Get all users by groups in Python3 (an example)

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I was recently asked by a customer for a simple report that was not easily available via the UI.

They wanted a .csv file that they could load into their favorite worksheet manipulation tool that simply contained the list of users by group.  On each line they wanted: Group Name, User ID, Member Type, First Name, Last Name.

We first looked at the various exports available from the Groups tab and Users Tab.  Unfortunately, the closest view was the Groups export, but it contains duplicates as it has the shift information mixed.  All this customer wanted/needed was the Group Membership, regardless of shift.

Well, no problems!  The xMatters REST API, Python(3), and the Python HTTP Requests library came to the rescue.

We only needed to fundamentally take advantage of 3 REST calls in our process.

  1. GET /groups - To return the complete list of groups in their instanace

  2. GET /groups/{groupId}/members - To return the complete roster for a group (User Ids only)

  3. GET /people/{personId} - To get the user's first name and last name

As much as the following Python code has a bunch of command line processing and logging, it fundamentally does the following:

  • Create a new empty .csv file
  • Get the list of Groups (using pagination)
    • For each Group, get the Roster (members, again with pagination)
      • For each Member, get the Person details (First Name, Last Name)
      • Write the information to the .csv file


It's easy to run from the command line.   And, it takes advantage of a simple JSON file to hold default values for things that we all hate typing over and over again (defaults.json).

The arguments are fairly self explanatory.  The only one that may be a bit confusing is "nicenames".  The original version just put in the User Id from the GET /groups/{groupId}/members call.  But, the customer really wanted the actual user's first and last name.  So, "nicenames" was introduced to add that.  It takes a much longer time to include the nice names, so you can disable nice names ("-n 0" or "--nicenames=false") to speed things along.

Here is the usage:

python3 -p <password> | --password=<password> | -P (prompt for password)

            [-i <xMatters Instance> | --instance=<xMatters Instance>]

            [-u <user> | --user=<user>]

            [-n <true|1|false|0> | --nicenames=<true|1|false|0> or -N (-n 1)]

            [-d <outputDirectory> | --dir=<outputDirectory>]

            [-f <outputFilename> | --ofile=<outputFilename>]

Any values in square brackets may be defaulted by setting an equivalent value in the defaults.json file (sample template below).


There are two snippets that follow.  The first is the actual Python3 application (, and the second is the template to use for creating the defaults.json file. :

import requests, sys, getopt, getpass, json
import logging
import logging.config
from requests.auth import HTTPBasicAuth
from builtins import str

""" Global Variables
    Defaults are set from configuration file via processArgs()
xmodURL = None
authUser = None
authPassword = None
outDirectory = None
outFilename = None
outFile = None
dirSep = "/"
niceNames = None
basicAuth = None
logger = None

def configure_logger(name: str, log_path: str):
        'version': 1,
        'formatters': {
            'default': {'format': '%(asctime)s - %(levelname)s - %(message)s', 'datefmt': '%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S'}
        'handlers': {
            'console': {
                'level': 'INFO',
                'class': 'logging.StreamHandler',
                'formatter': 'default',
                'stream': 'ext://sys.stdout'
            'file': {
                'level': 'INFO',
                'class': 'logging.handlers.RotatingFileHandler',
                'formatter': 'default',
                'filename': log_path,
                'maxBytes': (10*1024*1024),
                'backupCount': 3
        'loggers': {
            'default': {
                'level': 'INFO',
                'handlers': ['file']
        'disable_existing_loggers': False
    return logging.getLogger(name)

def logAndExit(url, response):
    global logger
    json = response.json()
    logger.error("Error %d on initial request to %s.\nPlease verify" +\
                 " instance address, user, and password\n",
                 response.status_code, url)
    logger.error("Response - code: %d, reason: %s, message: %s",
                 json['code'], str(json['reason']), str(json['message']))

