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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 as if they were in a traditional database.

Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4 or pypy; Django 1.4.2 - 1.7. Note that Django 1.4.x is not compatible with Python 3.

Quick Start

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

  2. Add the salesforce app to your INSTALLED_APPS setting:

  3. Add a salesforce connection to your DATABASES setting:

    'salesforce': {
        'ENGINE': 'salesforce.backend',
        "CONSUMER_KEY" : '',
        "CONSUMER_SECRET" : '',
        'USER': '',
        'PASSWORD': '',
        'HOST': '',
  4. (optional) To override the default timeout of 15 seconds, define SALESFORCE_QUERY_TIMEOUT in your settings file:

  5. (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'
  6. Add salesforce.router.ModelRouter to your DATABASE_ROUTERS setting:

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

  8. If you want to use the model in the Django admin interface, use a ModelAdmin that extends salesforce.admin.RoutedModelAdmin

  9. You’re all done! Just use your model like a normal Django model.

Foreign Key Support

Foreign key filters are currently possible only for the first level of relationship and only for fields whose name equals the name of object. Foreign keys of an object can be normally accessed by dot notation without any restriction Example:

contacts = Contact.objects.filter(Account__Name='FOO Company')

But the relationship Owner__Name is not currently possible because the type of Owner is a different name (User).

Along similar lines, it’s not currently possible to filter by ForeignKey relationships based on a custom field. This is because related objects (Lookup field or Master-Detail Relationship) use two different names in SOQL. If the relation is by ID the columns are named FieldName__c, whereas if the relation is stored by object the column is named FieldName__r. More details about this can be found in the discussion about #43.

In case of a ForeignKey you can specify the field name suffixed with _id, as it is automatically allowed by Django. For example: account_id instead of, or AccountId instead of Account.Id. It is faster, if you need not to access to the related Account object.

Querysets can be easily inspected whether they are correctly compiled to SOQL. You can compare the meaning with the same compiled to SQL:

my_qs = Contact.objects.filter(my__little_more__complicated='queryset')
print my_qs.query.get_compiler('salesforce').as_sql()    # SOQL
print my_qs.query.get_compiler('default').as_sql()       # SQL

Generic foreign keys are frequently used in SF for fields that relate to objects of different types, e.g. the Parent of Note or Attachment can be almost any type of ususal SF objects. Filters by Parent.Type and retrieving this type is now supported:

note = Note.objects.filter(parent_type='Contact')[0]
parent_model = getattr(example.models, note.parent_type)
parent_object = parent_model.objects.get(pk=note.parent_id)
assert note.parent_type == 'Contact'

Example of Note model is in salesforce.testrunner.example.models.Note.

Advanced usage

  • 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. The only outbound connections will then be to the authentication servers.

  • 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.backend.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 syncdb. 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.

  • Meta class options - If an inner Meta class is used, it must be a descendant of SalesforceModel.Meta or must have managed=False.

  • Database Introspection with inspectdb Tables that are exported into a Python model can be restricted by regular expression:

    python inspectdb --table-filter="Contact$|Account" --database=salesforce

    In this example, inspectdb will only export models for tables with exact name Contact and all tables that are prefixed with Account. This filter works with all supported database types.


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.
  • Inheritence — 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 Updates — Multiple update support is not yet implemented.
  • Multiple Deletes — Multiple delete support is not yet implemented.
  • Database Syncsyncdb will only create new databases in non-SF databases (useful for unit tests); SFDC classes are assumed to already exist with the appropriate permissions.

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