What is Python Django, Why should you learn it, where is it used? - Find out answers to all the questions you may have about Django in this blog.
What is Django?
Django is a Python web framework that allows for the rapid development of secure and maintainable web apps. Django, created by experienced developers, takes care of the hassle of web development, allowing you to focus on writing your Django app instead of reinventing the wheel. In addition, it is free and open source, has a thriving and active community, excellent documentation, and numerous free and paid-for support options.
A web team in charge of building and maintaining a newspaper website developed Django between 2003 and 2005. After a few sites, the team started factoring out and reusing many common codes and design patterns. This shared code developed into a general web development framework that was released as the "Django" project in July 2005.
Since its first milestone release in September 2008 all the way up to the most recent version, 4.0, Django has developed and improved. In addition, "generic" view functions and classes, support for new types of databases, Django templates engines, and caching, as well as bug fixes, were all included in every release.
Django is a high-level Python web framework that enables the quick creation of safe and dependable websites. Python Django handles a lot of the hassle associated with web development, allowing you to concentrate on writing your reusable Django apps without reinventing the wheel. The Django web framework makes it easier to create software that are:
- Complete: Django makes it easy to stay true to the "Batteries included" ethos and offers nearly everything developers might need "out of the box." Because everything you require is contained in a single "product," everything functions flawlessly together, follows a set of guiding design principles, and has comprehensive and up-to-date documentation.
- Versatile: Django REST framework is versatile enough to build web applications, from content management systems and wikis to social networks and news sites. It is compatible with any client-side core framework and can deliver content in nearly any format (including HTML, RSS feeds, JSON, and XML). Internally, it offers options for almost any functionality you might require (e.g., several popular databases, template engine, and so on) and can also be extended to use other components if necessary.
- Secure: Django offers a framework designed to do the right things to automatically protect the website, helping developers avoid many common security mistakes. Django, for instance, offers a secure way to handle user accounts and passwords by avoiding mistakes like directly storing passwords rather than using a password hash or storing session information in cookies (instead, cookies only contain a key, and the actual data is stored in the database).
- Scalable: The "shared-nothing" architecture used by Django is component-based (each part of the architecture is independent of the others and can be replaced or changed if needed). It can scale for increased traffic by adding hardware at any level, including caching servers, database servers, or application servers, because the various components are segregated.
- Maintainable: Django code is written with design principles and patterns in mind, encouraging the creation of maintainable and reusable code. Django web framework encourages the organization of related functionality into reusable "applications" and, at a lower level, the organization of related code into a Python module.
- Portable: Django is portable because it is written in Python, which runs on various platforms. This means you are not restricted to a single web server platform and can run your applications on various Linux, Windows, and macOS flavors. Moreover, Django is well-supported by many web hosting providers, who frequently provide Django-specific infrastructure and documentation.
What Does a Django Developer Do?
Django developers use the framework on both the front and back end of software development because of its versatility.
Front-end web developers are responsible for various tasks related to the visual design of web pages or installed apps. Websites should be inviting in order not only to attract but also to retain visitors. As a result, front-end developers are responsible for nearly everything a user account sees, clicks, or interacts with in any other way. This entails designing and managing layouts, buttons, content structures, images, navigation, and other elements.
Backend Django developers lay the groundwork for front-end developers to flourish. In other words, they are in charge of the data, servers, and security protocols beneath the UI. Users interacting with your website will have little to no idea what's happening behind the scenes, but Django backend developers are powering those interactions just the same.
A Python Django developer will do different things depending on whether they work on the backend, front-end, or both (for full-stack development).
How to Become a Python Django Developer?
Once you have learned the Python language's building blocks and fundamentals, it is time to solve some problems. There are even websites where you can solve small challenges. You earn points for correct answers and your ranking rises. HackerRank and CodeWars are two of these websites.
