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Database Models

Creating Models

If your plugin introduces a new type of object in NetBox, you'll probably want to create a Django model for it. A model is essentially a Python representation of a database table, with attributes that represent individual columns. Instances of a model (objects) can be created, manipulated, and deleted using queries. Models must be defined within a file named

Below is an example file containing a model with two character (text) fields:

from django.db import models

class MyModel(models.Model):
    foo = models.CharField(max_length=50)
    bar = models.CharField(max_length=50)

    def __str__(self):
        return f'{} {}'

Every model includes by default a numeric primary key. This value is generated automatically by the database, and can be referenced as pk or id.

Enabling NetBox Features

Plugin models can leverage certain NetBox features by inheriting from NetBox's NetBoxModel class. This class extends the plugin model to enable features unique to NetBox, including:

  • Change logging
  • Custom fields
  • Custom links
  • Custom validation
  • Export templates
  • Journaling
  • Tags
  • Webhooks

This class performs two crucial functions:

  1. Apply any fields, methods, and/or attributes necessary to the operation of these features
  2. Register the model with NetBox as utilizing these features

Simply subclass NetBoxModel when defining a model in your plugin:

from django.db import models
from netbox.models import NetBoxModel

class MyModel(NetBoxModel):
    foo = models.CharField()

The clone() Method


This method was introduced in NetBox v3.3.

The NetBoxModel class includes a clone() method to be used for gathering attributes which can be used to create a "cloned" instance. This is used primarily for form initialization, e.g. when using the "clone" button in the NetBox UI. By default, this method will replicate any fields listed in the model's clone_fields list, if defined.

Plugin models can leverage this method by defining clone_fields as a list of field names to be replicated, or override this method to replace or extend its content:

class MyModel(NetBoxModel):

    def clone(self):
        attrs = super().clone()
        attrs['extra-value'] = 123
        return attrs

Enabling Features Individually

If you prefer instead to enable only a subset of these features for a plugin model, NetBox provides a discrete "mix-in" class for each feature. You can subclass each of these individually when defining your model. (Your model will also need to inherit from Django's built-in Model class.)

For example, if we wanted to support only tags and export templates, we would inherit from NetBox's ExportTemplatesMixin and TagsMixin classes, and from Django's Model class. (Inheriting all the available mixins is essentially the same as subclassing NetBoxModel.)

from django.db import models
from netbox.models.features import ExportTemplatesMixin, TagsMixin

class MyModel(ExportTemplatesMixin, TagsMixin, models.Model):
    foo = models.CharField()

Database Migrations

Once you have completed defining the model(s) for your plugin, you'll need to create the database schema migrations. A migration file is essentially a set of instructions for manipulating the PostgreSQL database to support your new model, or to alter existing models. Creating migrations can usually be done automatically using Django's makemigrations management command. (Ensure that your plugin has been installed and enabled first, otherwise it won't be found.)


NetBox enforces a safeguard around the makemigrations command to protect regular users from inadvertently creating erroneous schema migrations. To enable this command for plugin development, set DEVELOPER=True in

$ ./ makemigrations my_plugin 
Migrations for 'my_plugin':
    - Create model MyModel

Next, we can apply the migration to the database with the migrate command:

$ ./ migrate my_plugin
Operations to perform:
  Apply all migrations: my_plugin
Running migrations:
  Applying my_plugin.0001_initial... OK

For more information about database migrations, see the Django documentation.

Feature Mixins Reference


Please note that only the classes which appear in this documentation are currently supported. Although other classes may be present within the features module, they are not yet supported for use by plugins.

ChangeLoggingMixin (Model) django-model

Provides change logging support for a model. Adds the created and last_updated fields.

created: DateTimeField blank django-field nullable


last_updated: DateTimeField blank django-field nullable

last updated


Return a JSON representation of the instance. Models can override this method to replace or extend the default serialization logic provided by the serialize_object() utility function.


