Django: Create Project

To start a project we’ll create a new project, create a database, and start a development server.

Create a new project startproject learning_log .

Create a database

python migrate

View the project.

After issuing this command, you can view the project at http://localhost:8000/.

python runserver

Create a new app

A Django project is made up of one or more apps.

python startapp learning_logs

Django: Template Inheritance Cheat Sheet

Many elements of a web page are repeated on every page in the site, or every page in a section of the site. By writing one parent template for the site, and one for each section, you can easily modify the look and feel of your entire site

The parent template

The parent template defines the elements common to a set of pages, and defines blocks that will be filled by individual pages.

 <a href="{% url 'learning_logs:index' %}">
 Learning Log
{% block content %}{% endblock content %}

The child template

The child template uses the {% extends %} template tag to pull in the structure of the parent template. It then defines the content for any blocks defined in the parent template.

{% extends 'learning_logs/base.html' %}
{% block content %}
 Learning Log helps you keep track
 of your learning, for any topic you're
 learning about.
{% endblock content %}

Install Django Rest Framework

Install the package via pip:

$ pip install djangorestframework

Then, add 'rest_framework' to INSTALLED_APPS in your file.

    # Rest of your installed apps ...

Django: Shell Cheat Sheet

Start a shell session

python shell

Access data from the project

from learning_logs.models import Topic

topic = Topic.objects.get(id=1)
topic.text 'Chess'

Django: Rest Framework Serialization Cheat Sheet

Serializers allow complex data like querysets and model instances to be converted to native Python datatypes that can then be easily rendered into JSON, XML, and other formats.

Using ModelSerializer class:

Suppose we wanted to create a PostSerializer for our example Post model and CommentSerializer for our Comment model.

class PostSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):

    class Meta:
        model = Post
        fields = ('id', 'title', 'text', 'created')
class CommentSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):

    class Meta:
        model = Comment
        fields = ('post', 'user', 'text')

Or also you could use exclude to exclude certain fields from being seialized. ModelSerializer has default implementations for the create() and update() methods.

Nested Serialization

By default, instances are serialized with primary keys to represent relationships. To get nested serialization we could use, General or Explicit methods.


Using depth parameter.

class CommentSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):

    class Meta:
        model = Comment
        fields = '__all__'
        depth = 2


Yuo can also define and nest serializers within eachother…

class CommentSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    post = PostSerializer()
    class Meta:
        model = Comment
        fields = '__all__'

So here, the comment’s post field (how we named it in will serialize however we defined it in PostSerializer.


This makes your web API a lot more easy to use (in browser) and would be a nice feature to add.

Let’s say we wanted to see the comments that every post has in each of the Post instances of our API.

With HyperlinkedModelSerializer, instead of having nested primary keys or nested fields, we get a link to each individual Comment (URL).

class PostSerializer(serializers.HyperlinkedModelSerializer):

    class Meta:
        model = Post
        fields = ('id', 'title', 'text', 'created', 'comments')
        read_only_fields = ('comments',)

Note: without the read_only_fields, the create form for Posts would always require a comments input, which doesn’t make sense (comments on a post are normally made AFTER the post is created).

Another way of hyperlinking is just adding a HyperlinkedRelatedField definition to a normal serializer.

class PostSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    comments = serializers.HyperlinkedRelatedField(many=True, view_name='comment-detail', read_only=True)
    class Meta:
        model = Post
        fields = ('id', 'title', 'text', 'created', 'comments')

Dynamically modifying fields in the serializer

This makes your web API a lot more easy for extract limited number of parameter in response. Let’s say you want to set which fields should be used by a serializer at the point of initialization.

Just copy below code and past it in your serliazer file

class DynamicFieldsModelSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        # Don't pass the 'fields' arg up to the superclass
        fields = kwargs.pop('fields', None)

        # Instantiate the superclass normally
        super(DynamicFieldsModelSerializer, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)

        if fields is not None:
            # Drop any fields that are not specified in the `fields` argument.
            allowed = set(fields)
            existing = set(self.fields.keys())
            for field_name in existing - allowed:

Extend DynamicFieldsModelSerializer from your serializer class

class UserSerializer(DynamicFieldsModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = User
        fields = ('id', 'username', 'email')

Mention the fields name inside fields

UserSerializer(user, fields=('id', 'email'))

Here, you will get only id and email from serializer instead of all.

Django Passing Data into Viet Cheat Sheet

Most pages in a project need to present data that are specific to the current user.

URL parameters

A URL often needs to accept a parameter telling it which data to access from the database. The second URL pattern shown here looks for the ID of a specific topic and stores it in the parameter topic_id.

urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^$', views.index, name='index'),
    views.topic, name='topic'),

Using data in a view

The view uses a parameter from the URL to pull the correct data from the database. In this example the view is sending a context dictionary to the template, containing data that should be displayed on the page.

def topic(request, topic_id):
    """Show a topic and all its entries."""
    topic = Topics.objects.get(id=topic_id)
    entries = topic.entry_set.order_by('-date_added')
    context = {
        'topic': topic,
        'entries': entries,
    return render(request, 'learning_logs/topic.html', context)

Using data in a template

The data in the view function’s context dictionary is available within the template. This data is accessed using template variables, which are indicated by doubled curly braces. The vertical line after a template variable indicates a filter. In this case a filter called date formats date objects, and the filter linebreaks renders paragraphs properly on a web page.

{% extends 'learning_logs/base.html' %}
{% block content %}
    <p>Topic: {{ topic }}</p>
    {% for entry in entries %}
            <p>{{ entry.date_added|date:'M d, Y H:i' }}</p>
            <p>{{ entry.text|linebreaks }}</p>
        {% empty %}
        <li>There are no entries yet.</li>
        {% endfor %}
{% endblock content %}

Django: Rest Framework Views Cheat Sheet

There are many options for creating views for your web API, it really depends on what you want and personal preference.

Using Function-based views:

from rest_framework.decorators import api_view
from rest_framework.response import Response
from rest_framework.parsers import JSONParser
from rest_framework import status
from posts.models import Post
from posts.serializers import PostSerializer

@api_view(['GET', 'POST'])
def post_list(request, format=None):

    if request.method == 'GET':
        posts = Post.objects.all()
        serializer = PostSerializer(posts, many=True)
        return Response(

    elif request.method == 'POST':
        data = JSONParser().parse(request)
        serializer = PostSerializer(data=data)

        if serializer.is_valid():
            return Response(, status=status.HTTP_201_CREATED)
        return Response(serializer.errors, status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)

Using Class-based views:

from rest_framework.response import Response
from rest_framework import status
from rest_framework.views import APIView
from posts.models import Post
from posts.serializers import PostSerializer

class PostList(APIView):
    def get(self, request, format=None):
        snippets = Post.objects.all()
        serializer = PostSerializer(snippets, many=True)
        return Response(

    def post(self, request, format=None):
        serializer = PostSerializer(
        if serializer.is_valid():
            return Response(, status=status.HTTP_201_CREATED)

        return Response(serializer.errors, status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)

Using Generic Class-based views:

from rest_framework import generics
from posts.models import Post
from posts.serializers import PostSerializer

class PostList(generics.ListCreateAPIView):
    queryset = Post.objects.all()
    serializer_class = PostSerializer

Using Mixins:

from rest_framework import generics, mixins
from posts.models import Post
from posts.serializers import PostSerializer

class PostList(generics.GenericAPIView,
    queryset = Post.objects.all()
    serializer_class = PostSerializer

    def get(self, request, *args, **kwargs):
        return self.list(request, *args, **kwargs)

    def post(self, request, *args, **kwargs):
        return self.create(request, *args, **kwargs)

Using ViewSets:

With ModelViewSet (in this case), you don’t have to create separate views for getting list of objects and detail of one object. ViewSet will handle it for you in a consistent way for both methods.

