Django vs Fast API: A Detailed Comparison



Introduction

If you are a backend developer, you must have encountered many frameworks for Python like Django, Flask, and FastAPI. Each framework is in demand and widely used for web development or API development. But for beginner-level programmers, it may be a challenging task to decide which framework to pick for their use case. So, in this article, we will help you decide which framework is better and when it should be used. For better understanding, we will look in detail at both frameworks and compare them on various parameters. Let’s get started by understanding both of them individually so that a beginner-level developer can also understand.


What is Django?

Django is a web framework built entirely on Python. It is a free and open-source framework. A web framework is a server-side application framework designed to help in the development of dynamic websites. These frameworks make the lives of developers much easier because they do not have to worry about the hassles involved in web development and its components. Since Django is built on Python, it follows the DRY principle (Don’t Repeat Yourself). This helps in keeping the code simple and non-repeating.

There are already big firms that use the Django framework. For example, Instagram, Pinterest, Mozilla, Disqus, and many more.


Features of Django

Django is a great open-source framework for helping developers with the rapid development of web application projects. But apart from this, there are some more pros/features of Django that you simply cannot ignore.

  • It provides a good sense of security by avoiding common threats like cross-site scripting, SQL injection, etc.

  • It provides a user authentication system that helps in managing accounts and passwords.

  • Django projects can quickly switch from small-scale projects to large-scale ones.

  • Django is also believed to be a versatile framework, giving developers the flexibility to build various types of applications.

  • Django is very popular amongst the web frameworks because of its vast community support that helps a developer while working.

You can refer to Django documentation here: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/4.0/


Django architecture

Django follows the Model View Template (MVT) architecture, which is based on the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. Now, what’s this MVT, MVC? Don’t worry, let’s dive into this to understand it better.

  • Model: It’s the backend where the database is defined. It helps handle the database by creating CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) objects in the original database. It is used for storing and maintaining your data.

  • View: View is used to fetch data from the model. It executes business logic and carries data from the model to a template to render it properly. It also accepts HTTP requests and provides HTTP responses to client requests.

  • Template: It handles the user interface part and is hence called the presentation layer. Templates are files with HTML data used to display data. Content in these template files can be either static or dynamic.

The architecture diagram below explains this:


Django MVT Architecture Diagram

If you are a backend developer, you must have encountered many frameworks for Python like Django, Flask, and Fast API. Each framework is in demand and widely used for web development or API development. But for beginner-level programmers, it may be a challenging task to decide which framework to pick for their use case. So, in this article, we will help you decide which framework is better and when it should be used. For better understanding, we will look in detail at both frameworks and compare them on various parameters. Let’s get started by understanding both of them individually so that a beginner-level developer can also understand.

If you want to create an app and run it, these are the steps you can follow:

1. Install Django

pip install django

2. Check version

python -m django — version

3. To check which django commands are available

django-admin

4. Create a Project

django-admin startproject hello_world_app

5. Now, move to Project Directory

cd hello_world_app

6. Run the server with the default Django homepage.

python manage.py runserver

7. Now you can create your web apps in the current directory(hello_world_app). To create an app use this command:

python manage.py startapp APP_NAME

This was a quick introduction to Django, now let’s move forward to FastAPI.


What is FastAPI?

FastAPI is also one of the most popular Python frameworks for creating REST services. It is very easy to use, much simpler than Django, and easy to deploy. FastAPI compensates for too many disadvantages that Django has. FastAPI is a modern and high-performance web framework for web development, and it is only compatible with Python 3.6+ versions. FastAPI is very fast, and thatmust be clear enough from its name. To start development with FastAPI, first install FastAPI and uvicorn. You can install both of these using pip.

Now, what is this uvicorn? It is an Asynchronous Server Gateway Interface (ASGI) server used for production. FastAPI gives a developer the advantage of handling requests asynchronously.

Refer to FastAPI documentation here: https://fastapi.tiangolo.com/


Features of FastAPI

FastAPI is perhaps one of the fastest frameworks in Python for API development and web development. Moreover, it has additional benefits, including :

  • FastAPI’s documentation is interactive, simple, intuitive, and offers great editor support.

