What is Django?
Django is an open source high-level web development framework which is written in Python. It is a free framework that helps you to work and create website faster and better compared to other frameworks like Flask but it is much easier. Building a website requires a lot of components to be integrated and you need to handle user authentication e.g. Sign-in and Sign-out with different forms, panels and to upload local files etc. It provides you with a set of ready-made components in a framework.
This Framework saves your time and energy from rewriting code for each and every component from scratch and provides you with built-in functions.
Why should we use Django framework?
It is fast and simple where you can do rapid development in less time. It has great documentation and follows the principle of DRY (Do not Repeat Yourself) while others don’t care much about it. It ORM (Object Relational Mapping) support. A database can be updated through command line Interface using the following command,
`python manage.py migrate`
And migrations can be generated using
`python manage.py makemigrations`
Django’s MVT Pattern
It used MVT (Model-View-Template) rather than using the old methodology of MVC (Model-View-Controller). MVC pattern is used while creating an application with User Interaction. This Template consists of HTML code with Django Template Language (DTL). A controller is the code written to control the interaction between the Model and View and Django easily takes care of it.
It takes care of user request using Model, View and Template in a way that whenever a user sends a request It acts as a Controller to check if it is available by mapping the URL and if the URL maps then it View starts interacting with the Model and sends the Template back to the user in the form of response.
Django Installation and Setup
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- It can be installed in Linux or Mac OS using package manager or using pip install.
- For windows, if Python is already installed in your computer then it should be checked if Python Path is set for system variable. Then extract it and install it.
It also supports many database engines and can be set as per your requirement. It provides you with a built-in lightweight server for developing and testing your application.
Creating your Django Application
A Django project creates a collection of settings including database configuration, and specific options and also application specific settings default in the project.
Steps to Create a Django application
Create a directory where you want to store your project and cd into that directory and run the following command
$ django-admin startproject my_app
If you look at your directory, the following structure will be created
- manage.py: Lets you interact with this Django project in different ways.
- __init__.py: Tells the python interpreter that the directory should be considered as a python package. This file is mostly empty.
- settings.py: It is the configuration file.
- urls.py: Include all URL declaration for the Django project and table of contents of Django powered site.
- wsgi.py: It is the entry point for WSGI compatible web servers to serve your projects and deploy with WSGI.
If you want to check, that your project is running you can check it using the following command,
$ python manage.py runserver
How Django makes your work easy?
This follows a pythonic way that is “Simple is better than complex”. One of the python package that is stored inside the site-packages directory of your Python Installation with other important python packages like Numpy, Scipy, Pillow etc.
A simple way to verify it to installed and if you are able to import it into your project:
>>> import django
It provides you with everything that is necessary to develop a full-fledged application. It offers with built-in templating using HTML, URL routing, ORM (Object Relational Mapping), session management etc.
Top Companies which use Django Framework
Instagram is a python based photo and video sharing social networking app which processes huge amounts of data and manages an even greater number of interactions between multiple users every second. This Framework helps Instagram to handle all these work by keeping it simple and not reinventing the work.
Spotify has taken the music industry to the next level by changing the way people listen to music and making it accessible to anyone on any device. Spotify uses Python for both backend services and machine learning combined with the Django Framework.
YouTube is one of the popular content sharing platforms. YouTube was a PHP based project but to improve its performance YouTube moved to Django which helps them to act and flawlessly.
Dropbox is one of the renowned cloud storage services for documents, videos, and pictures. It is based on python for both desktop and server client software. Dropbox uses Django Framework to enable storage, synchronization and providing options for sharing various types of files.
Mozilla is the most popular and recognizable browser in the entire world which has millions of users worldwide. Their old components are not written in python but the new components are implemented using Django.
For e.g. support sites and add-ons are built using it. They have shifted from PHP (CakePHP) to Python (Django Framework) which helped them deal with tens, hundreds and millions of views per month and more API hits per day.
This is the largest project implemented using Django. Disqus developers have built the app from scratch using Django to scale it to handle millions of users per day. They have also used Django in one of their projects called Sentry, an error reporting tool which is also famous with developers these days.
What can you do with Django?
You can create web applications using Django that basically requires connection to the database, CRUD (create, read, update and delete) operations, security, user management and creating RestAPI using Django Restful API.
- Django is not PHP
It uses Python programming language as it makes things easier for you. It’s a complete framework that uses templating language.
