python django tutorial

In this tutorial, we'll create a simple todo api with Python 3 and Django 2.

Installing the requirements

Create a virtual environment and install Django.

  $ virtualenv venv # creates a virtual environment
  $ source venv/bin/activate # activates the virtual environment
  (venv)$ pip install Django

That's all we'll need for now.

Creating the project

Use the Django startproject command to create the project we'll be working on.

  $ django-admin startproject todoapi

This creates a todoapi directory with generated files to start us off. The directory should look something like this:

Database setup

To keep things simple, we'll use the SQlite database, so we don't have to install anything since it comes with Python. In addition, that's already setup for us in todoapi/ Have a look at the code and you should see something similar to this:

  # Database

      'default': {
          'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.sqlite3',
          'NAME': os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'db.sqlite3'),

Creating models

To create models for our database, we first need to create a todos "app". This is where we'll implement our features.

  $ python startapp todos

This will create a todos directory with the following files:


This app should be added to the todoapi/


Ok, now that Django knows about our app, open the file to add the models. We'll only create one model called Todo:

  from django.db import models

  # Create your models here.
  class Todo(models.Model):
      todo = models.CharField(max_length=100, null=False,
                              help_text="This field is required")
      done = models.BooleanField(default=False)

This model will create a table for us with todo and done columns to save our data. The todo column will save the actual todo, and the done column will save the status – whether it's done or not. Notice that it is a BooleanField, meaning we'll save True when done or False when not done, which is the default.

Now all we need to do is run makemigrations to notify Django of our models, and migrate to do the actual migration.

  $ python makemigrations todos
  $ python migrate

Creating the endpoints

We'll have two endpoints for now:

  • /todos to GET a list of all our todos

  • /todos/<id> to GET the todo matching the id

To test this out, we'll create two simple views in the todos/ file.

  from django.http import JsonResponse
  from django.shortcuts import get_object_or_404

  from .models import Todo

  # Create your views here.
  def todos(request):
      todos_list = Todo.objects.all()
      data = {
          "todos": list(todos_list.values(
              "todo", "done"
      return JsonResponse(data)

  def single_todo(request, pk):
      todo = get_object_or_404(Todo, pk=pk)
      data = {
          "todo": todo.todo,
          "done": todo.done
      return JsonResponse(data)

Create a new file called in your todos app and add the following code:

  # todos/
  from django.urls import path

  from .views import todos, single_todo

  urlpatterns = [
      path("todos/", todos, name="todos"),
      path("todos/<int:pk>", single_todo, name="single_todo")

Go to todoapi/ and include the todos url you just created:

  # todoapi/
  from django.contrib import admin
  from django.urls import path, include  # add include here

  urlpatterns = [
      path('', include('todos.urls'))  # add this

Set up your admin and test the endpoints

Create a superuser:

  $ python createsuperuser

Next, register your models in the /todos/ file so you can have access to them from the admin dashboard:

  from django.contrib import admin
  from .models import Todo

  # Register your models here.

That's it! Now run the server and go to Log in with the details you registered for the superuser above to add your todos.

You can retrieve the todos created via a rest client via the endpoints