Why Do We Use Django Framework & What Is Django Used For?
Amanda Veloso • 27 April 2023
Choosing a web development framework is paramount when starting a project. Different languages will address different needs when building a digital product. While they all have pros, choosing the framework that is more appropriate to address your needs will surely save time on your timeline.
Most of the time, Django is the perfect choice for building digital products. To show you why, we've gathered everything you need to know about the Django framework and its applications.
Here, you'll understand what are the real advantages of choosing Django as a framework and how can it save time and money on your project. Enjoy reading!
What is the Django framework?
Django is a free and open-source web development framework written in Python. It is a high-level framework, with a pragmatic design that encourages fast and clean development. Django has a large collection of modules and features, allowing developers to focus on what really matters.
But before we dive into the details of Django and its benefits, let us first understand what a framework really is.
A framework is a collection of modules that make development easier. It allows developers to create applications or websites from an existing source, instead of having to do everything from scratch.
In other words, if a developer tries to build a digital product using just a programming language, with no framework, they would have to build all the individual components from scratch.
This means it would take days or even weeks to create features such as an authentication system, contact forms, and comment boxes, just to name a few. With a framework, all these components are pre-built, and you would only need to configure them properly to the needs of your project to get it up and running.
Finally, it is a very flexible and highly extensible framework, so you can configure it according to your needs.
How does Django work?
Summing up, Django provides the ability to build websites quickly and to scale it with less effort.
In general, a project developed with Django is broken down into small applications composed of a Python package that, in return, resolves specific domains of the application.
Each of these small applications is based on the MVT -— or Model-View-Template — pattern, the three aspects of a web application worked on by Django:
- Model: the model is the structure that represents the data in this application. In other words, it has a direct connection to a database. This is the abstraction layer used to manipulate, include, or exclude data. Whenever a model is created, Django provides an API (also called ORM) for this manipulation;
- View: the view is a Python function designed to receive a request and send a response back. This is where the data is extracted, generating a response;
- Template: this is the layer where the application template is produced through artifacts understood by the web browser. This is the part that concerns everything that the end user is able to view on their device.
Why choose Django? 4 benefits of the framework
Launched in 2005, Django has been battle-tested for both beginners and advanced users and it's used by some of the world's largest websites, like Instagram, Spotify, and Dropbox. The main reason for this is Django's friendliness, but there is much more to this framework than just being easy to learn and use.
Django encourages rapid prototyping and a clean, practical design. But how does it do that? Here, you can find all of Django's benefits that allow developers to focus on the unique needs of their projects, and not waste time with boilerplate stuff.
Many famous frameworks claim reducing time and budget as their main feature. Yet, there is a reason Django separates itself from its competitors. Its "batteries included" philosophy provides what a developer needs to build out-of-the-box features.
This makes Django a more complete framework, with extensive documentation that follows consistent design principles and makes everything work together seamlessly.
The Django framework is one of the most versatile in the market. This is because it can be used for the development of several types of applications, besides being multiplatform like Python, the language it is based on.
With this framework, developers can build content management systems, wikis, social networks, and more. It can also be used when developing any client-server application.
Django provides modules to build multiple functionalities, while also offering the opportunity to extend components when necessary.
Django helps developers avoid the most common security mistakes by providing a framework that is designed to do the right things in order to secure the website automatically.
For instance, Django provides a secure way to manage user accounts and passwords. This avoids common mistakes such as putting session information into cookies or storing passwords where they are vulnerable.
Besides, Django enables protection against many vulnerabilities by default, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, and clickjacking (see Web Site Security for more details on such attacks). It also makes it easy to control permission in a project.
Django was specially developed to help create scalable projects. It uses a shared-nothing component-based architecture, where each part of the architecture is independent of the others, and thus can be replaced or changed as needed.
Having a clear separation among the different parts means that you can scale up to increased traffic by adding hardware at any level: caching servers, database servers, or application servers. Some of the busiest websites have successfully scaled Django to meet their demands (e.g. Instagram and Disqus).
Based on the DRY — Don't Repeat Yourself — principle, Django has a highly sustainable code. This means it is easy to maintain and reusable thanks to the bundling of functionalities. This is, in fact, one of the greatest benefits of this framework: the ability to create clean applications which code doesn't need to repeat itself, even if the function needs to.
Django also promotes the grouping of related functionality for reusable applications and, at a lower level, groups related code for modules (along the lines of the MVT — Model, View, and Template pattern).
Django is written in Python, which runs on many platforms. This means that you are not locked into any particular server platform, and can run your applications on many distributions of Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. In addition, Django is well supported by many web service providers that often provide specific infrastructure and documentation for hosting Web sites built with Django.
What is the Django framework used for?
Organizations of all sizes, from startups to large enterprises, leverage Django to build their web applications. Its flexibility, ease of use, and speed have attracted the attention of the world's biggest tech giants.
Django is excellent for projects involving large volumes of textual content, heavy traffic, media files, and other web-based projects. It is also effective for building eCommerce sites, financial applications, and healthcare software, just to name a few.
The framework is most often used to create:
- Custom customer relationship management (CRM) solutions for internal information and B2B CRM systems to manage business communications.
- High-traffic stores and booking engines;
- iOS and Android mobile apps to support web applications;
- Financial platforms that can calculate and analyze approximate results depending on risk tolerance, and personal data, among other factors;
- Document management solutions and real estate valuation systems;
- Solutions to deal with legal issues and platforms that facilitate communication between a company and its customers;
- Separate capabilities such as emailing systems, algorithm-based generators, administration dashboards, mutual fund management interfaces, data analysis tools, verification systems, and more.
Read also: 10 Django Apps You Are Not Using But Should Be
Django is perfect for projects that need to handle large volumes of content, user interactions, and/or heavy traffic. It is also a fit choice when dealing with complex functions or technology. Yet, it is simple enough for smaller-scale projects, or if you intend to scale your project to a much higher level.
The framework not only allows the reuse of code (making the developer's life much easier) but also offers an administrative interface, to make content management simpler. It is easy to use, fast and simple, and also has extensive documentation on it.
And, for the record, at Vinta we are experts on Django.
To get to know more, check how we leverage the Django framework to build a knowledge-sharing platform used by some Fortune 500 companies.