Django is an extremely popular and fully featured server-side web framework, written in Python. The module shows you why Django is one of the most popular web server frameworks,how to set up a development environment, and how to start using it to create your own web applications.
Before starting this module you don’t need to have any knowledge of Django. Ideally, you would need to understand what server-side web programming and web frameworks are by reading the topics in our Server-side website programming first steps module.
In this first Django article we answer the question “What is Django?” and give you an over view of what makes this web framework special. We’ll outline the main features, including some advanced functionality that we won’t have time to cover in detail in this module. We’ll also show you some of the main building blocks of a Django application, to give you an idea of what it can do before you set it up and start playing.
Setting up a Django development environment
Now that you know what Django is for, we’ll show you how to setup and test a Django development environment on Windows, Linux (Ubuntu), and Mac OS X — whatever common operating system you are using, this article should give you what you need to be able to start developing Django apps.
Tutorial part 1: The Local Library website
The first article in our practical tutorial series explains what you’ll learn, and provides an overview of the “local library” — an example website we’ll be working through and evolving in subsequent articles.
Tutorial Part 2: Creating a skeleton website
This article shows how you can create a “skeleton” website project as a basis, which you can then go on to populate with site-specific settings, urls, models, views, and templates.
Tutorial Part 3: Using models
This article shows how to define models for the Local Library website— models represent the data structures we want to store our app’s data in, and also allow Django to store data in a database for us (and modify it later on).It explains what a model is, how it is declared, and some of the main field types. It also briefly shows a few of the main ways you can access model data.
Tutorial Part 4: Django admin site
Now that we’ve created models for the Local Library website,we’ll use the Django Admin site to add some “real” book data.First we’ll show you how to register the models with the admin site, then we’ll show you how to login and create some data. At the end we show some ways in which you can further improve the presentation of the admin site.
Tutorial Part 5: Creating our home page
We’re now ready to add the code to display our first full page — a home page for the Local Library that shows how many records we have of each model type and provides sidebar navigation links to our other pages. Along the way we’ll gain practical experience in writing basic URL maps and views, getting records from the database, and using templates.
Tutorial Part 6: Generic list and detail views
This tutorial extends our Local Library website,adding list and detail pages for books and authors. Here we’ll learn about generic class-based views, and show how they can reduce the amount of code you have to write for common use cases. We’ll also go into URL handling in greater detail, showing how to perform basic pattern matching.
Tutorial Part 7: Sessions frame work
This tutorial extends our Local Library website,adding a session-based visit-counter to the home page. This is a relatively simple example, but it does show how you can use the session framework to provide persistent behavior for anonymous users in your own sites.
Tutorial Part 8: User authentication and permissions
In this tutorial we’ll show you how to allow users to login to your site with their own accounts, and how to control what they can do and see based on whether or not they are logged in and their permissions.As part of this demonstration we’ll extend the Local Library website, adding login and log out pages, and user- and staff-specific pages for viewing books that have beenborrowed.
Tutorial Part 9: Working with forms
In this tutorial we’ll show you how to work with HTML Forms in Django, and in particular the easiest way to write forms to create, update, and delete model instances. As part of this demonstration we’ll extend the Local Library website so that librarians can renew books, and create, update, and delete authors using our own forms (rather than using the admin application).
Tutorial Part 10: Testing a Django web application
As websites grow they become harder to test manually — not only is there more to test, but, as the interactions between components become more complex, as mall change in one area can require many additional tests to verify its impact on other areas. One way to mitigate these problems is to write automated tests,which can easily and reliably be run every time you make a change. This tutorial shows how to automate unit testing of your website using Django’s test framework.
Tutorial Part 11: Deploying Django to production
Now you’ve created (and tested) an awesome Local Library website,you’re going to want to install it on a public web server so that it can be accessed by library staff and members over the Internet. This article provides an overview of how you might go about finding a host to deploy your website,and what you need to do in order to get your site ready for production.