from rest_framework import viewsets
from posts.models import Post
from posts.serializers import PostSerializer

class PostViewSet(viewsets.ModelViewSet):
    A viewset for viewing and editing post instances.
    queryset = Post.objects.all()
    serializer_class = PostSerializer


Routers in ViewSets allow the URL configuration for your API to be automatically generated using naming standards.

from rest_framework.routers import DefaultRouter
from posts.views import PostViewSet

router = DefaultRouter()
router.register(r'users', UserViewSet)
urlpatterns = router.urls

Custom Actions in ViewSets

DRF provides helpers to add custom actions for ad-hoc behaviours with the @action decorator. The router will configure its url accordingly. For example, we can add a comments action in the our PostViewSet to retrieve all the comments of a specific post as follows:

from rest_framework import viewsets
from rest_framework.decorators import action
from posts.models import Post
from posts.serializers import PostSerializer, CommentSerializer

class PostViewSet(viewsets.ModelViewSet):
   @action(methods=['get'], detail=True)
   def comments(self, request, pk=None):
           post = Post.objects.get(id=pk)
       except Post.DoesNotExist:
           return Response({"error": "Post not found."},
       comments = post.comments.all()
       return Response(CommentSerializer(comments, many=True))

Upon registering the view as router.register(r'posts', PostViewSet), this action will then be available at the url posts/{pk}/comments/.

Django: Building a Page Cheat Sheet

Users interact with a project through web pages, and a project’s home page can start out as a simple page with no data. A page usually needs a URL, a view, and a template.

Mapping a project’s URLs

The project’s main file tells Django where to find the
files associated with each app in the project.

from django.conf.urls import include, url
from django.contrib import admin

urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^admin/', include(,
    url(r'', include('learning_logs.urls', namespace='learning_logs')),

Mapping an app’s URLs

An app’s file tells Django which view to use for each URL in
the app. You’ll need to make this file yourself, and save it in the
app’s folder.

from django.conf.urls import url
from . import views

urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^$', views.index, name='index'),

Writing a simple view

A view takes information from a request and sends data to the browser, often through a template. View functions are stored in an app’s file. This simple view function doesn’t pull in any data, but it uses the template index.html to render the home page. from django.shortcuts import render

def index(request):
    """The home page for Learning Log."""
    return render(request, 'learning_logs/index.html')

Writing a simple template

A template sets up the structure for a page. It’s a mix of html and template code, which is like Python but not as powerful. Make a folder called templates inside the project folder. Inside the templates folder make another folder with the same name as the app. This is where the template files should be saved.

<p>Learning Log</p>
<p>Learning Log helps you keep track of your
learning, for any topic you're learning

Working with Django Models

Defining a model

To define the models for your app, modify the file that was created in your app’s folder. The str() method tells Django how to represent data objects based on this model.

from django.db import models

"""A topic the user is learning about."""
class Topic(models.Model):
    text = models.CharField(max_length=200)
    date_added = models.DateTimeField(

    def str(self):
         return self.text

Defining a model with a foreign key

class Entry(models.Model):
    """Learning log entries for a topic."""
    topic = models.ForeignKey(Topic)
    text = models.TextField()
    date_added = models.DateTimeField(
    def str(self):
        return self.text[:50] + "…"

Activating a model

To use a model the app must be added to the tuple INSTALLED_APPS, which is stored in the project’s file

    # My apps

Migrating the database

The database needs to be modified to store the kind of data that the model represents.

python makemigrations learning_logs
python migrate

Creating a superuser

A superuser is a user account that has access to all aspects of the project.

python createsuperuser

Registering a model

You can register your models with Django’s admin site, which
makes it easier to work with the data in your project. To do this,
modify the app’s file.

from django.contrib import admin
from learning_logs.models import Topic

Install Django

It’s usually best to install Django to a virtual environment, where your project can be isolated from your other Python projects. Most commands assume you’re working in an active virtual environment.

Create a virtual environment

$ python –m venv v

Activate the environment (Linux and OS X)

$ source v/bin/activate

Activate the environment (Windows)


Install Django to the active environment

(venv)$ pip install Django