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Easily extend your existing Django app with a powerful REST API

zihua 2014-01-27 18:01:04 点击: 895 | 收藏


Use RiV v0.1 for Django 1.5 and earlier.

Use RiV v0.2 for Django 1.6.

Use RiV v0.2.1 for Django 1.7alpha1.

RiV (Rest-In-Views) is a REST framework for Django. The aim of RiV is to integrate smoothly into the Django concepts and make as much of your existing code reusable as possible.

RiV aims to maintain Django's MVC structure while extending your existing application with a RESTful API.

In Django the views describe which data you see while the templates are responsible for how you see it. An API built with RiV keeps that structure by replacing the role of templates with resources. Thus, RiV provides a large set of methods to exclude fields, rename fields, include a full representation of foreign keys and m2m fields, move fields between foreign keys and your main object and many more. Just imagine you have a model like this:

class Poll(models.Model):
    question = models.CharField(max_length=200)

class Choice(models.Model):
    poll = models.ForeignKey(Poll)
    name = models.CharField(max_length=200)
    votes = models.IntegerField()

But you want to to include the poll question directly into the JSON representation of your Choice object, e.g.


RiV does not require any additional third party modules. The serializers are built on top of the built-in Django serializers and therefore share the same requirements.

The RiV serializers extend the builtin Django serializers. So you have to add the serializers you want to use to the settings.

  'restjson': 'riv.serializers.json_serializer',
  'restxml':  'riv.serializers.xml_serializer',

For debugging purposes you can tell RiV to display errors. However, for security reasons this setting only has an effect if Django is running in debug mode.


Add Resources

Add a file to your application and add a resource for your model. Each resource needs to define a wrapper to wrap view functions into your resource (If you don't have any views you can simply use the StandaloneWrapper class).

# myapp/
from riv.resources import Resource
from myapp.models import MyModel

class MyModelResource(Resource):
  _wrapper = MyModelWrapper()
  class Meta:
    name = 'mymodel'
    model = MyModel

The wrapper class tells RiV where to find the views to handle the different HTTP methods.

# myapp/
from riv.wrappers import BaseWrapper
from riv.helpers import call_view
from myapp import views

class MyModelWrapper(BaseWrapper):
    read_multiple = call_view(views.index)    # GET
    read          = call_view(views.detail)   # GET with id
    create        = call_view(views.create)   # POST
    update        = call_view(views.update)   # PUT
    delete        = call_view(views.delete)   # DELETE

Create an API, add the resource, and make the URLs public. Add the following lines to your URLconf

Create an API for your resources

# myapp/
from riv.api import Api
from myapp.resources import MyModelResource

# The api name is only used internally. It does not become part
# of your URL
myapi = Api(name='myapi')

urlpatterns += patterns('',
  (r'api/', include(myapi.urls)),

Try it

You can now access the resource at http:///myapp/api/mymodel/.


You can find the documentation here.

Have a look at the tutorial.

Comparision to existing solutions

There are a couple of different REST frameworks for Django. The most well-known are Piston and Tastypie. Both of them are well-written and used in various web applications.

Both frameworks work really well if you want to build an API that is completely separated from your web application and if your data representation is not too different from the structure of your models. If this is your use case you might probably want to have a look at Tastypie.

However, if you already have an existing Django web application and you want to enrich it with an API because for example you want to write a native mobile app you will probably see the advantages of RiV quickly.

Design concept

The focus of RiV is to make your views completely resusable. Therefore:

  • Data preparation and access control happens in your views
  • RiV ensures your response is conform to the HTTP protocol definitions
  • RiV helps you to change the representation of your data
  • If you don't have views RiV can run in a standalone mode


Since Django 1.6 the test discovery has changed. In order to run the tests start the test command with --pattern="*.py".

Known Issues

  • The HTTP methods OPTIONS, HEAD, TRACE and PATCH are not implemented
  • RiV currently supports only integers as primary keys
  • Foreign keys have to be supplied as ids and not as URIs
  • Changing foreign key (or m2m) fields inline is not supported

作者:zihua | 分类: Django | 标签: django | 阅读: 895 | 发布于: 2014-01-27 18时 |