Django (web framework)

Django (/ˈæŋɡ/ JANG-goh; stylised as django)[4] is a Python-based free and open-source web framework, which follows the model-template-view (MTV) architectural pattern.[5][6] It is maintained by the Django Software Foundation (DSF), an independent organization established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Original author(s)Adrian Holovaty, Simon Willison
Developer(s)Django Software Foundation
Initial release21 July 2005 (2005-07-21)[1]
Stable release
3.0 / 2 December 2019 (2019-12-02)[2]
RepositoryDjango Repository
Written inPython
Size8.6 MB[3]
TypeWeb framework
License3-clause BSD

Django's primary goal is to ease the creation of complex, database-driven websites. The framework emphasizes reusability and "pluggability" of components, less code, low coupling, rapid development, and the principle of don't repeat yourself.[7] Python is used throughout, even for settings files and data models. Django also provides an optional administrative create, read, update and delete interface that is generated dynamically through introspection and configured via admin models.

Some well-known sites that use Django include the Public Broadcasting Service,[8] Instagram,[9] Mozilla,[10] The Washington Times,[11] Disqus,[12] Bitbucket,[13] and Nextdoor.[14] It was used on Pinterest,[15] but later the site moved to a framework built over Flask.


Django was created in the fall of 2003, when the web programmers at the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper, Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison, began using Python to build applications. Jacob Kaplan-Moss was hired early in Django’s development shortly before Simon Willison's internship ended.[16] It was released publicly under a BSD license in July 2005. The framework was named after guitarist Django Reinhardt.[17]

In June 2008, it was announced that a newly formed Django Software Foundation (DSF) would maintain Django in the future.[18]

In July 2015, Revolution Systems, a software consulting company connected to some Django co-founders and developers, hosted 10th anniversary events in Lawrence.[19]



Despite having its own nomenclature, such as naming the callable objects generating the HTTP responses "views",[5] the core Django framework can be seen as an MVC architecture.[6] It consists of an object-relational mapper (ORM) that mediates between data models (defined as Python classes) and a relational database ("Model"), a system for processing HTTP requests with a web templating system ("View"), and a regular-expression-based URL dispatcher ("Controller").

Also included in the core framework are:

  • a lightweight and standalone web server for development and testing
  • a form serialization and validation system that can translate between HTML forms and values suitable for storage in the database
  • a template system that utilizes the concept of inheritance borrowed from object-oriented programming
  • a caching framework that can use any of several cache methods
  • support for middleware classes that can intervene at various stages of request processing and carry out custom functions
  • an internal dispatcher system that allows components of an application to communicate events to each other via pre-defined signals
  • an internationalization system, including translations of Django's own components into a variety of languages
  • a serialization system that can produce and read XML and/or JSON representations of Django model instances
  • a system for extending the capabilities of the template engine
  • an interface to Python's built-in unit test framework
  • Django REST framework is a powerful and flexible toolkit for building Web APIs.

Bundled applications

The main Django distribution also bundles a number of applications in its "contrib" package, including:


Django's configuration system allows third party code to be plugged into a regular project, provided that it follows the reusable app[22] conventions. More than 2500 packages[23] are available to extend the framework's original behavior, providing solutions to issues the original tool didn't tackle: registration, search, API provision and consumption, CMS, etc.

This extensibility is, however, mitigated by internal components' dependencies. While the Django philosophy implies loose coupling,[24] the template filters and tags assume one engine implementation, and both the auth and admin bundled applications require the use of the internal ORM. None of these filters or bundled apps are mandatory to run a Django project, but reusable apps tend to depend on them, encouraging developers to keep using the official stack in order to benefit fully from the apps ecosystem.

Server arrangements

Django can be run in conjunction with Apache, Nginx using WSGI, Gunicorn, or Cherokee using flup (a Python module).[25][26] Django also includes the ability to launch a FastCGI server, enabling use behind any web server which supports FastCGI, such as Lighttpd or Hiawatha. It is also possible to use other WSGI-compliant web servers.[27] Django officially supports four database backends: PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and Oracle. Microsoft SQL Server can be used with django-mssql on Microsoft operating systems,[28] while similarly external backends exist for IBM Db2,[29] SQL Anywhere[30] and Firebird.[31] There is a fork named django-nonrel, which supports NoSQL databases, such as MongoDB and Google App Engine's Datastore.[32]

Django may also be run in conjunction with Jython on any Java EE application server such as GlassFish or JBoss. In this case django-jython must be installed in order to provide JDBC drivers for database connectivity, which also can provide functionality to compile Django in to a .war suitable for deployment.[33]

Google App Engine includes support for Django version 1.x.x[34] as one of the bundled frameworks.