This has been crowd-tested with many big companies have implemented their enterprise application as well as mobile applications using Django. It has excellent documentation. Docs are first-class citizens in Django world. It has over 3,000 packages available for users and it is one of the first frameworks to respond to new vulnerability.
Why do we need Django?
It is built to help rapid development with clean and practical design. This makes it a first choice when you are building highly customizable apps. Without reinventing the wheel, And it covers the basics by letting developers focus on the important parts that need to experiment with, such as the ability to share different types of media.
And it has a solid user authentication model with the ability to configure users, this makes it very first choice when security is a top priority. It uses a series of Python components that are separate entities which are not dependent on each other.
When not to use Django?
It is not the best framework to use in every instance of time. While it has a brilliant foundation for implementing large projects but it often overkills for smaller projects. It should not be used for building a small site, usually the one without the database. Flask framework is mostly used for these kinds of small projects.
Advantages of Django Framework
1. It is a Python Language
As mentioned Django is written in Python. Python language is simple to learn and easy to implement. Python manages more in fewer lines with large libraries.
2. Django and Python
Django and Python are core solutions for Fintech Companies in Silicon Valley, IT giants, Blue chip companies and Internet of things.
3. Administrative Interface
The administration interface provided by Django is simple to create and one of the key advantages using a framework. It gives you a fully featured admin interface. For e.g.
interface_title = models.CharField(max_length=50)
some_other_text = models.CharField(max_length=100)
some_boolean_value = models.BooleanField()
4. Extensive Support Libraries
It provides libraries that include string operations, web services, operating system interface, and standard protocol.
To handle the heaviest traffic, it is used to meet busiest sites traffic demands. It allows you to take different actions regarding scalability such as running separate servers for database and even use clustering or load-balancing to distribute the application on multiple servers.
Disadvantages of Django
- Specifying URL with regular expressions is not an easy task to accomplish for beginners. Template error fails silently where you might waste a lot of time trying to figure out the problem.
- It gives a monolithic feeling as it is a strongly opinionated framework.
- It does not have the capacity to manage different requests at the same time because it does not empower individual procedures to deal with multiple requests at the same time. Developers struggle as they need to investigate different approaches to make a single procedure control various requests at the same time.
- ORM (Object Relation Mapping) system allows developers to work on different databases at the same time but it lacks some features which are essentially provided by other ORM systems. It is designed in a way that doesn’t let programmers use SQLAlchemy completely, which is python’s famous toolkit.
Prerequisites to learn Django
- The basic syntax of Python mostly understanding the indentation part of python if you have worked on other languages.
- Python function, like how to pass an argument in Python function or set a default value.
- While developing a web application you might require to import different modules, so you need to understand the importing of external packages in your code.
- There is an important entity called Regular Expression (regex) which is mostly used while URL mapping. It is also used to validate the strings.
For e.g., If you are asking the users to enter their email-id or password, you need to validate the entered string.
- Knowledge of RestAPI and JSON is also important which is used as a data structure to store and transfer the data between different network entities.
How this technology will help you in career growth?
- It is a perfect framework for a beginner to work and explore opportunities in his/her current organization. Python-Django certification is one of the most sought after skills in today’s programming domain.
- The large organization uses Django to develop their project, this will give programmers and web developers to work for best clients in the world.
- And this is one of the most popular frameworks in the world which means that a developer who has experience in Django can earn a good package with good onsite opportunity while working with great clients all over the world.
- This framework does bring some trouble but at the same time, it also allows you to solve a huge number of tasks very quickly and easily. It makes software development using Python cheap and simple.
- ORM has its shortcoming but Django REST framework turns its disadvantages into advantages because the interface that Django ORM provides is best for REST.
- The huge advantage of Django REST framework is that it has perfect interfacing models but it can also work with the bare implementation of Data Mapper patterns.
- It depends on the team you have, what goals you set for them to use with the help of Django. And it has a lot to offer if you are in the outsourcing business, your average project does not last more than a year, the budget of the project is low and deadlines are very short.
- It also makes it easy to serialize the data and serve it in XML or JSON format. This is very useful when creating a web service or a web site that purely provides the data to be consumed by other site or applications. In short Django framework is one of the best framework available in the market which is free and simple.
This has been a guide to What is Django. Here we discussed top Django companies framework with the installation steps, advantage, and disadvantage. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –