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Turn your API made with Django REST Framework(DRF) into a GraphQL like API.

Project description

django-restql

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django-restql is a python library which allows you to turn your API made with Django REST Framework(DRF) into a GraphQL like API. With django-restql you will be able to

  • Send a query to your API and get exactly what you need, nothing more and nothing less.

  • Control the data you get, not the server.

  • Get predictable results, since you control what you get from the server.

  • Save the load of fetching unused data from the server(Over-fetching and Under-fetching problem).

  • Write(create & update) nested data of any level with flexibility.

Isn't it cool?.

Requirements

  • Python >= 3.5
  • Django >= 1.10
  • Django REST Framework >= 3.5

Installing

pip install django-restql

Querying Data

Using django-restql to query data is very simple, you just have to inherit the DynamicFieldsMixin class when defining a serializer.

from rest_framework import serializers
from django.contrib.auth.models import User

from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin

class UserSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializer.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = User
        fields = ['id', 'username', 'email', 'groups']

A regular request returns all fields as specified on DRF serializer, in fact django-restql doesn't handle this request at all. Below is an example of a request without a query parameter, as you see all fields are retured as specified on UserSerializer.

GET /users

    [
      {
        "id": 1,
        "username": "yezyilomo",
        "email": "yezileliilomo@hotmail.com",
        "groups": [1,2]
      },
      ...
    ]

django-restql handle all GET requests with query parameter, this parameter is the one used to pass all fields to be included in a response. For example to select id and username fields from User model, send a request with a query parameter as shown below.

GET /users/?query={id, username}

    [
      {
        "id": 1,
        "username": "yezyilomo"
      },
      ...
    ]

django-restql support querying both flat and nested resources, so you can expand or query nested fields at any level as long as your field is defined as nested field on a serializer. For example you can query a country and region field from location.

GET /users/?query={id, username, location{country, region}}

    [
      {
        "id": 1,
        "username": "yezyilomo",
        "location": {
            "contry": "Tanzania",
            "region": "Dar es salaam"
        }
      },
      ...
    ]

django-restql got your back on querying iterable nested fields(one2many or many2many) too. For example if you want to expand groups field into id and name, here is how you would do it.

GET /users/?query={id, username, groups{id, name}}

    [
      {
        "id": 1,
        "username": "yezyilomo",
        "groups": [
            {
                "id": 2,
                "name": "Auth_User"
            }
            {
                "id": 3,
                "name": "Admin_User"
            }
        ]
      },
      ...
    ]

If a query contains nested field without expanding and it's not defined as a nested field on a serializer, django-restql will return its id or array of ids for the case of nested iterable field(one2many or many2many). For example on a request below location is a flat nested field(many2one) and groups is an iterable nested field(one2many or many2many).

GET /users/?query={id, username, location, group}

    [
      {
        "id": 1,
        "username": "yezyilomo",
        "location": 6,
        "groups": [1,2]
      },
      ...
    ]

Using exclude(-) and wildcard(*) operators

When using django-restql filtering as-is is great if there are no many fields on a serializer, but sometimes you might have a case where you would like everything except a handful of fields on a larger serializer. These fields might be nested and trying the whitelist approach is difficult or possibly too long for the url. django-restql comes with the exclude operator(-) which can be used to exclude some fields in scenarios where you want to get all fields except few. Using exclude syntax is very simple,you just need to prepend the field to exclude with the exclude operator(-) when writing your query that's all. Take an example below

from rest_framework import serializers 
from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin

from app.models import Location, Property


class LocationSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializer.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Location
        fields = ("id", "city", "country", "state", "street")


class PropertySerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializer.ModelSerializer):
    location = LocationSerializer(many=False, read_only=True) 
    class Meta:
        model = Property
        fields = (
            'id', 'price', 'location'
        )

Get all location fields except id and street

GET /location/?query={-id, -street}

    [
      {
        "country": "China",
        "city": "Beijing",
        "state": "Chaoyang"
      },
      ...
    ]

This is equivalent to query={country, city, state}

You can use exclude operator on nested fields too, for example if you want to get price and location fields but under location you want all fields except id here is how you can do it.

