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Django slightly smarter than fixtures content generation app.

Project description

Django Generate

Django slightly smarter than fixtures content generation app.

django-generate adds a management command called generate which allows you to create objects from a dynamically created JSON description of said objects. It’s primary focus is to generate test content for use during project development and testing. Objects are only created once via Django’s get_or_create method. Inheritance base model objects are created where needed. File fields can also be populated from arbitrary resources. In this way django-generate simplifies generating complex objects when compared to Django’s built in fixtures feature.

This package is part of the larger Jmbo project.


  1. Install or add django-generate to your Python path.

  2. Add generate to your INSTALLED_APPS setting.


In order to generate content you need to execute the generate management command. This command will search for a generator module in each of the apps as specified in the INSTALLED_APPS setting and call its generate method. This method should return a list of JSON serialized objects to be created.

Note: Generation is also triggered after a syncdb, at which time you will be prompted to generate default content. If you answer yes to the prompt content will be generated in the same way is if you had run the generate command manually.

As an example lets create 5 dummy users for testing.

  1. Create a in the app you want to generate content’s path.

  2. Make sure your app is specified in your INSTALLED_APPS setting. Also make sure your app has a so Django installs it correctly.

  3. Edit the file to look like this:

    def generate():
        objects = []
        for i in range(1, 6):
                "model": "auth.User",
                "fields": {
                    "username": "user_%s" % i,
                    "first_name": "User %s Name" % i,
                    "is_staff": True,
        return objects

All this is really doing is generating a bunch of JSON serialized objects dynamically. The returned objects list looks like this:

[{'fields': {'username': 'user_1', 'first_name': 'User 1 Name', 'is_staff': True}, 'model': 'auth.User'}, {'fields': {'username': 'user_2', 'first_name': 'User 2 Name', 'is_staff': True}, 'model': 'auth.User'}, {'fields': {'username': 'user_3', 'first_name': 'User 3 Name', 'is_staff': True}, 'model': 'auth.User'}, {'fields': {'username': 'user_4', 'first_name': 'User 4 Name', 'is_staff': True}, 'model': 'auth.User'}, {'fields': {'username': 'user_5', 'first_name': 'User 5 Name', 'is_staff': True}, 'model': 'auth.User'}]

This is a normal Django JSON fixtures list of objects that will be created. You could just as easily have hard coded and returned this list instead of generating it. The point is that the generate method should return a list of JSON serialized objects to be created.

  1. Run the generate management command to generate the objects:

    $ python generate

After the command completes you should have 5 newly created staff users in your database. If you were to run the generate command again no new users would be created as django-generate detects the presence of previously generated objects.

Have a look at jmbo-post’s generator to see how objects with inheritance structures, relations and file resources can be created very easily using django-generate.

Praekelt Foundation

  • Shaun Sephton

  • Jonathan Bydendyk

  • Euan Jonker

  • Hedley Roos



  1. Use _default_manager instead of objects manager to allow for overrides.


  1. Only pass fields that support an exact lookup to get_or_create.


  1. Use exists optimisation.

  2. Force commit on every execution of method since settings may specify a transaction managed database layer.

  3. Prevent redundant calls to save().

  4. Support direct assignment of foreign key ids.

0.0.3 (2011-08-12)

  1. Corrected manifest.

0.0.2 (2011-07-26)

  1. Docs.


  1. Initial release.

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