Version history

The Django team will occasionally designate certain releases to be “long-term support” (LTS) releases.[35] LTS releases will get security and data loss fixes applied for a guaranteed period of time, typically 3+ years, regardless of the pace of releases afterwards.

Version Date[36] Notes[37]
Old version, no longer supported: 0.90[38]16 Nov 2005
Old version, no longer supported: 0.91[39]11 Jan 2006"new-admin"
Old version, no longer supported: 0.95[40]29 Jul 2006"magic removal"
Old version, no longer supported: 0.96[41]23 Mar 2007"newforms", testing tools
Old version, no longer supported: 1.0[42]3 Sep 2008API stability, decoupled admin, unicode
Old version, no longer supported: 1.1[43]29 Jul 2009Aggregates, transaction based tests
Old version, no longer supported: 1.2[44]17 May 2010Multiple db connections, CSRF, model validation
Old version, no longer supported: 1.3[45]23 Mar 2011Class based views, staticfiles
Old version, no longer supported: 1.4 LTS[46]23 Mar 2012Timezones, in browser testing, app templates.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.5[47]26 Feb 2013Python 3 Support, configurable user model
Old version, no longer supported: 1.6[48]6 Nov 2013Dedicated to Malcolm Tredinnick, db transaction management, connection pooling.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.7[49]2 Sep 2014Migrations, application loading and configuration.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.8 LTS[50]1 Apr 2015Native support for multiple template engines. Supported until at least April 2018
Old version, no longer supported: 1.9[51]1 Dec 2015Automatic password validation. New styling for admin interface.
Old version, no longer supported: 1.10[52]1 Aug 2016Full text search for PostgreSQL. New-style middleware.
Older version, yet still supported: 1.11 LTS[53]4 Apr 2017Last version to support Python 2.7. Supported until at least April 2020
Old version, no longer supported: 2.0[54]2 Dec 2017First Python 3-only release, Simplified URL routing syntax, Mobile friendly admin.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.1[55]1 Aug 2018Model "view" permission.
Older version, yet still supported: 2.2 LTS[56]1 Apr 2019Security release. Supported until at least April 2022
Current stable version: 3.0[57]2 Dec 2019
Future release: 3.1[58]Aug 2020
Future release: 3.2 LTS[58]Apr 2021Supported until at least April 2024
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Development tools with Django support

For developing a Django project, no special tools are necessary, since the source code can be edited with any conventional text editor. Nevertheless, editors specialized on computer programming can help increase the productivity of development, e.g., with features such as syntax highlighting. Since Django is written in Python, text editors which are aware of Python syntax are beneficial in this regard.

Integrated development environments (IDE) add further functionality, such as debugging, refactoring, and unit testing. As with plain editors, IDEs with support for Python can be beneficial. Some IDEs that are specialized on Python additionally have integrated support for Django projects, so that using such an IDE when developing a Django project can help further increase productivity. For comparison of such Python IDEs, see the main article:


There is a semiannual conference for Django developers and users, named "DjangoCon", that has been held since September 2008. DjangoCon is held annually in Europe, in May or June;[59] while another is held in the United States in August or September, in various cities.[60] The 2012 DjangoCon took place in Washington, D.C., from 3 to 8 September. 2013 DjangoCon was held in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the post-conference Sprints were hosted at Digital Bootcamp, computer training center.[61] The 2014 DjangoCon US returned to Portland, OR from 30 August to 6 September. The 2015 DjangoCon US was held in Austin, TX from 6 to 11 September at the AT&T Executive Center. The 2016 DjangoCon US was held in Philadelphia, PA at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania from 17 to 22 July.[62]The 2017 DjangoCon US was held in Spokane, WA[63]; in 2018 DjangoCon US was held in San Diego, CA[64]. DjangoCon US 2019 was held again in San Diego, CA from Sept 22-27.

Django mini-conferences are usually held every year as part of the Australian Python Conference 'PyCon AU'[65]. Previously, these mini-conferences have been held in:

  • Hobart, Australia, in July 2013,
  • Brisbane, Australia, in August 2014 and 2015,
  • Melbourne, Australia in August 2016 and 2017, and
  • Sydney, Australia, in August 2018 and 2019.