def usage(errMsg: str = None):
    global logger
    print(" -p <password> | --password=<password> | -P " +
          "(prompt for password)\n\
            \t[-i <xMatters Instance> | --instance=<xMatters Instance>] \n\
            \t[-u <user> | --user=<user>] \n\
            \t[-n <true|1|false|0> | --nicenames=<true|1|false|0> or -N (-n 1)] \n\
            \t[-d <outputDirectory> | --dir=<outputDirectory>] \n\
            \t[-f <outputFilename> | --ofile=<outputFilename>]\n\n\
            Any values in square brackets may be defaulted by setting an " +
            "equivalent value in the defaults.json file.\n"
    if (errMsg != None):
def processArgs(argv: list):
    global xmodURL, authUser, authPassword, outDirectory, outFilename, \
           basicAuth, niceNames, logger, dirSep
    # First try to read in the defaults from defaults.json
    cfg = json.load(open('defaults.json'))
    if (cfg['instance'] != ''):
        xmodURL = cfg['instance']
    if (cfg['user'] != ''):
        authUser = cfg['user']
    if (cfg['password'] != ''):
        authPassword = cfg['password']
    if (cfg['nicenames'] != ''):
        niceNames = ((cfg['nicenames'].lower() == "true") or
                     (cfg['nicenames'] == "1"))
    if (cfg['odir'] != ''):
        outDirectory = cfg['odir']
    if (cfg['ofile'] != ''):
        outFilename = cfg['ofile']
    if (cfg['dirsep'] != ''):
        dirSep = cfg['dirsep']
    # Process the input arguments
        opts, _ = getopt.getopt(argv,"hi:u:p:Pn:Nd:f:",
    except getopt.GetoptError:
    for opt, arg in opts:
        if opt in ("-h", "--help"):
        elif opt in ("-i", "--instance"):
            xmodURL = arg
        elif opt in ("-u", "--user"):
            authUser = arg
        elif opt in ("-p", "--password"):
            authPassword = arg
        elif opt in ("-n", "--nicenames"):
            niceNames = ((arg.lower() == "true") or (arg == "1"))
        elif (opt == "-N"):
            niceNames = True
        elif opt in ("-d", "--odir"):
            outDirectory = arg
        elif opt in ("-f", "--ofile"):
            outFilename = arg
        elif (opt == "-P"):
            authPassword = getpass.getpass();
    if (xmodURL is None):
        usage("-i or --instance was not specified.")
    else: ('Instance is: %s', xmodURL)
    if (authUser is None):
        usage("-u or --user was not specified.")
    else: ('User is: %s', authUser)
    if (authPassword is None):
        usage("-p, --password, or -P was not specified.")
    else: ('Password len is: %d', len(authPassword))
    if (outDirectory is None):
        usage("-d or --odir was not specified.")
    else: ('Output directory is: %s', outDirectory)
    if (outFilename is None):
        usage("-f or --ofile was not specified.")
    else: ('Output file is: %s', outFilename)

  # Setup the basic auth object for subsequent REST calls
    basicAuth = HTTPBasicAuth(authUser, authPassword)

def getUserProperties(targetName: str) -> dict:
    """ Get the detailed properties for the user defined by targetName.
    global xmodURL, basicAuth, logger
    # Set our resource URI
    url = xmodURL + '/api/xm/1/people/' + targetName
    # Get the member
    response = requests.get (url, auth=basicAuth)
    json = response.json()
    userProperties = {}

  # Did we find the user?
    if (response.status_code == 200):
        userProperties['firstName'] = json['firstName']
        userProperties['lastName'] = json['lastName']
    elif (response.status_code == 404):
        userProperties['firstName'] = "User Not Found"
        userProperties['lastName'] = "User Not Found"
        logAndExit(url, response)

  return userProperties

getAndWriteMembers(targetName: str):
    """ Based on the targetName of the group being supplied, query for and
put the names of the members into the output file.
    global xmodURL, basicAuth, outFile, niceNames, logger

  # Set our resource URI
    target = targetName
    if ('/' in target): # Convert embedded slash to encoded value
        target = target.replace("/","%2f")
    baseURL = xmodURL + '/api/xm/1/groups/' + target + '/members'
    url = baseURL + '?offset=0&limit=100'
    # Initialize loop with first request
    response = requests.get (url, auth=basicAuth)
    # If first request fails, then terminate
    if (response.status_code == 404):
        logger.error('getAndWriteMembers - Group not found: ' + targetName)
        # Group went away after we had started the process
    elif (response.status_code != 200):
        logAndExit(url, response)
    cnt = 0
    nMembers = 1
    # Continue until we exhaust the group list
    while ((cnt < nMembers) and (response.status_code == 200)):
        # Iterate through the result set
        json = response.json()
        nMembers = json['total']
        for d in json['data']:
            cnt += 1
            if (niceNames):
                userProps = getUserProperties(d['member']['targetName'])
                outFile.write('"' + targetName + '","' + \
                              d['member']['targetName'] + \
                              '","' + d['member']['recipientType'] + \
                              '","' + userProps['firstName'] + \
                              '","' + userProps['lastName'] + '"\n')
                outFile.write('"' + targetName + '","' + \
                              d['member']['targetName'] + \
                              '","' + d['member']['recipientType'] + \
        # If there are more users to get, then request the next page
        if (cnt < nMembers):
            getLimit = str(100 if (nMembers - cnt) >= 100 \
                           else (nMembers - cnt))
   ("Getting next %d Users.", getLimit)
            offset = '?offset=' + str(cnt) + '&limit=' + getLimit
            url = baseURL + offset
            response = requests.get (url, auth=basicAuth)
    else: ("Retrieved a total of %d from a possible %d" + \
                     " group members.", cnt, nMembers)    

