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Integrates Django projects with Axilent.

Project description

Django / ACE Integration

Djax integrates the Django web framework with Axilent ACE. ACE is a sophisticated content targeting system that can be used for product recommendations, related content, personalization and contextual advertising.

Djax links Django models with ACE content types, enabling the use of ACE as a CMS for a Django website. It also provides easy integration with ACE’s targeting Content Channels, and provides integration with ACE’s user profiling system.


To install Djax with Pip:

pip install Djax

Then, add djax to your INSTALLED_APPS.

Finally, you will need to syncdb to generate Djax’s tables.

Integrating ACE Published Content With Django

In order to use content that is authored our sourced in ACE in a Django website, integrate the desired Django model with Djax using the ACEContent mixin.

# your-app/

from django.db import models
from djax.content import ACEContent

class Article(models.Model,ACEContent):
     title = models.CharField(max_length=100)
     body = models.TextField()

     class ACE:
         content_type = 'Article'
         field_map = {

Several important things are happening here:

  1. In addition to inheriting from models.Model like an ordinary Django model, the Article class also inherits from ACEContent. This will allow Djax to identify it as a local type of content that should be bound to an ACE Content Type.
  2. In the ACE inner class, the content_type attribute identifies the ACE Content Type with which this model should be associated.
  3. In the ACE inner class the field_map dictionary defines the mappings between the ACE Content Type fields (the keys in the dictionary) and the local model’s fields (the values in the dictionary).

When Djax syncs with ACE, it will create or update this model with the mapped content from ACE.

Managing Foreign Key Relations

ACE is not a relational database, and accordingly does not hold content to the same level of integral rigor as an RDBMS. However, it does provide some means to directly link one content item to another using a field type called a Content Link.

Djax provides a way to convert an ACE Content Link into a Django foreign key relationship. Let’s say you have a local model that has an Author model and an Article model. The Article model has a foriegn key field that points to the Author model. In ACE, the Article Content Type would have a Content Link field that would be used to point at an author.

The integration can be implemented without any special work using Djax:

class Author(models.Model,ACEContent):
    first_name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=100)

    class ACE:
        content_type = 'Author'
        field_map = {

  class Article(models.Model,ACEContent):
      author = models.ForeignKey(model=Author,related_name='articles')
      title = models.CharField(max_length=100)
      body = models.TextField()

      class ACE:
         content_type = 'Article'
         field_map = {

During a sync, incoming Content Link data from ACE will be enough to alert Djax to look for a local model-to-ACE Content Type mapping, and create a foreign key association in the local models.

Because the local model Article does not allow Article objects to exist in the database without an associated Author, it is important to ensure that the Author object is sync’d to the local database first. In a bulk sync this will be taken care of automatically, but when syncing once content item at a time, an error will occur if the Article object is sync’d before the associated Author object.

Nullable Foreign Key Relations

What if a foreign key relationship is nullable? In the example given above, what if not all Articles have Authors? It’s not a problem in ACE, just leave the appropriate Content Link field empty. But an additional step is required with Djax integration:

class Article(models.Model,ACEContent):
    author = models.ForeignKey(model=Author,null=True,related_name='articles')
    title = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    body = models.TextField()

    class ACE:
       content_type = 'Article'
       field_map = {

There are two changes in the Article model. First the author field has been marked null=True to indicate to Django that the Article model may not have an Author.

Secondly, the simple string (‘author’) indicating that the author field in the incoming content from ACE should be mapped to the local author field has been replaced by a NullableForeignKeyConverter object. This is an indication to Djax that it should apply a special process to the incoming data: either find a local model that corresponds to the supplied Content Link data, or leave the field null.

Managing Many-to-Many Relations

ACE can also handle many-to-many relations using the Content Link List field type. Let’s say we have a local model that defines a many-to-many relation between Publication and Author objects. In ACE, the Author object would have a publication field that was a Content Link List that would be used to associate it with Publications.