Django has spawned user groups and meetups around the world,[66] the most notable group is the Django Girls organization, which began in Poland but now has had events in 91 countries.[19][67]

Ports to other languages

Programmers have ported Django's template design from Python to other languages, providing decent cross-platform support. Some of these options are more direct ports; others, though inspired by Django and retaining its concepts, take the liberty to deviate from Django's design:


  • Roy Greenfeld, Daniel; Roy Greenfeld, Audrey (2015), Two Scoops of Django: Best Practices for Django 1.8 (3rd ed.), Two Scoops Press, p. 531, ISBN 0981467342
  • Jaiswal, Sanjeev; Kumar, Ratan (22 June 2015), Learning Django Web Development (1st ed.), Packt, p. 405, ISBN 1783984406
  • Ravindrun, Arun (31 March 2015), Django Design Patterns and Best Practices (1st ed.), Packt, p. 180, ISBN 1783986646
  • Osborn, Tracy (May 2015), Hello Web App (1st ed.), Tracy Osborn, p. 142, ISBN 0986365912
  • Bendoraitis, Aidas (October 2014), Web Development with Django Cookbook (1st ed.), Packt, p. 294, ISBN 178328689X
  • Baumgartner, Peter; Malet, Yann (2015), High Performance Django (1st ed.), Lincoln Loop, p. 184, ISBN 1508748128
  • Elman, Julia; Lavin, Mark (2014), Lightweight Django (1st ed.), O'Reilly Media, p. 246, ISBN 149194594X
  • Percival, Harry (2014), Test-Driven Development with Python (1st ed.), O'Reilly Media, p. 480, ISBN 1449364829

This list is an extraction from Current Django Books

See also


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  3. "Django Download". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  4. "FAQ: General - Django documentation - Django". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  5. "FAQ: General - Django documentation - Django". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  6. Adrian Holovaty, Jacob Kaplan-Moss; et al. The Django Book. Archived from the original on 2 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2013. Django follows this MVC pattern closely enough that it can be called an MVC framework
  7. "Design Philosophies". Django. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  8. "20 Creative Websites Running Django".
  9. "What Powers Instagram: Hundreds of Instances, Dozens of Technologies".
  10. "Python". Mozilla Developer Network. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  11. Retrieved on 2014-05-30.
  12. "Scaling Django to 8 Billion Page Views".
  13. "DjangoSuccessStoryBitbucket – Django". Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  14. "The anti-Facebook: one in four American neighborhoods are now using this private social network". The Verge. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  15. "What is the technology stack behind Pinterest?". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  16. "What is the history of the Django web framework? Why has it been described as "developed in a newsroom"?". Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  17. "Introducing Django". The Django Book. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  18. "Announcing the Django Software Foundation - Weblog - Django". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  19. "Lawrence-born Django, which revolutionized website construction, celebrating its 10th anniversary". Lawrence Journal-World. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  20. "Security in Django". Django Project. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  21. Socol, James (2012). "Best Basic Security Practices (Especially with Django)". Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  22. "What is a reusable app? — django-reusable-app-docs 0.1.0 documentation". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  23. "Django Packages". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  24. "Design philosophies - Django documentation - Django". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  25. Django documentation of deployment Archived 11 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  26. "Cherokee Web Server - Cookbook Setting up Django - Cherokee Documentation". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  27. How to use Django with Apache and mod_wsgi Archived 8 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Official Django documentation.
  28. "Manfre / django-mssql / source / — Bitbucket". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  29. ibmdb. "GitHub - ibmdb/python-ibmdb: Automatically exported from". GitHub. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  30. "Google Code Archive - Long-term storage for Google Code Project Hosting". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  31. maxirobaina. "GitHub - maxirobaina/django-firebird: Firebird SQL backend for django". GitHub. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  32. "Django non-rel". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  33. beachmachine. "GitHub - beachmachine/django-jython: Database backends and extensions for Django development on top of Jython". GitHub. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  34. Running Pure Django Projects on Google App Engine. (2010-11-01). Retrieved on 5 December 2011.
  35. "Django's release process - Django documentation - Django". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  36. "Download Django - Django".
  37. "FAQ: Installation - Django documentation - Django".
  38. "Introducing Django 0.90". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  39. "Django 0.91 released". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  40. "Introducing Django 0.95". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  41. "Announcing Django 0.96!". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  42. "Django 1.0 released!". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  43. "Django 1.1 released". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  44. "Django 1.2 released". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  45. "Django 1.3 released". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  46. "Django 1.4 released". Django weblog. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  47. "Django 1.5 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  48. "Django 1.6 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  49. "Django 1.7 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  50. "Django 1.8 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  51. "Django 1.9 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  52. "Django 1.10 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  53. "Django 1.11 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  54. "Django 2.0 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  55. "Django 2.1 released" Django weblog. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  56. Django 2.2.3 release notes Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  57. Django 3.0 release notes Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  58. Download Django
  59. DjangoCon EU series Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine,
  60. DjangoCon US series Archived 2 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine,
  61. "DjangoCon". DjangoCon. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
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  67. "Django Girls - start your journey with programming". Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  68. Shopify. "– Liquid template language". Liquid template language.
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