Django is a python-based web framework.
It is used to develop web applications and websites quickly, securely, and maintainable way.
Django, an open-source web framework, makes it easier for web developers to develop web applications without needing to code a web application from scratch.
One does not need to re-invent the wheel.
Python/Django takes care of all initial development needs, including web security, authentication, URL routing, and database schema migrations.
How does a framework work?
A framework in programming is a tool that provides ready-made components that you can customize to speed up the development of an application.
It provides a foundation where you can add components and functionality to achieve a fully functional web application that fulfills business or user requirements.
After installing Django, you get a fully functional web application that includes the default configurations, URL routing, and database connection.
It becomes the work of a web developer to develop additional components that best suit the problem being solved.
Besides, Django allows one to redesign the layout and add additional options that integrate with personal or business aesthetic layout needs.
Why Django was Developed
The primary reason behind Django’s development is the need to achieve rapid development, scalability, and re-usability.
Therefore, one can develop websites faster without the need to repeat the writing of components and scale them according to the business requirements.
Developed for Rapid development
With rapid development, Django allows web developers to complete projects that require short schedules within specified deadlines.
The framework supports rapid development by allowing the coding and maintaining of web solutions quickly and efficiently.
As one does not have to code everything from scratch, the developer can focus on writing the code that solves the project’s objectives.
This approach reduces the time needed to develop a web application, allowing such a requirement to be achieved ridiculously fast.
Developed for Scalability
When using Django, rapid development comes coupled with better scalability.
The framework is best suited for any project, regardless of size and capacity.
You can use Django on small and large projects because it offers better maintainability.
Moreover, the easier addition of apps/components makes it easier for a project to evolve in complexity and size.
Apps can be added to or removed from the main project without affecting its functionality.
This is achieved through modularity that allows each app to function independently. The integration allows multiple apps to function collaboratively toward achieving the main project objectives.
Developed to achieve Re-usability
A given code unit can be incorporated into another app within the project without the need to repeat such code.
Django encourages the DRY (DON’T REPEAT YOURSELF) principle that allows using the same code unit in multiple applications.
Thus, one can derive an existing class’s fields and methods into another app’s new class.
What are the applications of Django?
Django has many applications ranging from mid-level to high-level complexity projects.
As we have seen, Django supports scalability, allowing the creation of complex, database-driven websites easier.
Where time in a project is a limited resource, the framework becomes best suited by making the development process easy and time-saving. It eliminates repeating tasks and starting projects from scratch.
Therefore, one can concentrate on business logic without thinking much about application logic.
Although you may use Django on any project, it would be overkill to use it on very small and simple projects.
Can you use Django for mobile apps?
Django comes with the support for API integration, making it easier to serve and process data across different platforms that may include Android applications.
With this functionality, you can use Django in mobile applications using web APIs.
The android app makes requests to Django to process the data. The processed data is then sent as feedback that the android application can render. In the android application, WebView is used to display the web application running on Django.
How to install and set up a basic Django project
Before you install Django, you need to install Python first. The reason is that Django is a Python web framework developed using python.
Installing Python on your Linux machine is very easy. Follow these steps:
If Python3 is not installed on your Linux device, you can install it easily using the following commands.
sudo apt update sudo apt install python3 python3-pip
Confirm that Python and pip installation through
python3 -V pip3 -v
Although you do not need to be an expert in using the Python programming language, you need to know the basic concepts such as functions and classes.
These concepts are required because you will need them when creating web application functionality, such as models that define the database schema.
After installing Python3, you can install Django in the system-wide or virtual environment.
Installing Django in a virtual environment using venv is the preferred method and a best practice. A virtual environment provides a separate space specific to your Django project.
To install Django on a virtual environment, you need to install virtualenv on your system. Follow the following steps to install virtualenv.
Open the Terminal and type the command
sudo apt install virtualenv
After installing virtualenv, you can now create a virtual environment using the venv command.
But first, keeping your virtual environments in a single location on your OS user-specific folder is a good practice. To do that, type:
The command will create a folder on your / (root) directory called .virtualenvs. You can name the directory anything you want. This directory will keep all your virtual environments specific to each project.
After creating the directory, type the command:
python3 -m venv ~/.virtualenvs/django-env
The command will create a new virtual environment called django-env. Also, you can specify any name that you want.
After creating the environment, you need to activate it so that you can be able to install Django and its dependencies.
Type the following to activate the virtual environment:
Now, you can install Django using pip3.
pip3 install django
The command will install the latest Django version available. However, if you need to install a specific version, specify it by using == after the keyword Django.
pip3 install django==4.0.0
And that is all it takes to install Django.
After installing Django, let’s create a new Django project.
Create a new directory to store all your Django files
cd ~/Desktop && mkdir django_project cd ~/Desktop/django_project
Then start a new project
django-admin startproject NewDjangoProject .
python manage.py runserver
Go ahead and install your favorite IDE or code editor to start writing code.
If you do not know how to get started, search through my site and you will get tutorials on that. For ultimate resources to use to learn Python Django, check out this resource page. Besides, contact me if you ever need help with a project.
Django is a versatile web framework used pragmatically for fast web application development.
It supports scalability and re-usability, making it suitable for projects that range from mid to high levels of complexity and size.
Moreover, it supports rapid development allowing web developers to work within short deadlines.
You do not have to worry about writing web application code from scratch when you use Django. The framework takes care of all the initial project’s configuration that deploys web security, authentication, and configuration.
Choosing Django for your project offers you robust features that allow
- Reusability of components
- Rapid application development
- Adherence to the DRY principle
- Ease of maintenance