GET /property/?query={price, location{-id}}

    [
      {
        "price": 5000
        "location": {
            "country": "China",
            "city" "Beijing",
            "state": "Chaoyang",
            "street": "Hanang"
        }
      },
      ...
    ]

This is equivalent to query={price, location{country, city, state, street}}

More examples to get you comfortable with the exclude operator(-) syntax.

# Assuming this is the structure of the model we are querying
data = {
    username,
    birthdate,
    location {
        country,
        region
    },
    contact {
        phone,
        email
    }
}


# Here is how we can structure our query to exclude some fields using exclude operator(-)

{-username}      {birthdate, location{country, region}, contact{phone, email}}

{-username, contact{phone}, location{country}}       {birthdate ,contact{phone}, location{country}}

{-contact, location{country}}       {username, birthdate, location{country}}

{-contact, -location}       {username, birthdate}

{username, location{-country}}       {username, location{region}}

{username, location{-region}, contact{-email}}       {username, location{country}, contact{phone}}

In addition to exclude operator(-), django-restql comes with a wildcard(*) operator for including all fields. Just like exclude operator(-) using a wildcard operator(*) is very simple, for example if you want to get all fields from a model you just need to do query={*}. This operator can be used to simplify some filtering which might endup being very long if done with other approaches. For example if you have a model with this format

user = {
    username,
    birthdate,
    contact {
        phone,
        email,
        twitter,
        github,
        linkedin,
        facebook
    }
}

Let's say you want to get all user fields but under contact field you want to get only phone, you could use the whitelisting approach as query={username, birthdate, contact{phone}} but if you have many fields on user model you might endup writing a very long query, so with * operator you can simply do query={*, contace{phone}} which means get me all fields on user model but under contact field I want only phone field, as you see the query is very short compared to the first one and it won't grow if more fields are added to the user model.

More examples to get you comfortable with a wildcard operator(*) syntax.

{*, -username, contact{phone}}      {birthdate, contact{phone}}

{username, contact{*, -facebook, -linkedin}}      {username, contact{phone, email, twitter, github}}

{*, -username, contact{*, -facebook, -linkedin}}      {birthdate, contact{phone, email, twitter, github}}
# These may happen accidentally as it's very easy/tempting to make 
# these kind of mistakes with the exclude operator(-) and wildcard operator(*) syntax, 
{username, -location{country}}  # Syntax error(Should not expand excluded field)
{-username, birthdate}   # Syntax error(Should not whitelist and blacklist fields at the same field level)
{*username}  # Syntax error (What are you even trying to accomplish)
{*location{country}}  # Syntax error (This is def wrong)

Note: Any field level should either be whitelisting or blacklisting fields but not both.

Using DynamicSerializerMethodField

DynamicSerializerMethodField is a wraper of the SerializerMethodField, it adds a query argument from a parent serializer to a method bound to a SerializerMethodField, this query argument can be passed to a serializer used within a method to allow further querying. For example in the scenario below we are using DynamicSerializerMethodField because we want to be able to query tomes field.

from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin
from django_restql.fields import DynamicSerializerMethodField


class CourseSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializers.ModelSerializer):
    # Use `DynamicSerializerMethodField` instead of `SerializerMethodField`
    # if you want to be able to query `tomes`
    tomes = DynamicSerializerMethodField()
    class Meta:
        model = Course
        fields = ['name', 'code', 'tomes']

    def get_tomes(self, obj, query):
        # With `DynamicSerializerMethodField` you get this extra
        # `query` argument in addition to `obj`
        books = obj.books.all()

        # You can do what ever you want in here

        # `query` param and context are passed to BookSerializer to allow querying it
        serializer = BookSerializer(books, query=query, many=True, context=self.context)
        return serializer.data

