Having “rolled our own” REST API in the last appendix, it’s time to take a look at Django-Rest-Framework, which is a go-to choice for many Python/Django developers building APIs. Just as Django aims to give you all the basic tools that you’ll need to build a database-driven website (an ORM, templates, and so on), so DRF aims to give you all the tools you need to build an API, and thus avoid you having to write boilerplate code over and over again.
Writing this appendix, one of the main things I struggled with was getting the exact same API that I’d just implemented manually to be replicated by DRF. Getting the same URL layout and the same JSON data structures I’d defined proved to be quite a challenge, and I felt like I was fighting the framework.
That’s always a warning sign. The people who built Django-Rest-Framework are a lot smarter than I am, and they’ve seen a lot more REST APIs than I have, and if they’re opinionated about the way that things “should” look, then maybe my time would be better spent seeing if I can adapt and work with their view of the world, rather than forcing my own preconceptions onto it.
“Don’t fight the framework” is one of the great pieces of advice I’ve heard. Either go with the flow, or perhaps reassess whether you want to be using a framework at all.
We’ll work from the API we had at the end of the last appendix, and see if we can rewrite it to use DRF.
pip install gets us DRF. I’m just using ...