Home Python Django REST Framework: Professionals and Cons

Django REST Framework: Professionals and Cons

Django REST Framework: Professionals and Cons


This text examines Django REST Framework, its execs and cons, and its alternate options, serving to to reply the query Ought to I exploit Django REST Framework?.

What’s Django REST Framework?

Django REST Framework (DRF) is a strong open-source framework for constructing RESTful APIs. On account of its robustness, ease of use, and complete function set, it has grow to be the de facto normal for constructing APIs with Django.

DRF’s key options embody:

  • Routing
  • Request/response dealing with
  • Authorization and authentication
  • Serialization and information validation
  • Filtering, ordering, and extra!

Moreover, the framework comes with a internet browseable API, in depth documentation, and lots of third-party packages.

For extra on DRF’s options, overview the Django REST Framework Fundamentals article.

Professionals and Cons

Django REST Framework is among the hottest and endorsed Django packages, but it surely does not come with out drawbacks.


Ease of Use

Top-of-the-line issues about Django REST Framework is that it really works out of the field. You merely run a pip set up command, add the bundle to the put in apps, and also you’re good to begin constructing your API.

The framework offers an answer to commonest API constructing issues. Utilizing it helps you to deal with app-specific endpoints as an alternative of reinventing the wheel. In reality, you’ll be able to construct a fully-fledged API in a couple of traces of code utilizing the built-in serializers, view units, and routers.

DRF excels in constructing generic CRUD (Create, Learn, Replace, Delete) APIs.

Mature and Battle-tested

Django REST Framework has been round for greater than a decade. It is a mature and battle-tested framework. Through the years, it has been adopted by many corporations, together with some recognizable ones equivalent to Mozilla, Crimson Hat, and Heroku.

One other wonderful thing about DRF is that it is properly thought out. It is based mostly on a modular structure, permitting you to swap out completely different parts with out an excessive amount of trouble. For instance, the permission system, authentication, or the serialization layer.

Plus, the framework aligns with Django’s conventions. When you’re conversant in Django, navigating by way of DRF’s supply code can be straightforward.


Django REST Framework helps you construct much less error-prone, extra maintainable, and safer APIs.

The library conforms to a coding normal and forces you to do the identical. This lets you keep away from frequent API constructing errors and makes onboarding new builders simpler. Moreover, DRF comes with many built-in security measures equivalent to CSRF safety, information validation, and request throttling.

Enormous Ecosystem

Django REST Framework integrates properly with hottest Django extensions. On prime of that, the framework has cultivated an infinite ecosystem of third-party packages.

What’s extra, DRF is backed by an enormous neighborhood of builders. On the time of writing, django-rest-framework has greater than 1.2k contributors on GitHub. When you ever get caught, discovering assist ought to be straightforward.


Onerous to Grasp

As launched earlier, Django REST Framework is comparatively straightforward to get began with. You may obtain virtually something by using the essential API view class. Nevertheless, the framework’s true energy lies in its CBVs and premade lessons for serialization, view units, routing, and so forth.

When you’re new to DRF, it’d take some time to wrap your head round them. However as soon as you work them out, you’ll lower your codebase in half and you will find yourself with a a lot “cleaner” internet app.

Efficiency Points

Django REST Framework can decelerate your internet app because of the added overhead. The bundle is designed to make constructing APIs straightforward, to not be as performant as potential.

Its serialization course of is comparatively sluggish in comparison with different serialization libraries equivalent to marshmallow and serpy (see the benchmarks). Even Tom Christie, the developer of DRF, talked about that you must keep away from utilizing serializers in performance-critical views (supply).

One other downside arises when serializing associated fields. By default, DRF does not robotically optimize question units handed to serializers by way of select_related and prefetch_related. That makes it straightforward to introduce the N+1 downside.

Dangerous Separation of Issues (SoC)

The serialization layer in DRF performs an excessive amount of work. It is liable for serialization, information validation, and mannequin creation. Some codebases I’ve stumbled upon additionally embody enterprise logic in serializers.

This typically leads to builders writing duplicate validation code for his or her serializers and fashions. On prime of that, it makes your code far more tough to check.

Lack of New Options

On the present stage, the framework does not prioritize including new options. All of the commits are largely refactorings and bug fixes. This will make DRF look a bit dated and restrict its utility for some functions.

In my view, the framework lacks the next:

  • A superb authentication resolution
  • Asynchronous assist (there’s an open difficulty for it)
  • WebSocket assist
  • Higher nested serialization

All of those deficiencies may be addressed through the use of third-party packages. For instance, dj-rest-auth for authentication, adrf for async assist, and django-channels for internet sockets. Nevertheless, most of them really feel too hacky.


Let us take a look at some nice alternate options you must think about when beginning your subsequent mission.

Django Ninja

Django Ninja is an online framework for constructing quick and production-ready APIs. The framework prioritizes velocity and ease over typical API construction. It is constructed on prime of Starlette, which supplies it glorious asynchronous capabilities.

The framework adheres to open requirements for APIs, together with OpenAPI (beforehand generally known as Swagger) and JSON Schema. This allows it to generate interactive API docs robotically.

Django Ninja is a fusion between Django and FastAPI. It offers you the perfect of each worlds: Django’s admin web site and ORM and FastAPI’s type-hinted Pydantic fashions.


  • Performant
  • Kind hints and Pydantic assist
  • Computerized docs era
  • Async assist


  • Not as feature-rich
  • Restricted extensibility
  • Much less common

For extra on Django Ninja, take a look at the Django and Pydantic article.

Django Tastypie

Django Tastypie is a minimalistic however versatile framework for constructing APIs. The framework offers serialization, authentication, caching, filtering, sorting, and fundamental safety capabilities.

It operates on the idea of assets. You create a useful resource to your Django mannequin, and Django Tastypie handles the remainder. It robotically generates the serializer for it and manages the CRUD operations. It helps JSON, XML, and YAML codecs.

Django Tastypie may be good for smaller initiatives that largely require CRUD operations. By leveraging it, you will get a pleasant little API-building interface whereas preserving every little thing Django has to supply.


  • Versatile
  • Simple to make use of
  • Lightweight


  • Missing options
  • Inappropriate for “advanced” apps
  • Nonetheless in beta (no full launch but)
  • Much less common

FastAPI, Flask, and different frameworks

When contemplating whether or not to make use of Django REST Framework, it is vital to additionally query whether or not you want Django within the first place. Does your mission require any Django-specific options? Or are you utilizing Django solely since you’re comfy with it?

Django won’t be the perfect internet framework for constructing APIs. There are a number of Python-based alternate options which can be extra acceptable. By leveraging them, you will typically get higher efficiency, and so they’ll assist you to write extra readable and fewer boilerplate code.

I counsel you take a look at the next three:

  1. FastAPI
  2. Flask
  3. Pyramid

For extra, take a look at Django vs. Flask: Which Framework to Select.


Django REST Framework is not required, but it surely positively makes your life simpler. It lets you reuse chunks of code as an alternative of reinventing the wheel. It additionally nudges you to jot down higher, cleaner, and fewer error-prone code.

The framework’s most vital downsides are the efficiency points and lack of latest options. Despite the fact that Django REST Framework is not the quickest framework, it nonetheless is sensible to make use of it on account of its in depth function set. Most efficiency positive factors in internet growth may be achieved by way of correct caching and database layer optimization anyway.

If you’d like your API to be as performant as potential, you must experiment with FastAPI. The exemplary center floor between Django and FastAPI is Django Ninja. Lastly, for easier APIs, you would possibly get away with Django Tastypie or Flask.

Future studying:



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here