Django is a high-level web framework that enables developers to build robust and scalable web applications quickly and easily using Python. Originally developed in 2003 by a group of developers at the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper in Kansas, Django has since grown into one of the most widely-used web frameworks in the world, powering websites and applications for companies of all sizes.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the different ways in which Django can be used which are web development, building APIs, and more.
One of the main benefits of using Django is that it offers a lot of the functionality commonly required for web development out of the box, including user authentication and authorization, form handling, and database management. In other words, Django is a batteries included web framework! So let’s examine a few Django usage cases.
Usage 1: Web Development with Django
Django is primarily used for web development, and it provides a lot of the functionality that is needed to build dynamic web pages and web applications. Let’s look at some of the key features that make Django the number one choice for most web development projects.
1. The Django’s MVT Architecture
One of the key features of Django is its Model-View-Template (MVT) architecture, which separates an application into the following three interconnected components:
- Model: The model represents the data and the business logic of the application. It is responsible for interacting with the database and handling data storage and retrieval.
- View: The view is responsible for handling user requests and generating the appropriate response. It acts as a bridge between the model and the template, providing data to the template and rendering the final HTML.
- Template: The template is responsible for defining the structure and layout of the user interface. It uses the data provided by the view to render the final HTML that is sent to the client.
Django’s MVT pattern is designed to handle the flow of data between the client and the server. It provides a clean separation of concerns, making it easy to maintain and extend the application.
2. ORM(Object-Relational Mapper)
The Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) feature of Django provides a convenient way to interact with databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL. It allows developers to work with databases using Python code instead of writing raw SQL queries.
3. Rapid development Philosophy.
Django’s “batteries included” philosophy and built-in functionality allow developers to quickly build and deploy web applications.
Some of Django’s core features include its built-in support for handling user authentication and authorization. This makes it easy to create login and registration pages and to restrict access to certain parts of the application to only certain users. This feature is built-in and it’s easy to customize and extend to your needs.
Django also makes it easy to handle forms, which are used to collect data from users. You can create forms using Django’s built-in Form and ModelForm classes, and then use these forms to validate user input and save data to the database.
4. Secure by default
Django provides a number of security features out of the box, such as protection against cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection attacks.
Django’s modular design and built-in support for database abstractions make it easy to scale projects as needed.
6. Automatic Admin Panel
Django provides an automatic admin interface, which allows developers to manage data in a user-friendly way.
7. Template engine
Django’s built-in template engine makes it easy to separate the presentation logic from the business logic of a web application.
Django also provides a built-in templating engine, which makes it easy to create dynamic web pages that can display data from the database. This can be used to create pages that show lists of items using for loops, such as products or blog posts, and to display detailed information about a single item based in the current situation using if statements, such as a product or a blog post.
8. Third-party packages & Community
Django has a large and active community of developers, which has resulted in the creation of a wide variety of third-party packages that can be easily integrated into Django projects.
Another key benefit of using Django is its large and active community of developers. Because Django is an open-source framework, anyone can contribute to its development and there are many third-party packages available that can be easily integrated into your project. This makes it easy to find solutions to common problems and add new features to your application.
9. Used by Large Companies for Web Development
There are many websites and apps that have been built using Django, including some of the most popular and well-known sites on the internet. For example, Instagram and Pinterest, which are two of the most popular photo-sharing sites on the internet, were both built using Django. Other popular sites that use Django include the Mozilla Developer Network, the Washington Times, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Usage 2: Building APIs with Django
Django can also be used to build RESTful APIs, which are interfaces that allow different applications to communicate with each other. Django provides built-in support for creating APIs, including serialization and viewsets that can be used to easily create and manage APIs.
Built-in support for serialization
Django’s built-in serialization framework allows for easy conversion of complex data types, such as querysets and model instances, into JSON, XML or other formats.