Building Small-Scale Projects
Create small Django projects and gradually increase the difficulty. Don't try to build your own YouTube or Instagram alternative. Begin by constructing something simple and enjoyable. A game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, Tic-Tac-Toe, media files manager, or a simple calculator Django application.
Taking an Online Django Tutorial
A good way to begin your career as a Django web developer is to plan ahead of time and take each step accordingly. Like you, hundreds of other aspirants will begin preparing for their future careers, so before you jump the gun, check out a Django tutorial online, depending on the genre of applications or software you want to build.
Read Others' Code
There is no better way to learn how to code like a professional than by reading code written by a professional. The internet is a fantastic source of information. Searching GitHub Projects can teach you a lot. You can even download the Django project and make changes to it.
Advantages of Django Framework
Easy to Learn
Python is well-known as one of the easiest programming languages because it is simple, easy to read, and easy to learn. Because of its simplicity and ease of learning, many beginners choose this language as their first programming language. Python is a fairly stable language, and Django inherits many of Python's key advantages. For example, when we look at the core of Django, we see that all of the exception files and codes are written in Python. Django makes it easy to learn Django if you know how to code in Python.
Django is a portable framework whose code can run on any platform, including PC, Mac, Windows, and Linux. This framework's cross-platform nature enables developers to support all development and production environments. In addition, Django includes an ORM (object-relational mapper) layer between the developer and the database. With the help of this layer, you can migrate the entire Django project to other major databases with less code (known as Django migrations).
Django is a free and open-source framework that can be downloaded from Github. There are nearly 2k+ contributors, with many more joining every day. A large developer community supports it, and the developers who use it constantly update the code. The Django community also introduces many new libraries to solve coding issues that developers frequently encounter while developing a project.
Built-in Admin UI
Most frameworks require you to create your Django admin interface, which takes a long time. Django provides a fully functional web interface generated automatically for each app you create. The admin site interface is well-organized, allowing developers to create/update/delete users and other database objects unique to the app. Using third-party applications and wrappers, you can customize or modify the admin panel user interface and add a dashboard.
ORM (Object-relational mapper)
Django includes a fully functional ORM that is compatible with various databases. ORM is a library that allows developers to interact with databases and automatically transfer data from databases (such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite database) to objects.
Django ORM example:
# gets top 5 results where score = 90 and age < 22 top_employees = Employee.objects.filter(score=90, age__lt=22)[:5] # inserts a record with specified values employee = Employee.objects.create(name='Khan', age=40, country='UK') # prints name field value print(employee.name)
The ability of Django ORM to extract data speeds up the application development process. You do not need to understand the database communication language to manipulate and store data. You can also switch between multiple relational databases with fewer lines of code.
DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself)
In programming, code reusability or adhering to the DRY principle is critical, especially when the code is updated regularly. When you follow the DRY principle, you avoid using existing and boilerplate code, bugs, and errors in the application. Django adheres to the DRY principle and is designed so that violating the DRY principle is difficult. This feature enables you to reuse existing code while focusing on the unique one.
class Items(models.Model): name = models.CharField(max_length=130) created = models.DateTimeField(blank=True, null=True, auto_now_add=True) updated = models.DateTimeField(blank=True, null=True, auto_now=True)
If you need to change the field
max_length or something else in the above code, you can do so here, and the changes will be reflected automatically to all routes, validation, and the default database.
For quick reference, good documentation for any framework or language is extremely important, particularly when we get stuck somewhere during the development phase of any Django project. If you choose Django, you will be greeted with well-organized documentation with example code, which is extremely useful when developing various real-world applications.
Because Django is a Python framework, you will need to download and install Python. The only difference is that you will need different installation procedures depending on whether you're downloading the most recent official release, a distribution-specific package, or the most recent development version. However, a Django framework can be globally installed easily using pip.
In the command prompt, execute the following command:
pip install django
This will download and install Django. After the installation has been completed, you can verify your Django installation by executing the following command in the command prompt:
Components of Django Web Framework
There are three major code sections on every website: input logic, business logic, and user interface logic.
