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a Salesforce backend for Django's ORM

Project description

This library allows you to load and edit the objects in any Salesforce instance using Django models. The integration is fairly complete, and generally seamless for most uses. It works by integrating with the Django ORM, allowing access to the objects in your SFDC instance (Salesforce .com) as if they were in a traditional database.

Python 2.7.9+, 3.4 to 3.8, Django 1.10, 1.11, 2.0 to 2.2 (and 3.0 beta 1).

Pre-2.7.9 Python versions don’t support the protocol TLS 1.1+ required by Salesforce. New PyPy versions compatible with TLS 1.1+ are supported also.

Quick Start

  1. Install django-salesforce: pip install django-salesforce

  2. Add a salesforce connection to your DATABASES setting:

    'salesforce': {
        'ENGINE': 'salesforce.backend',
        'CONSUMER_KEY': '',
        'CONSUMER_SECRET': '',
        'USER': '',
        'PASSWORD': '',
        'HOST': '',

    In the example above, all fields should be populated as follows:

    • CONSUMER_KEY and CONSUMER_SECRET values are for the app used to connect to your Salesforce account. Instructions for how get these are in the Salesforce REST API Documentation. Key and secret can be created on web by:
      • Salesforce web > Setup > App Setup > Create > Apps > Connected apps > New.
      • Click “Enable OAuth Settings” in API, then select “Access and manage your data (api)” from available OAuth Scopes.
      • Other red marked fields must be filled, but are not relevant for Django.
    • USER is the username used to connect.
    • PASSWORD is a concatenation of the user’s password and security token. Security token can be omitted if the local IP address has been whitelisted in Security Controls / Network Access.
    • HOST is to access a sandbox, or to access production.

    If an error message is received while connecting, review the error received. Everything in the error message between {...} is exactly copied from the Salesforce error message to assist debugging.

    See also: Information on settings up Salesforce connected apps.

    Note about permissions: Everything for a project can work under restricted Salesforce user account if it has access to objects in your models. Introspection (inspectdb) doesn’t require any permissions. Running tests for django_salesforce requires many permissions or Administrator account for sandbox.

    Note about permissions: Administrator rights are only required to run the full suite of unit tests; otherwise, as long as the account has rights to read or modify the chosen object, everything should work properly.

  3. Add salesforce.router.ModelRouter to your DATABASE_ROUTERS setting:


    (This is important for switching between ‘salesforce’ database for models derived from SalesforceModel and ‘default’ database for normal models with tables created by migrations, especially for ‘django.contrib’.)

  4. Add the salesforce app to your INSTALLED_APPS setting:


    (This is necessary for running Salesforce extensions in the command inspectdb --database=salesforce in development, otherwise it is not important.)

  5. Define a model that extends salesforce.models.Model (alias SalesforceModel) or export the complete SF schema by python inspectdb --database=salesforce and simplify it to what you need.

  6. (optional) To override the default timeout of 15 seconds, define SALESFORCE_QUERY_TIMEOUT in your settings file. It can be one number or better a tuple with a short value for connection timeout and a longer value that includes time for running a query, but never need be longer than 30 seconds:

    SALESFORCE_QUERY_TIMEOUT = (4, 15)  # default (connect timeout, data timeout)
  7. (optional) If you want to use another name for your Salesforce DB connection, define SALESFORCE_DB_ALIAS in your settings file:

    SALESFORCE_DB_ALIAS = 'salesforce'  # default
  8. You’re all done! Just use your model like a normal Django model.

  9. (optional) Create a normal Django module for your Salesforce model:

    from salesforce.testrunner.example.universal_admin import register_omitted_classes
    # some admin classes that you wrote manually yet
    # ...
    # end of file

    This is a rudimentary way to verify that every model works in sandbox, before hand-writing all admin classes. (Foreign keys to huge tables in the production require customized admins e.g. with search widgets.)

  10. (optional) By default, the Django ORM connects to all DBs at startup. To delay SFDC connections until they are actually required, define SF_LAZY_CONNECT=True in your settings file. Be careful when using this setting; since it won’t fail during the application boot, it’s possible for a bad password to be sent repeatedly, requiring an account reset to fix.

Primary Key

Salesforce doesn’t allow you to define custom primary keys, so django-salesforce will add them automatically in all cases. You can override capitalization and use primary key id by configuring SF_PK='id' in your project settings. The previous capitalization of Id is only for old projects, but it will stay as the default variant until django-salesforce>=0.5.

Advanced usage

  • Multiple Inheritance from Abstract Models - Many Salesforce models use the same sets of fields, but using a single inheritance tree would be too complicated and fragile. Proxy models and mixins are also supported.

  • Testing - By default, tests will be run against the SFDC connection specified in, which will substantially increase testing time.

    One way to speed this up is to change the SALESFORCE_DB_ALIAS to point to another DB connection (preferably SQLite) during testing using the TEST_* settings variables. Such simple tests can run without any network access. Django unit tests without SalesforceModel are fast everytimes. Special read only fields that are updated only by SFDC e.g. last_modified_date need more parameters to be possible to save them into an alternate database, e.g. by auto_now=True or to play with null=True or default=....