Django Rest Framework
We mentioned early about Django’s large community of developers who are always improving and building new tools, well, the Django Rest Framework (DRF) is one of those outcomes. It is a powerful and flexible toolkit for building Web APIs. It provides a lot of built-in features such as authentication, pagination, filtering, etc.
Authentication and Permissions
Django provides a built-in authentication system and support for third-party authentication backends, making it easy to secure API endpoints and control access to data. DRF also provide built-in support for token-based authentication and permissions.
DRF provides built-in support for versioning of API endpoints, which allows for the safe evolution of the API over time.
DRF provides automatic documentation for the API which can be very helpful for other developers who are consuming the API.
Django’s modular design allows for the separation of concerns, making it easy to build and maintain API endpoints.
Popular APIs Build using Django
There are many popular APIs that have been built using Django, such as the Eventbrite API, which is used by developers to access event data and create new events, and the Disqus API, which allows developers to integrate Disqus comments into their websites and apps.
Usage 3: Other Applications of Django
While Django is primarily used for web development, it can also be used for tasks beyond this, such as scientific computing, data analysis, and machine learning. Because Django is built on top of Python, it can easily integrate with other Python libraries that are commonly used in these fields, such as NumPy, SciPy, and scikit-learn.
One example of using Django for scientific computing is the Django-Asteroid project, which uses Django to create a web-based interface for simulating asteroid impacts. Another example is using Django for data analysis, is the Django-Analytical which provides a simple way to use the popular Python library Pandas to work with and analyze data in Django.
FAQs On What Django Is Used For
When should Django be used?
Django enables rapid development of secure and maintainable websites. It should be used when building a complex, data-driven web application with multiple features and a large user base.
However, it should not be used when building a simple, small-scale web application with minimal features and a small user base.
In such cases, a simpler framework like Flask may be more appropriate. Additionally, Django may not be the best choice for building real-time or highly concurrent applications, as it is designed to handle a large number of requests in a more synchronous manner.
Can Django be used for frontend?
Django is primarily a backend web framework, meaning it is designed for handling server-side logic and serving data to the frontend. It is not typically used for creating the user interface or handling client-side logic.
Can Django be used with React?
There are several tools and libraries available for integrating Django and React, such as the Django Rest Framework which makes it easier to build a full-stack web application with these two technologies.
Can Django be used for desktop apps?
Django is primarily a web framework, and it is not typically used for building desktop applications. Django is designed for building web applications that run on a server and are accessed via a web browser.
The best thing you can do is to use Django as a backend for the desktop app you want to build, by creating an API using Django and then consuming the API in a desktop app using a library like Electron.
Can Django be used for mobile apps?
Django is primarily a web framework and again it is not typically used for building mobile apps.
However, If you want to build a mobile app with a Django backend, you can create REST APIs using Django and consume those APIs in the frontend of your mobile app. This way, you can separate the backend logic from the frontend and build a scalable, maintainable, and robust app.
In addition, you can use Django as a backend for Progressive Web Apps (PWA) which can be accessed via a web browser but behave like mobile apps.
Can Django be used for microservices?
Yes, It is possible to create microservices with Django. A microservice is a software architectural style that structures an application as a collection of small, independent, and loosely coupled services. Each microservice performing a single, well-defined task and then communicating with other microservices through APIs to form a larger application.
However, despite Django being a powerful web framework, it was initially created for monolithic web applications and might not have all the features and optimizations required for creating and deploying a microservice-based architecture.
If you want to learn more, Shayank Jain has written an amazing book on building microservices with Django called Designing Microservices Using Django: Structuring, Deploying and Managing the Microservices Architecture with Django, which you can grab on Amazon.
In conclusion, Django is a powerful and versatile web framework that can be used for a wide variety of tasks, from web development to building APIs and beyond. Its built-in functionality, active community, and easy integration with other Python libraries make it a great choice for developers of all skill levels. Whether you’re building a simple website or a complex web application, Django has the tools and features you need to get the job done quickly and easily.