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JSON API reference implementation for Django Rest Framework

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JSON API reference implementation for Django Rest Framework

This is an extremely thorough implementation of the JSON API 1.0 specification for the Django Rest Framework. It has strict error handling of non-compliant clients & follows all of the MUST’s of the spec (or will soon where missing).

Known incomplete JSON API spec features/guidelines are:

  • Error object pointers

  • “Relationship Links”

Error object pointers isn’t very great currently. It handles field-level, resource-level, & relationship “pointer” construction just fine but I don’t think it will handle any sort of complex nested field errors. The pointer may not be accurate. I’ll have to test & figure out a way to do that properly with DRF & it’s native ValidationError field names.

This matters when you look at RFC 6901. We may need something more robust here as an additional DRF plugin that drfjsonapi requires.

Relationship links are the “self” member of the links object for relationships. Currently, ember doesn’t support relationship modificiation for that endpoint so I have no incentive yet to write it. Having said that, some abstractions have already been written in this library to make the transition easy in the future.

Aside from those known limitations this library is REALLY complete. A TON of focus & attention was spent on meaningful errors & good exception handling. Much more to come on that front as I’m aware needs to be more thorough but those enhancements will come without needing to worry about the JSON API spec.

A breakdown of notable features currently implemented that you’d want in any JSON API server implementation are:

  • filter query params (spanning relationships)

  • include query params (spanning relationships)

  • page query params

  • sort query params

  • related resource links

  • ridiculously easy to follow code

  • comprehensive error handling (parsers, serializers, views, etc)

  • error coalescing

  • hooks for almost every part of the JSON API processing pipeline

  • good quality code comments


  • Python (2.7, 3.3, 3.4)

  • Django (1.6, 1.7, 1.8)

  • Django REST Framework (2.4, 3.0, 3.1)


Install using pip

$ pip install drfjsonapi


TODO: Write example.


Install testing requirements.

$ pip install -r requirements.txt

Run with runtests.

$ ./

You can also use the excellent tox testing tool to run the tests against all supported versions of Python and Django. Install tox globally, and then simply run:

$ tox


To build the documentation, you’ll need to install mkdocs.

$ pip install mkdocs

To preview the documentation:

$ mkdocs serve
Running at:

To build the documentation:

$ mkdocs build

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