GET /course/?query={name, tomes}

    [
        {
            "name": "Data Structures",
            "tomes": [
                {"title": "Advanced Data Structures", "author": "S.Mobit"},
                {"title": "Basic Data Structures", "author": "S.Mobit"}
            ]
        }
    ]

GET /course/?query={name, tomes{title}}

    [
        {
            "name": "Data Structures",
            "tomes": [
                {"title": "Advanced Data Structures"},
                {"title": "Basic Data Structures"}
            ]
        }
    ]

Using fields=[..] and exclude=[..] kwargs

With django-restql you can specify fields to be included when instantiating a serializer, this provides a way to refilter fields on nested fields(i.e you can opt to remove some fields on a nested field). Below is an example which shows how you can specify fields to be included on nested resources.

from rest_framework import serializers
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin

from app.models import Book, Course


class BookSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Book
        fields = ['id', 'title', 'author']


class CourseSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializers.ModelSerializer):
    books = BookSerializer(many=True, read_only=True, fields=["title"])
    class Meta:
        model = Course
        fields = ['name', 'code', 'books']

GET /courses/

    [
      {
        "name": "Computer Programming",
        "code": "CS50",
        "books": [
          {"title": "Computer Programming Basics"},
          {"title": "Data structures"}
        ]
      },
      ...
    ]

As you see from the response above, the nested resource(book) has only one field(title) as specified on fields=["title"] kwarg during instantiating BookSerializer, so if you send a request like GET /course?query={name, code, books{title, author}} you will get an error that author field is not found because it was not included on fields=["title"] kwarg.

You can also specify fields to be excluded when instantiating a serializer by using exclude=[] as shown below

from rest_framework import serializers
from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin

from app.models import Book, Course


class BookSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Book
        fields = ['id', 'title', 'author']


class CourseSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializers.ModelSerializer):
    books = BookSerializer(many=True, read_only=True, exclude=["author"])
    class Meta:
        model = Course
        fields = ['name', 'code', 'books']

GET /courses/

    [
      {
        "name": "Computer Programming",
        "code": "CS50",
        "books": [
          {"id": 1, "title": "Computer Programming Basics"},
          {"id": 2, "title": "Data structures"}
        ]
      },
      ...
    ]

From the response above you can see that author field has been excluded fom book nested resource as specified on exclude=["author"] kwarg during instantiating BookSerializer.

Note: fields=[..] and exclude=[] kwargs have no effect when you access the resources directly, so when you access books you will still get all fields i.e

GET /books/

    [
      {
        "id": 1,
        "title": "Computer Programming Basics",
        "author": "S.Mobit"
      },
      ...
    ]

So you can see that all fields have appeared as specified on fields = ['id', 'title', 'author'] on BookSerializer class.

Using return_pk=True kwargs

With django-restql you can specify whether to return nested resource pk or data. Below is an example which shows how we can specify fields to be included on nested resources.

from rest_framework import serializers
from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin

from app.models import Book, Course


class BookSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Book
        fields = ['id', 'title', 'author']


class CourseSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializers.ModelSerializer):
    books = BookSerializer(many=True, read_only=True, return_pk=True)
    class Meta:
        model = Course
        fields = ['name', 'code', 'books']

GET /course/

    [
      {
        "name": "Computer Programming",
        "code": "CS50",
        "books": [1,2]
      },
      ...
    ]

So you can see that on a nested field books book pks have been returned instead of books data as specified on return_pk=True kwarg on BookSerializer.

Mutating Data(Creating and Updating Data)

django-restql got your back on creating and updating nested data too, it has two components for mutating nested data, NestedModelSerializer and NestedField. A serializer NestedModelSerializer has update and create logics for nested fields on the other hand NestedField is used to validate data before dispatching update or create.

