models folder preventing you from having to link it like this.

Step 4

Simply use the behaviour within a model like:

'LoggableBehavior'=> array(
	'class' => 'site.backend.extensions.modules.auditTrail.behaviors.LoggableBehavior',


If your user class is not User then you may (depending on your setup) need to change the relation within the AuditLog model to suite your needs.


Please note that the below snippets are snippets only and are not tested in a real environment. It is recommend that you use this section as reference and documentation only, do not copy and paste from here.

Custom User Attributes

Some people don't actually have defined users but do have an attribute of the auditable model that would define a unique identification of who edited it. For this end you can use:

'LoggableBehavior'=> array(
	'class' => 'site.backend.extensions.modules.auditTrail.behaviors.LoggableBehavior',
	'userAttribute' => 'name'

Storing Timestamps

The date of the audit log can be changed to used timestamps instead using:

'LoggableBehavior'=> array(
	'class' => 'site.backend.extensions.modules.auditTrail.behaviors.LoggableBehavior',
	'storeTimestamp' => true

Changing the date format

You can adjust the date format using the dateFormat property of the behaviour:

'LoggableBehavior'=> array(
	'class' => 'site.backend.extensions.modules.auditTrail.behaviors.LoggableBehavior',
	'dateFormat' => 'Y-m-d H:i:s'

Ignoring and allowing specific fields

There is one interesting addition to this version. You can now specify an allowed set of fields and a ignored set of fields...or both.

To do this include the behaviour in your models like you normally would:

'LoggableBehavior'=> 'site.backend.extensions.modules.auditTrail.behaviors.LoggableBehavior'

But then add either an ignored or allowed (or both) list of fields to the behaviour like so:

'LoggableBehavior'=> array(
	'class' => 'site.backend.extensions.modules.auditTrail.behaviors.LoggableBehavior',
	'allowed' => array(
	'ignored' => array(

The names put into the allowed and ignored parameters of the behaviour represent field names.

As you will notice I allow the ns_purchase_description field but also ignore it. When you use the fields in this way ignored will replace the allowed and this field will be omitted.

Ignoring a whole class

This is useful if you put the behaviour in a class that extends CActiveRecord which all your own models extend from. This is useful in cases where you want ALL your classes to share the same core (like this behaviour) without having to specify it in every model you create.

'LoggableBehavior'=> array(
	'class' => 'site.backend.extensions.modules.auditTrail.behaviors.LoggableBehavior',
  	'ignored_class' => array(
		'ErrorLog',  // I use this to log error messages to MYSQL, no need to keep a log of this

Printing out the audit log

Since this no longer uses a module to do its work there is no global configuration for the previously inbuilt audit log to work from. Instead you can insert an audit log like (as an example only, showing an audit of changes to a book title and it's products on a book title page):

$model_ids = array(array($model->id, 'Title'));
foreach($model->products as $id => $product){
    $model_ids[] = array($product->id, 'Product');

$criteria=new CDbCriteria(array(
    'order'=>'stamp DESC',
$param_id = 0;
foreach( $model_ids as $id_pair ) {
    $criteria->addCondition( '( model_id = :id' . $param_id . ' AND model = :model' . $param_id . ' )', 'OR' );
    $criteria->params[ ':id' . $param_id ] = $id_pair[0];
    $criteria->params[ ':model' . $param_id ] = $id_pair[1];

$this->widget('zii.widgets.grid.CGridView', array(
    'dataProvider'=>new CActiveDataProvider('AuditTrail', array(
            'name' => 'Author',
            'value' => '$data->user ? $data->user->email : ""'
            'name' => 'field',
            'value' => '$data->getParent()->getAttributeLabel($data->field)'
            'name' => 'Date Changed',
            'value' => 'date("d-m-Y H:i:s", strtotime($data->stamp))'

For more user-friendliness in the CGridView, you can use these columns:

  1. Retrieves the changed model and shows its string representation:

         'header' => Yii::t('app', 'Name'),
         'value' => '$data->findModel()',
  2. If the field is a relation, find the related model and use that instead of showing the FK value:

         'name' => 'old_value',
         'value' => '$data->getOldValue()', 
         'name' => 'new_value',
         'value' => '$data->getNewValue()',