What is Django? - Python’s Framework - django programming, django cms

Originally designed for the newsroom, the Django web framework provides developers with the infrastructure required to quickly write database-driven web applications without having to start coding from scratch. It’s a powerful tool for speeding up common web development tasks while keeping the design clean and pragmatic.

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of this popular Python framework. We’ll look at its key features and use cases, and see how it compares with Flask and Pyramid, two rival Python frameworks.

DJANGO BASICS

What is Django? At its core, Django is a high-level, MVC-style, open-source collection of libraries written in Python, and one of the most popular server-side web frameworks out there. It’s motto is Don’t repeat yourself. Like Python, it emphasizes efficiency, allowing you to do as much as possible with as little coding as possible.

On top of that, Django is also fast, scalable, and mature, with a huge developer community and a robust set of built-in components. On the data side, Django can read or generate XML or JSON data instances and works out-of-the-box with relational database management systems like PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and Oracle. When it comes time to deploy, Django is fully supported by the cloud platform Heroku and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

SOME KEY FEATURES

What makes Django a heavy hitter among web developers? Its modularity is a major selling point. Django’s major features are all meant to be decoupled, allowing the developers to pick and choose which pieces of functionality are right for their project. The result is more streamlined code and improved performance.

Django also has a lot of transparency over competitors like Ruby on Rails, which runs more scripts behind the scenes. Django’s lack of “magic” means you can run a project-wide search and always find the code you’re looking for. It’s less opinionated and more declarative, which in the end will be a developer’s preference.

Here are a few of the major features that make it well suited to quickly developing web apps:

A free, rich API. With a simple command, Django automatically generates a Python API based on your models, no additional coding necessary.

Automatic database table creation. The migrate command is an elegant and distinctive feature of Django that looks at all your models and automatically creates tables in your database for any that don’t exist already.

A dynamic admin interface generator. The idea here is that, rather than requiring you to build out an entire website before you can start populating it with information, Django makes it quick and easy to set up the admin site, which allows contributors to start populating the database while the developers figure out how to display that content.

A syndication feed framework. Django also allows you to quickly and easily create RSS and Atom feeds by creating a simple Python class. These feeds can be simple (eg, a typical news feed of latest posts) or more specialized (eg, all posts in a given category or that feature a certain keyword).

A powerful cache framework for dynamic websites. This system lets you cut down on expensive calculations by caching dynamic pages. There are a few levels of granularity here: You can cache individual pages or just the most expensive views to produce.

A powerful built-in template system. Django’s templates are based on the inheritance system (similar to object-oriented programming). These templates allow Django to generate HTML dynamically while also eliminating redundancies.

Easy database migrations. Managing database workflow with Django’s migrations is simple and streamlined. Version control is managed through migration names, and Django has lots of options for merging versions or letting developers make modifications.

Security features. Django has tools to protect against XSS attacks, CSRF attacks, SQL injections, clickjacking, and more. It also allows you to easily enable SSL/HTTPS and host header validation.

Other helpful add-ons. Bundled add-ons include sitemaps, comments, user authentication, RSS feeds, and more. By including many of these standard features out-of-the-box, web developers can focus on the genuinely hard parts rather than recreating standard functionality from scratch.

WHO USES DJANGO?

Thousands of websites are currently using Django, from daily newspapers to social media and sharing sites to major foundations and nonprofits. Since Django was originally developed for use in the newsroom, it’s no surprise that major daily publications like the Washington Post and The Guardian rely on it. Startups like Eventbrite and Disqus have relied on Django to scale quickly, while social media behemoths like Instagram and Pinterest have used it to power their dynamic web apps.

DJANGO VS OTHER PYTHON FRAMEWORKS

Python has options when it comes to frameworks. So why should you choose one over the other? Two other big Python frameworks, Pyramid and Flask, offer more flexible and more lightweight approaches, respectively. Like Django, Pyramid is designed for larger-scale projects, but tends to emphasize flexibility more so than Django. By contrast, Flask is a microframework best suited to less complicated projects.

Three things that set Django apart are its structure, maturity, and community. Compared to Pyramid and Flask, Django places much emphasis on getting started right out of box using different modules. Simply put, Django’s modular components and bundled applications can save you time when you’re first trying to get a web app up and running.

Another major advantage of Django is its documentation and support community. The number of developers using Django beats both Flask and Pyramid, meaning when it comes time to scale, you’ll have an easier time finding developers who jump in and start contributing. Looking for Python developers with experience building large-scale, high-traffic web apps? Explore freelancers on Upwork today.