The code must perform certain functions; the input data is the dataset, and the output data is how it is stored in the database. It is simply a matter of delivering the required input to the database. In contrast to other frameworks that use the MVC (Model-View-Controller) design pattern, Django uses the MTV (Model-View-template) design pattern.
MVT is a different architectural concept from MVC. The primary distinction between these two architectural patterns is that Django manages the Controller component. The template is an HTML file combined with a Django Template Language (DTL) file. Django acts as a controller, checking the URL for available resources.
If the URL maps, a view that interacts with the model and template is invoked. Django then responds to the user by sending a template. Now that we know of the architectural design pattern of Django let's look at the components that make Django.
Django has a robust form library that handles form rendering as HTML. In addition, the library aids in the validation and conversion of submitted data to Python types.
It manages user authentication, accounts, groups, and cookie-based user sessions, among other things.
The admin reads the metadata from your Django models to provide a robust interface for managing content on your site.
Django supports text translation into multiple languages and locale-specific formatting of dates, times, numbers, and time zones.
The Django framework provides multiple safeguards against various attacks, including:
- Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
- SQL injection
- Cross-site scripting
- Remote code execution
Development Best Practices
Avoiding Use of ForeignKey With unique=True
OneToOneField exists in tables, there is no point in using
Using .first() Instead of .get() in Your Django Project
In Django views, you should avoid using
Models.objects.get(condition) in some cases. Rather you should use
Those cases are when you don't want an error from the backend when the get condition is not fulfilled. Whenever you want to do something like: if the object exists â†’ return object if the object didn't exist â†’ return None, then you use
Not to mention, you can always use
get_object_or_404(condition) from the web server, but this is when you need to throw 404 errors in not found situations.
Name Model Relationships Appropriately
Related name specifies the reverse relation from the parent model back to the child model. It is reasonable to indicate a related name in the plural as it returns a Queryset.
# parent model class Supervisor(models.Model): pass # child model class Employee(models.Model): # use "employees" instead of "employee" supervisor = models.ForeignKey(Supervisor, related_name ='employees')
Avoiding Redundancy in Web Development Models
If it is justified, you can replace many Boolean fields with one field. Rather than having many fields such as
is_popular, we can reduce it to one field like status. For example:
class Item(models.Model): is_available = models.BooleanField(default=False) is_expired = models.BooleanField(default=False) is_popular = models.BooleanField(default=False) ...
Can be replaced with:
class Item(models.Model): STATUSES = Choices('available', 'expired', 'popular') status = models.IntegerField(choice=STATUSES, default=STATUSES.draft) ...
Using a Virtual Environment
Separate library installation is an unavoidable requirement when developing Python-based applications. Because those packages are frequently updated, keeping them organized is critical. However, keeping track of every package is difficult when we're developing multiple Python class applications on the same local machine. It is not possible to use different packages for different projects. Updating a package for one project can occasionally break other project setups.
The solution to the preceding problem is to use Virtual Environments.
Pipenv is the simplest solution for this problem; it's great because it's clean and uses the
virtualenv package behind the scenes.
Making a Requirements.txt File
Requirements are a list of Python packages your project uses while running, along with the version of each package. It is critical to keep your
requirements.txt static files up to date to collaborate with other developers properly. When you include these static files in your code repository, you can update all of the packages installed in your virtual development environment with a single line in the terminal.
It is best practice to update the
requirements.txt file before submitting code to the repository and to install the
requirements.txt file after retrieving code from the repository.
Avoiding Writing Fat Views
You should write fat models and skinny views, which means you should try to write most of your logic in the model itself.
For example, if we want to send a receipt to a customer via email, we should extend the model with an email function rather than writing this logic in your controller/view. Because you can test the email logic in one place rather than repeatedly in each controller/view, your code is easier to unit test.