  • Multiple SFDC connections - In most cases, a single connection is all that most apps require, so the default DB connection to use for Salesforce is defined by the SALESFORCE_DB_ALIAS settings variable. This behavior can be also configured by DATABASE_ROUTERS, replacing the use of salesforce.router.ModelRouter.

  • Non SF databases - If SALESFORCE_DB_ALIAS is set to a conventional database, the tables defined by the SF models will be created by migrate. This behavior can be disabled by adding a Meta class with managed=False.

  • Custom Managers - When creating a custom manager for a model, the manager must be a descendant of salesforce.manager.SalesforceManager.

    In most cases, switching DB connections with .using(alias). will be sufficient, but if you need to call a method on your custom manager, you should instead use .db_manager(alias) to select a DB while returning the correct manager, e.g. Contact.objects.db_manager(alias).my_manager(params...)

  • Automatic Field Naming - Most of database columns names can be automatically deduced from Django field name, if no db_column is specified:

    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=80)     # db_column='LastName'
    FirstName = models.CharField(max_length=80)     # db_column='FirstName'
    custom_bool = models.BooleanField(custom=True)  # db_column='CustomBool__c'

    Fields named with an upper case character are never modified, except for the addition of the namespace prefix or the ‘__c’ suffix for custom fields.

  • Custom SF Objects and Fields - Custom SF class objects are indicated by adding a Meta class with parameter ‘custom=True’. All child fields are assumed to be custom as well, unless marked otherwise with a field parameter marked “custom=False”.

    Similarly, custom fields on standard objects can be indicated by “custom=True”, or they can be defined in an standard parent model (the custom Meta parameter is not inherited).

    Also namespace prefixes of managed packages (prefixed with “PackageName__” can be automatically applied to custom fields without db_column.

  • Query deleted objects - Deleted objects that are in trash bin are not selected by a normal queryset, but if a special method query_all is used then also deleted objects are searched. If a trash bin is supported by the model then a boolean field IsDeleted can be in the model and it is possible to select only deleted objects

    deleted_list = list(Lead.objects.filter(IsDeleted=True).query_all())
  • Migrations - Migrations can be used for an alternate test database with SalesforceModel. Then all tables must have Meta options db_table and fields must have option db_column, which can be got by inspectdb with --verbosity=2. Models exported by introspection inspectdb do not specify the option managed because the default value True is considered safe. (Migrations in SFDC are not supported. If anything would be implemented after all, only explicitly clearly selected fields and models could be migrated in explicitly labeled SFDC databases. Consequently, the setting managed = True is related only to an alternate non SFDC database configured by SALESFORCE_DB_ALIAS.)

  • Exceptions - Custom exceptions instead of standard Django database exceptions are raised by Django-Salesforce to get more useful information. General exceptions are SalesforceError or a more general custom DatabaseError. They can be imported from salesforce.dbapi.exceptions if database errors should be handled specifically in your app.

Foreign Key Support

Foreign key relationships should work as expected, but mapping Salesforce SOQL to a purely-relational mapper is a leaky abstraction. For the gory details, see Foreign Key Support on the Django-Salesforce wiki.

Introspection and special attributes of fields

Some Salesforce fields can not be fully used without special attributes, namely read-only and default value fields. Further details can be found in Introspection and Special Attributes of Fields


This package is in continuous development, and the ultimate goal is to support all reasonable features of the Salesforce platform, but for now here are the potential pitfalls and unimplemented operations:

  • Large Objects — Since the entire result set needs to be transferred over HTTP, and since it’s common to have extremely high column counts on full object queries, it’s assumed that users will create models that are specific to their individual applications’ needs. Models that have been included with this library are for example and documentation purposes.
  • Inheritance — When using the default router, all models for object types on Salesforce must extend salesforce.models.SalesforceModel. The model router checks for this to determine which models to handle through the Salesforce connection.
  • Multiple Deletes — Multiple delete support is not yet implemented.
  • Database Migrationsmigrate will only create new tables; in non-SF databases (useful for unit tests); SFDC classes are assumed to already exist with the appropriate permissions.

Backwards-incompatible changes

  • v0.8: The default Meta option if now managed = True, which is an unimportant change for Salesforce databases (see about Migrations above).

    Completely different implementation of raw queries and cursor that compatible with normal databases. (a more backward compatible option can be added if it will be required)

    Custom exception classes has been moved to salesforce.dbapi.exceptions.

  • v0.7.2: This is the last code that supports old Django 1.8.4+ and 1.9

  • v0.6.9: This is the last code that supports old Django 1.7 and 1.8.0 - 1.8.3

  • v0.6.1: This is the last code that supports old Django 1.4, 1.5, 1.6.

  • v0.5: The name of primary key is currently 'id'. The backward compatible behavior for code created before v0.5 can be reached by settings SF_PK='Id'.

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