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JSONField for django models

Project description

Maintenance mode only: It is not recommended you use this library on new projects. Django 3.1 includes a cross-database JSONField implementation - see its release notes. You can use that field on older versions of Django with the django-jsonfield-backport package. See the (long) History section below for more information.

Naming clarification: This project is released on Pypi under the name django-jsonfield. It should not be confused with the Pypi package jsonfield, which has also been called django-jsonfield by some.

Cross-database JSON field for Django models.


This project was created in 2010 by Matthew Schinckel. He created it based upon code from David Cramer’s blog, had the repository in Mercurial on BitBucket, and maintained it until 2018. In March 2019, Adam Johnson took over maintenance (from an invite back in 2018!), and moved it to Git on GitHub because he’s no good at Mercurial and “everyone” uses GitHub these days.

At the time it was created, the databases that Django supports didn’t feature native JSON support. Since then, most of them have gained that ability. Correspondingly, there were some Django field implementations for taking advantage of this:

  • A PostgreSQL JSONField provided in django.contrib.postgres, which was created as part of Django in version 1.9, released December 2015. Note this library interferes with the way that works, see issue 5 for explanation and a workaround.

  • A MySQL (and maybe MariaDB) JSONField provided in Django-MySQL, since version 1.0.7, released March 2016.

Django 3.1, released August 2020, included a cross-database JSONField as one of its headline features (release note). The developer behind this package, Sage Abdullah, also released the code from Django 3.1 in the package django-jsonfield-backport.

It is recommended that you use Django 3.1 or django-jsonfield-backport instead of this package.

Alternatively, if you don’t need the ability to query the contents of your JSON in the database, consider storing the JSON in a TextField and deserializing it appropriately in your code, perhaps with a @property on your model class to proxy it.


Install it with pip:

pip install django-jsonfield

Then use the field in your models:

from django.db import models
import jsonfield

class MyModel(models.Model):
    the_json = jsonfield.JSONField()

You can assign any JSON-encodable object to this field. It will be JSON-encoded before being stored in the database as a text value and it will be turned back into a python list/dict/string upon retrieval from the database.

There is also a TypedJSONField, that allows you to define data types that must be included within each object in the array. More documentation to follow.


If no default is provided, and null=True is not passed in to the field constructor, then a default of {} will be used.

Supported django versions

All versions of Django from 1.8 onwards are tested.


jsonify templatetag

This allows you to convert a python data structure into JSON within a template:

{% load jsonify %}

var foo = {{ bar|jsonify|safe }};

Note that you must only use the “safe” filter when you use the jsonify filter within a <script> tag (which is parsed like a CDATA section).

If you use it in some other places like in an HTML attribute, then you must not use the safe filter so that its output is properly escaped:

<div data-foo="{{ bar|jsonify }}">

The above rules are important to avoid XSS attacks with unsafe strings stored in the converted data structure.


If you want to contribute to django-jsonfield, it will help you to run the test suite. This can be done in its most simple form by running:

DB_ENGINE=sqlite3 DB_NAME=tests ./

To run the tests fully, you will need to install tox.


1.4.0 (2019-12-18)

  • Django 3.0 compatbility. This required adding six as a dependency.

1.3.1 (2019-08-19)

  • Fix Python 2 compatilibity from change in 1.3.0 (PR #16).

1.3.0 (2019-08-18)

  • Work in parallel with django.contrib.postgres.fields.JSONField by removing registration of default JSONB function and instead using Postgres’ cast-to-text in SQL (PR #14).

    This should allow you to move to the better supported django.contrib.postgres.fields.JSONField, and then Django 3.0’s upcoming all-database JSONField.

1.2.0 (2019-04-28)

  • Tested with Django 2.2.

  • Stop “RemovedInDjango30Warning: Remove the context parameter from JSONField.from_db_value().” on Django 2.0+.

1.1.0 (2019-03-16)

Django 1.10 support: register explicit lookup operators.

Django 1.11 support: update render() method for widget.

1.0.1 (2016-07-21)

Fix issue with Postgres JSONB fields.

Limit XSS attacks with jsonify template tag.

1.0.0 (2016-06-02)

Add support for Django 1.8 and 1.9 (without warnings). Remove support for Django < 1.8 as none of those releases are supported upstream anyway.

With this version, JSONField no longer decodes assigned string values as JSON. Instead it assumes that any value that you assign is the decoded value which will be JSON-encoded before storage in the database. This explains the bump to version 1.0 as it’s a backwards incompatible change.

0.9.19 (2016-02-22)

Allow passing decoder_kwargs as an argument to a field. This dict will be passed as kwargs to the json.loads() calls when loading data that is a string.

You may also set this as a global value in settings.JSONFIELD_DECODER_KWARGS.

A new dict is created for each field: so if this value is altered after field definition, it shouldn’t affect already attached fields.


Allow passing an argument of encoder_class to a field, which will result in that object (or the object located at that path, for instance core.utils.JSONEncoder) being used as the cls argument when serializing objects.

You may also set this as a global value in settings.JSONFIELD_ENCODER_CLASS


Bump version number to get around uploading issues.


No longer hit the db to work out db_type.


Cache the result of db_type. Handle incoming data from multiple select widget better.


Finally strip out non-required files.


Remove freezegun workarounds. Fix broken build.


Fixes for mutable defaults: we serialize and then deserialize in this case, so you can still use default={}.


Remove support for storing data using Postgres’ 9.2’s JSON data type, as you cannot currently query against this!

Remove support for django < 1.3.


Add LICENSE file. Added TypedJSONField.


Allow {{ variable|jsonify }} to work with querysets.


Prevent circular import problem with django 1.3.1 and gargoyle.


Better handle null=True and blank=True: it should make sense what they do now.


Allow for ‘{}’ and ‘[]’, and make them not appear to be None.


Ensure the version number file is installed with the package.


Store the version number in one place only, now.


Oops. Packaging error prevented install from pypi. Added README.rst to manifest.


Converting to string does nothing, as serializing a model instance with a JSONField would have a string version of that field, instead of it embedded inline. (Back to pre 0.8 behaviour).

Added better querying support: (field__contains={'key':'value','key2':'value2'} works.)

Removed JSONTableWidget from package.


(Many thanks to IanLewis for these features)

Supports django 1.2

Supports callable and json serializable objects as default

Implemented get_db_prep_value()

Add tests and test runner.

Removed JSONTableWidget from README.


Don’t fail when trying to install before django is installed.


First tagged release.

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