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A reusable Django app for displaying a dashboard with a fluid grid of widgets.

Project description

Django Dashboard App

A reusable Django app for displaying a dashboard with a fluid grid of widgets.

Let’s say you control 20 different web apps and you want to have a dashboard that shows the user count of each app as a graph. The graphs should be updated every minute so that you can see immediately when a sudden spike of new user signups happens.

There are two ways:

  1. Your apps provide an API endpoint for your dashboard so that the dashboard can poll that endpoint every minute and get the current user count.

  2. Your dashboard provides an endpoint that can be called by your apps whenever a new user signs up.

Ultimately, both methods should be possible with this app. Currently only the first way is implemented.

The dashboard itself will consist of many plugins. Each plugin is a reusable Django app of it’s own. This allows you to write any kind of plugin for any kind of service.

Note: A while ago I already created to solve this exact problem but I wanted to have support, which was a bad idea. It didn’t really work out nicely and kept crashing so that I abandoned the project in the end. This is my second try, this time I’m using old-school polling once per minute via AJAX.


To get the latest stable release from PyPi

pip install django-dashboard-app

To get the latest commit from GitHub

pip install -e git+git://

TODO: Describe further installation steps (edit / remove the examples below):

Add dashboard_app and django.contrib.humanize to your INSTALLED_APPS:


Add the dashboard_app URLs to your

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    url(r'^dashboard/', include('dashboard_app.urls')),

Don’t forget to migrate your database

./ migrate dashboard_app


When you first visit the main URL for your dashboard, you will see an error widget saying “No widgets found”. This means we need to teach Django which widgets to display.

In your Django project-app-folder (assuming Django >1.5 project layout) create a file (you can put that file into any app folder that is part of INSTALLED_APPS).

Add the following code to that file:

"""Widgets for the ACME project."""
from dashboard_app.dashboard_widgets import DummyWidget
from dashboard_app.widget_pool import dashboard_widget_pool

dashboard_widget_pool.register_widget(DummyWidget, position=1)

When you call your main dashboard URL now, you should see the dummy widget displaying the current date and time. The last update time resembles the time when the widget did write data to the database last time. Since this widget never writes any data, this time will always be the time when you first loaded the widget under this name.

Build Your Widget

First you need to decide where your widget code should live. If you are very sure that your widgets will always be bound to the project and never be released as open source or re-used in other projects of yours, you can implement your widgets in the file that you have created in your Django project-app already.

If you think that your widget will be usefull for many projects, you should create it as a reusable app and therefore create a new app-folder. Let’s assume that your project is called ACME and you want to create a widget to display the current user count. First create the following files:

-- dashboard_acme_users

Your widget apps should always be named like dashboard_yourthing so that it is easier to find them all on Google/Github. The file will turn the app into a Python module and the file is needed to turn the module into a potential Django app that can be discovered by the INSTALLED_APPS setting. The file is the file where you will implement your custom widget.

Put the following code into that file:

"""Widgets for the dashboard_acme_users app."""
from dashboard_app.widget_base import DashboardWidgetBase

from django.contrib.auth.models import User

class UserCountWidget(DashboardWidgetBase):
    """Displays the total amount of users currently in the database."""
    template_name = 'dashboard_acme_users/widgets/user_count.html'

    def get_context_data(self):
        ctx = super(UserCountWidget, self).get_context_data()
        count = User.objects.all().count()
        ctx.update({'value': count, })
        return ctx

You basically just have to decide on a nice widget name (here: UserCountWidget) and a template name. We suggest to put the widgets into a subfolder called your_app_name/widgets and name the template after the widget’s class name (here: user_count.html).

Now you want to display something. In our case it is the current user count. Therefore we must override the get_context_data method and return the current user count.

Now you need to register your new widget in the file that you used earlier to register the DummyWidget:

"""Widgets for the ACME project."""
from dashboard_app.dashboard_widgets import DummyWidget
from dashboard_app.widget_pool import dashboard_widget_pool

from dashboard_acme_users import dashboard_widgets as widgets

dashboard_widget_pool.register_widget(DummyWidget, position=1)
dashboard_widget_pool.register_widget(widgets.UserCountWidget, position=2)

When you visit your main dashboard URL you should see two widgets now.

TODO: Describe how to save widget data to the database and render charts


If you want to contribute to this project, please perform the following steps

# Fork this repository
# Clone your fork
mkvirtualenv -p python2.7 django-dashboard-app
make develop

git co -b feature_branch master
# Implement your feature and tests
git add . && git commit
git push -u origin feature_branch
# Send us a pull request for your feature branch

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