Using NestedField & NestedModelSerializer to mutate data

Just like in querying data, mutating nested data with django-restql is very simple, you just have to inherit NestedModelSerializer on a serializer with nested fields and use NestedField to define those nested fields. Below is an example which shows how to use NestedModelSerializer and NestedField.

from rest_framework import serializers
from django_restql.serializers import NestedModelSerializer
from django_restql.fields import NestedField

from app.models import Location, Amenity, Property


class LocationSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Location
        fields = ("id", "city", "country")


class AmenitySerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Amenity
        fields = ("id", "name")


# Inherit NestedModelSerializer to support create and update 
# on nested fields
class PropertySerializer(NestedModelSerializer):
    location = NestedField(LocationSerializer)  # Define location as nested field
    amenities = NestedField(AmenitySerializer, many=True)  # Define amenities as nested field
    class Meta:
        model = Property
        fields = (
            'id', 'price', 'location', 'amenities'
        )

POST /api/property/

Request Body

{
    "price": 60000,
    "location": {
        "city": "Newyork",
        "country": "USA"
    },
    "amenities": {
        "add": [3],
        "create": [
            {"name": "Watererr"},
            {"name": "Electricity"}
        ]
    }
}

What's done here is pretty clear, location will be created and associated with the property created, also create operation on amenities will create amenities with values specified in a list and associate with the property, add operation will add amenity with id 4 to a list of amenities of the property.

Note: POST for many related field supports two operations which are create and add.


Response

{
    "id": 2,
    "price": 60000,
    "location": {
        "id": 3,
        "city": "Newyork",
        "country": "USA"
    },
    "amenities": [
        {"id": 1, "name": "Watererr"},
        {"id": 2, "name": "Electricity"},
        {"id": 3, "name": "Swimming Pool"}
    ]
}

PUT /api/property/2/

Request Body

{
    "price": 50000,
    "location": {
        "city": "Newyork",
        "country": "USA"
    },
    "amenities": {
        "add": [4],
        "create": [{"name": "Fance"}],
        "remove": [3],
        "update": {1: {"name": "Water"}}
    }
}

Note: Here add, create, remove and update are operations, so add operation add amenitiy with id 4 to a list of amenities of the property, create operation create amenities with values specified in a list, remove operation dessociate amenities with id 3 from a property, update operation edit amenity with id 1 according to values specified.

Note: PUT/PATCH for many related field supports four operations which are create, add, remove and update.


Response

{
    "id": 2,
    "price": 50000,
    "location": {
        "id": 3,
        "city": "Newyork",
        "country": "USA"
    },
    "amenities": [
        {"id": 1, "name": "Water"},
        {"id": 2, "name": "Electricity"},
        {"id": 4, "name": "Bathtub"},
        {"id": 5, "name": "Fance"}
    ]
}

Using NestedField with accept_pk=True kwarg.

accept_pk=True is used if you want to update nested field by using pk/id of existing data(basically associate and dessociate existing nested resources with the parent resource without actually mutating the nested resource). This applies to ForeignKey relation only.

from rest_framework import serializers 
from django_restql.fields import NestedField
from django_restql.serializers import NestedModelSerializer

from app.models import Location, Property


class LocationSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Location
        fields = ("id", "city", "country")


class PropertySerializer(NestedModelSerializer):
    location = NestedField(LocationSerializer, accept_pk=True)  # pk based nested field
    class Meta:
        model = Property
        fields = (
            'id', 'price', 'location'
        )

POST /api/property/

Request Body

{
    "price": 40000,
    "location": 2
}

Note: Here location resource with id 2 is already existing, so what's done here is create new property resource and associate it with a location with id 2.

Response

{
    "id": 1,
    "price": 40000,
    "location": {
        "id": 2,
        "city": "Tokyo",
        "country": "China"
    }
}

Using NestedField with create_ops=[..] and update_ops=[..] kwargs.