Save a snapshot of the object's current state in preparation for modification. The snapshot is saved as _prechange_snapshot on the instance.

to_objectchange(self, action)

Return a new ObjectChange representing a change made to this object. This will typically be called automatically by ChangeLoggingMiddleware.

CustomLinksMixin (Model) django-model

Enables support for custom links.

CustomFieldsMixin (Model) django-model

Enables support for custom fields.

custom_field_data: JSONField blank django-field

custom field data

cf property readonly

A pass-through convenience alias for accessing custom_field_data (read-only).

>>> tenant = Tenant.objects.first()
{'cust_id': 'CYB01'}

get_custom_fields(self, omit_hidden=False)

Return a dictionary of custom fields for a single object in the form {field: value}.

>>> tenant = Tenant.objects.first()
>>> tenant.get_custom_fields()
{<CustomField: Customer ID>: 'CYB01'}


Return a dictionary of custom field/value mappings organized by group. Hidden fields are omitted.


Hook for doing any extra model-wide validation after clean() has been called on every field by self.clean_fields. Any ValidationError raised by this method will not be associated with a particular field; it will have a special-case association with the field defined by NON_FIELD_ERRORS.

CustomValidationMixin (Model) django-model

Enables user-configured validation rules for models.


Hook for doing any extra model-wide validation after clean() has been called on every field by self.clean_fields. Any ValidationError raised by this method will not be associated with a particular field; it will have a special-case association with the field defined by NON_FIELD_ERRORS.

ExportTemplatesMixin (Model) django-model

Enables support for export templates.

JournalingMixin (Model) django-model

Enables support for object journaling. Adds a generic relation (journal_entries) to NetBox's JournalEntry model.

journal_entries: GenericRelation blank django-field nullable

journal entries

TagsMixin (Model) django-model

Enables support for tag assignment. Assigned tags can be managed via the tags attribute, which is a TaggableManager instance.

tags: TaggableManager django-field nullable

Tags: A comma-separated list of tags.

WebhooksMixin (Model) django-model

Enables support for webhooks.

Choice Sets

For model fields which support the selection of one or more values from a predefined list of choices, NetBox provides the ChoiceSet utility class. This can be used in place of a regular choices tuple to provide enhanced functionality, namely dynamic configuration and colorization. (See Django's documentation on the choices parameter for supported model fields.)

To define choices for a model field, subclass ChoiceSet and define a tuple named CHOICES, of which each member is a two- or three-element tuple. These elements are:

  • The database value
  • The corresponding human-friendly label
  • The assigned color (optional)

A complete example is provided below.


Authors may find it useful to declare each of the database values as constants on the class, and reference them within CHOICES members. This convention allows the values to be referenced from outside the class, however it is not strictly required.

Dynamic Configuration

Some model field choices in NetBox can be configured by an administrator. For example, the default values for the Site model's status field can be replaced or supplemented with custom choices. To enable dynamic configuration for a ChoiceSet subclass, define its key as a string specifying the model and field name to which it applies. For example:

from utilities.choices import ChoiceSet

class StatusChoices(ChoiceSet):
    key = 'MyModel.status'

To extend or replace the default values for this choice set, a NetBox administrator can then reference it under the FIELD_CHOICES configuration parameter. For example, the status field on MyModel in my_plugin would be referenced as:

    'my_plugin.MyModel.status': (
        # Custom choices


from utilities.choices import ChoiceSet

class StatusChoices(ChoiceSet):
    key = 'MyModel.status'

    STATUS_FOO = 'foo'
    STATUS_BAR = 'bar'
    STATUS_BAZ = 'baz'

    CHOICES = [
        (STATUS_FOO, 'Foo', 'red'),
        (STATUS_BAR, 'Bar', 'green'),
        (STATUS_BAZ, 'Baz', 'blue'),


For dynamic configuration to work properly, CHOICES must be a mutable list, rather than a tuple.

from django.db import models
from .choices import StatusChoices

class MyModel(models.Model):
    status = models.CharField(