To implement the integration in Djax we would do this:

class Publication(models.Model,ACEContent):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)

    class ACE:
        content_type = 'Publication'
        field_map = {

class Author(models.Model,ACEContent):
    first_name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    publications = models.ManyToManyField(Publication,related_name='authors')

    class ACE:
        content_type = 'Author'
        field_map = {

In the Author model’s ACE inner class, we have specified the M2MFieldConverter for the publications field. This lets Djax know to convert incoming Content Link List data into a local many-to-many relation.

Implementing Your Own Field Converters

The default behavior of a field map is to simply take the value from the incoming ACE content and assign that value to the recipient local model. This behavior can be overridden with the use of a FieldConverter.

A FieldConverter is an object that is placed as a value to the corresponding ACE content field key, within the field map. The FieldConverter is just an object (it does not require any particular parent class). Djax will look for two specific methods on the field converter object: to_local_model and to_ace, and the name of the local model field, defined as field.

Simple Example:

class AuthorFieldConverter(object):
    """Field converter changes string to related author (for article) and vice versa."""

    field = 'author'

    def to_local_model(self,ace_content,ace_field_value):
        """String to related model."""
        return Author.objects.get(name=ace_field_value)

    def to_ace(self,local_model):
        """Related model to string."""

In this case the field converter looks up a related model by name and returns the related model as the value to assign to the local model.

A field converter may be marked as deferred, in which case Djax will ensure that the local model is created before the conversion method is called, and will pass the local model into the conversion method as an argument.

With deferred converters, the return value for the to_local_model method is ignored. It is up to the method to associate the value to the local model.

Parent / Child Deferred Example:

class MusicLabelCatalogConverter(object):
    """Converts the bands signed to the parent label."""

    field = 'bands'
    deferred = True

    def to_local_model(self,ace_content,ace_field_value,local_model):
        """Gets or creates associated local band objects. Ace provides a list of band names."""
        for band_name in ace_field_value:

        # clean up unassociated bands
        [band.delete() for band in local_model.bands.exclude(name__in=ace_field_value)]

    def to_ace(self,local_model):
        """Returns a list of band names for ace."""
        return [ for band in local_model.bands.all()]

ACEContent Methods

A Django model that also inherits from ACEContent will have several additional methods that allow it to be programmatically managed from a Django app, if desired.


Returns the local model’s ACE content key. If the content does not exist within the ACE account, it will return None. The content key is a GUID rendered in hex format.


Returns the name of the ACE Content Type for the model.


Forces the local model to update from content from ACE. If there is no corresponding content item in the ACE account, this method will do nothing.


Returns content values as a dictionary according to the field_map.


Pushes the local values of the content into the associated ACE library. This method returns a 2-tuple of booleans, indicating 1. if the library was updated and 2. if a new content item was created in the library.


Puhes the local values of the content directly into the associated GraphStack. A GraphStack in ACE is a logical container for deployed or published content.


Removes the content from any GraphStack where it has been deployed.


Removes the associated ACE content item from the active GraphStack where it is deployed.


Tags the content item within the associated ACE library.


De-tags the content item within the associated ACE library.


Tags the content item where it has been deployed in the associated GraphStack.


De-tags the content item where it has been deployed in the associated GraphStack.


Sends an affinity trigger for this content to ACE.


Sends a ban trigger for this content to ACE.

Setting Up Djax and ACE to Handle User-Generated Content

A common scenario is User Generated Content (UGC), in which user’s of the website create content, in the form of Django models, which then needs to be pushed back into the ACE library for administrative review. Djax and ACE now support this round-trip model for content.

In the ACE project, first create a new Content Source for the Content Type that you want to round-trip. Content Sources are found in the settings panel, for each content type under the Content Types section of the ACE project.

The new Content Source should be of the type Djax User Generated Content. When creating the Content Source, you will need to set the refresh interval, the URL pointing to the Djax install, and an auth token.

In your code, you set up your model as ACEContent as usual, defining the ACE content type and the field map in the ACE subclass.

Everytime the Content Source passes the refresh interval, it will query your Djax install. At this point the Djax install will push the content into the ACE library, either creating new content items or updating existing ones.

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