  • It is fast to code and therefore increases the speed of developing features by around 200–300%.

  • FastAPI provides a commanding coding style, reducing about 40% of the induced bugs.

  • It is also considered compatible with open standards for APIs and JSON schema.

Installation

pip install fastapi

pip install uvicorn

FastAPI’s great thing is that in just 5 lines of code you can get started with the very first endpoint for your website.

Example:

from fastapi import FastAPI

app = FastAPI()@app.get("/")

def read_root():

   return {"message": "Hello Aliens!!"}

Save this code as app.py and run this command: uvicorn app:app — reload

Output


Similarly, with FastAPI you can Create, Read, Update, and Delete data in our database using these 4 predefined methods:

· @app.get()

· @app.post()

· @app.put()

· @app.delete()

Now, let’s start the battle between these two super amazing frameworks…


Differences between Django and FastAPI

As we know, Django is a mega framework for building web applications, whereas FastAPI is a minimalistic framework based on Starlette and Pydantic for building fast web applications using async IO.

Django is a pretty old language that came into existence in the year 2005, whereas FastAPI is a much newer language that came into existence in the year 2018 and only supports Python 3.6+ versions. Because of this, Django has a bigger support community as compared to FastAPI. So, you can get help quite easily whenever you are stuck in Django, but you may struggle a little in FastAPI.

  • Performance: FastAPI, being a minimalistic framework, is lightweight as compared to Django and hence offers very high performance, whereas Django is not as fast as compared to FastAPI, which is a micro framework.

  • Learning curve: FastAPI is very easy to learn and is helpful for those who are new to web development. Whereas Django can be a little tough for newbies but it has many courses, tutorials, and much more online, so it makes life easier for beginners in the web development field.

  • Flexibility: FastAPI doesn’t constrain a developer to a certain code layout, hence it gives a sense of freedom while coding. But Django doesn’t work like this framework. It expects the coding standard to be maintained and things to be done in a certain way.

  • Documentation: Django provides very good documentation support, but it is not interactive whereas FastAPI provides very interactive documentation. Let’s have a look at an example:

Code

from fastapi import FastAPI

app = FastAPI()@app.get("/")

def read_root():

    return {"message": "Hello Aliens!!"}@app.get("/items/{item_id}")

def read_item(item_id: int, q: str = None):

    return {"item_id": item_id, "q": q}

Run this code and go to http://127.0.0.1:8000/docs.

Output

Interactive API documentation is automatically generated and you get this as an output on your browser:



You can try out these APIs by clicking on any of the endpoints’ dropdowns. On clicking the second API in the list above, it gets expanded as shown below and you can now test the API with the parameters it takes.



You can pass your parameter in the fields and you get response on executing the API.

FastAPI offers one more type of interactive API documentation. To open that:

Just visit this URL: http://127.0.0.1:8000/redoc



Isn’t this great? This makes the life of a developer much easier because it provides such easy, interactive documentation and helps you test your APIs hassle-free.

NoSQL database support: FastAPI supports many NoSQL databases like ElasticSearch, MongoDB, etc. In Django, NoSQL databases are not officially supported, and hence it is recommended to not use them with Django.

Security: Django has got a very good security feature to avoid common attacks like CSRF, SQL injection, etc. FastAPI has also got several tools in its module (fastapi.security) for security reasons. But still, Django is considered way safer than FastAPI.

REST APIs support: FastAPI allows a developer to quickly build a REST API. We saw that in our example as well, in just 5 lines of code, one API was ready. Django, on the other hand, does not include REST API support. But it is supported by the Django REST framework.


Who won the battle?

Let’s end this battle here!

Django is a full-fledged web framework that provides enormous power under the hood. But it is a little complicated for a beginner web developer and may cause some trouble. Whereas FastAPI is a very simple, light, and easy-to-use micro-framework, giving you just what you need. So, Django is very robust, whereas FastAPI is easy to use. You can decide now which framework to choose depending upon your comfort and the use case you are working on. Of course, you can try exploring both frameworks; they are both awesome!

By: Gaurav Sharma

34 views0 comments