You can restrict some operations by using create_ops and update_ops keyword arguments as follows

from rest_framework import serializers 
from django_restql.fields import NestedField
from django_restql.serializers import NestedModelSerializer 

from app.models import Location, Amenity, Property


class AmenitySerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Amenity
        fields = ("id", "name")


class PropertySerializer(NestedModelSerializer):
    amenities = NestedField(
        AmenitySerializer, 
        many=True,
        create_ops=["add"],  # Allow only add operation
        update_ops=["add", "remove"]  # Allow only add and remove operations
    )
    class Meta:
        model = Property
        fields = (
            'id', 'price', 'amenities'
        )

POST /api/property/

Request Body

{
    "price": 60000,
    "amenities": {
        "add": [1, 2]
    }
}

Note: According to create_ops=["add"], you can't use create operation in here!.

Response

{
    "id": 2,
    "price": 60000,
    "amenities": [
        {"id": 1, "name": "Watererr"},
        {"id": 2, "name": "Electricity"}
    ]
}

PUT /api/property/2/

Request Body

{
    "price": 50000,
    "amenities": {
        "add": [3],
        "remove": [2]
    }
}

Note: According to update_ops=["add", "remove"], you can't use create or update operation in here!.

Response

{
    "id": 2,
    "price": 50000,
    "amenities": [
        {"id": 1, "name": "Water"},
        {"id": 3, "name": "Bathtub"}
    ]
}

Using DynamicFieldsMixin and NestedField together

You can use DynamicFieldsMixin and NestedModelSerializer together if you want your serializer to be writable(on nested fields) and support querying data, this is very common. Below is an example which shows how you can use DynamicFieldsMixin and NestedField together.

from rest_framework import serializers 
from django_restql.fields import NestedField
from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin
from django_restql.serializers import NestedModelSerializer 

from app.models import Location, Property


class LocationSerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Location
        fields = ("id", "city", "country")

# Inherit both DynamicFieldsMixin and NestedModelSerializer
class PropertySerializer(DynamicFieldsMixin, NestedModelSerializer):
    location = NestedField(LocationSerializer)
    class Meta:
        model = Property
        fields = (
            'id', 'price', 'location'
        )

NestedField is nothing but a serializer wrapper, it returns an instance of a modified version of a serializer passed, so you can pass all the args and kwargs accepted by a serializer on it, it will simply pass them to a serializer passed when instantiating an instance. So you can pass anything accepted by a serializer to a NestedField wrapper, and if a serializer passed inherits DynamicFieldsMini just like LocationSerializer on above example then you can pass any arg or kwarg accepted by DynamicFieldsMixin when defining location as a nested field, i.e

location = NestedField(LocationSerializer, fields=[..])
location = NestedField(LocationSerializer, exclude=[..])
location = NestedField(LocationSerializer, return_pk=True)

Customizing django-restql

django-restql is very configurable, here is what you can customize on it.

  • Change the name of query parameter when querying data.

    If you don't want to use the name query as your parameter, you can inherit DynamicFieldsMixin and change it as shown below

    from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin
    
    class MyDynamicFieldMixin(DynamicFieldsMixin):
        query_param_name = "your_favourite_name"
    

    Now you can use this Mixin on your serializer and use the name your_favourite_name as your parameter. E.g

    GET /users/?your_favourite_name={id, username}

  • Customize how fields to include in a response are filtered. You can do this by inheriting DynamicFieldsMixin and override field methods as shown below.

    from django_restql.mixins import DynamicFieldsMixin
    
    class CustomDynamicFieldMixin(DynamicFieldsMixin):
        @property
        def fields(self):
            # Your customization here
            return fields
    

    Note: To be able to do this you must understand how django-restql is implemented, specifically DynamicFieldsMixin class, you can check it here. In fact this is how django-restql is implemented(just by overriding field method of a serializer, nothing more and nothing less).

Running Tests

python setup.py test

Credits

  • Implementation of this library is based on the idea behind GraphQL.
  • My intention is to extend the capability of drf-dynamic-fields library to support more functionalities like allowing to query nested fields both flat and iterable at any level and allow writing on nested fields while maintaining simplicity.

Contributing PRs Welcome

We welcome all contributions. Please read our CONTRIBUTING.md first. You can submit any ideas as pull requests or as GitHub issues. If you'd like to improve code, check out the Code Style Guide and have a good time!.

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