def processGroups():
    """ Request the list of group names from this instance.
        Iterate through the groups and request the member list to be
        written to the output file.
    global basicAuth, outFile, logger

    # Set our resource URLs
    baseURL = xmodURL + '/api/xm/1/groups'
    url = baseURL + '?offset=0&limit=100'
    # Initialize loop with first request
    cnt = 0
    nGroups = 1
    response = requests.get (url, auth=basicAuth)
    # If the initial response fails, then just terminate the process
    if (response.status_code != 200):
        logAndExit(url, response)

    # Continue until we exhaust the group list
    while ((cnt < nGroups) and (response.status_code == 200)):
        # Iterate through the result set
        json = response.json()
        nGroups = json['total']
        strNGroups = str(json['total']) ("Retrieved a batch of %d groups from a total of %d groups.",
                     json['count'], json['total'])
        for d in json['data']:
            cnt += 1
  'Processing group #' + str(cnt) + ' of ' + strNGroups + \
                  ': "' + d['targetName'] + '"')
        # If there are more groups to get, then request the next page
        if (cnt < nGroups):
            getLimit = str(100 if (nGroups - cnt) >= 100 else (nGroups - cnt))
   ("Getting next " + getLimit + " groups, starting at " + \
                    str(cnt) + ".")
            offset = '?offset=' + str(cnt) + '&limit=' + getLimit
            url = baseURL + offset
            response = requests.get (url, auth=basicAuth)
    else: ("Retrieved a total of %d from a possible %d groups.",
                     cnt, nGroups)
def main(argv: list):
    global outFile, logger, dirSep

    # Initialize logging
    logger = configure_logger('default', 'getGroupMembers.log')'getGroupMembers Started.')
    # Process the input arguments

    # Create the output file, overwriting existing file if any
    outFile = open(outDirectory + dirSep + outFilename, 'w')

# Write out the header row
    outFile.write('"Group Name","Member ID","Member Type","First Name","Last Name"\n')

    # Begin the process
    processGroups()'getGroupMembers Finished.')

if __name__ == "__main__":

 defaults.json :

Put this file in the same directory as

Also, keep in mind that in a JSON object, every field name must be in double quotes.

"instance" : "https://<YOUR INSTANCE NAME>",
"nicenames" : "true",
"odir" : "/exports",
"dirsep" : "/",
"ofile": "GroupsAndMembers.csv"


Date Votes

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  • Hi Jordan.

    I came across this and thought I would give it a try. I am executing it from within a Python development environment and using the defaults.json file. I am getting the following error message.  Any idea what the issue might be? I did change dirsep to "\" for windows.


    Colum Creed LM


    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "C:\My Data\Python\", line 314, in <module>
    File "C:\My Data\Python\", line 300, in main
    File "C:\My Data\Python\", line 88, in processArgs
    cfg = json.load(open('defaults.json'))
    File "C:\Users\n0003903\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37\lib\json\", line 296, in load
    parse_constant=parse_constant, object_pairs_hook=object_pairs_hook, **kw)
    File "C:\Users\n0003903\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37\lib\json\", line 348, in loads
    return _default_decoder.decode(s)
    File "C:\Users\n0003903\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37\lib\json\", line 337, in decode
    obj, end = self.raw_decode(s, idx=_w(s, 0).end())
    File "C:\Users\n0003903\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37\lib\json\", line 353, in raw_decode
    obj, end = self.scan_once(s, idx)
    json.decoder.JSONDecodeError: Invalid \escape: line 6 column 18 (char 164)

  • Hey Colum!  I believe that for Windows it has to be double back-slash "\\" as in this context, a single "\" is interpreted by Python as an escape for the following character, which in this case is the closing quotation mark.


    So give

     "dirsep" : "\\",

    a try and let us know if that worked better for you.



  • It was the escape character. I updated the "dirsep" and also the output directory "odir" and it worked.



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