Jeremy Banks Jeremy Banks - 3 months ago 62
Python Question

May an instance be committed if an exception occurs in the post_save handler?

I have a

handler that inserts additional records into the database referring to the instance that was just created or updated. However, an error (perhaps a constraint violation) may occur when inserting the additional records.

If an exception occurs in the
handler, is it still possible that the initial instance will be committed?

The answer might depend on these sub-questions:

  • Does Django's auto-commit mode commit before or after the

  • Does Django attempt to use nested transactions to rollback the instance being saved if an error occurs in


According to the docs, if you are using autocommit changes to the initial instance will be committed on .save() before any post_save signal handler. An exception in post_save will not rollback the changes to the initial instance.

You can confirm this by looking at the source to save_base in django/db/models/ The autocommit would occur on line 555 (in 1.4.2), but the post_save signal isn't sent until line 564. You can also see that Django does not attempt to use any nested transactions in .save().

If you are using django.middleware.transaction.TransactionMiddleware and have not overridden its behavior with an autocommit decorator, an exception during post_save would rollback the entire transaction, including the changes to the initial instance.