Django + React tutorial: CRUD App with Axios & Rest Framework

In this tutorial, we will learn how to build a full stack Django + React example with a CRUD App. The back-end server uses Django with Rest Framework for REST APIs and interacts with MySQL/PostgreSQL/MongoDB database. Front-end side is made with React, Axios, React Router & Bootstrap.


Django React example Overview

We will build a full-stack Tutorial Application in that:

  • Each Tutorial has id, title, description, published status.
  • We can create, retrieve, update, delete Tutorials.
  • We can also find Tutorials by title.

The images below shows screenshots of our System.

– Create an item:

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-example-create

– Retrieve all items:

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-example-retrieve

– Click on Edit button to retrieve an item:

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-example-retrieve-one

On this Page, you can:

  • change status to Published using Publish button
  • remove the Tutorial from Database using Delete button
  • update the Tutorial details on Database with Update button

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-example-update

– Search items by title:

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-example-find-by-field

Architecture of Django React example

This is the application architecture we’re gonna build:

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-architecture

– Django exports REST Apis using Django Rest Framework & interacts with Database using Django Model.
– React Client sends HTTP Requests and retrieve HTTP Responses using axios, shows data on the components. We also use React Router for navigating to pages.

Django Rest Apis Back-end

Overview

These are APIs that Django App will export:

MethodsUrlsActions
POST/api/tutorialscreate new Tutorial
GET/api/tutorialsretrieve all Tutorials
GET/api/tutorials/:idretrieve a Tutorial by :id
PUT/api/tutorials/:idupdate a Tutorial by :id
DELETE/api/tutorials/:iddelete a Tutorial by :id
DELETE/api/tutorialsdelete all Tutorials
GET/api/tutorials?title=[keyword]find all Tutorials which title contains keyword

Technology

  • Django 2.1.15
  • Django Rest Framework 3.11.0
  • PyMySQL 0.9.3 (for MySQL)/ djongo 1.3.1 (for MongoDB)
  • django-cors-headers 3.2.1

Project Structure

This is our Django project structure:

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-example-project-structure

tutorials/apps.py: declares TutorialsConfig class (subclass of django.apps.AppConfig) that represents Rest CRUD Apis app and its configuration.
bzkRestApis/settings.py: contains settings for our Django project: Database engine, INSTALLED_APPS list with Django REST framework, Tutorials Application, CORS and MIDDLEWARE.
tutorials/models.py: defines Tutorial data model class (subclass of django.db.models.Model).
migrations/0001_initial.py: is created when we make migrations for the data model, and will be used for generating database table.
tutorials/serializers.py: manages serialization and deserialization with TutorialSerializer class (subclass of rest_framework.serializers.ModelSerializer).
tutorials/views.py: contains functions to process HTTP requests and produce HTTP responses (using TutorialSerializer).
tutorials/urls.py: defines URL patterns along with request functions in the Views.
bzkRestApis/urls.py: also has URL patterns that includes tutorials.urls, it is the root URL configurations.

Implementation

Install Django REST framework

Django REST framework helps us to build RESTful Web Services flexibly.

To install this package, run command:
pip install djangorestframework

Setup new Django project

Let’s create a new Django project with command:
django-admin startproject bzkRestApis

When the process is done, you can see folder tree like this:

django-angular-10-crud-rest-framework-example-create-project

Now we open settings.py and add Django REST framework to the INSTALLED_APPS array here.

INSTALLED_APPS = [
    ...
    # Django REST framework 
    'rest_framework',
]

Setup Database engine

Open settings.py and change declaration of DATABASES:

DATABASES = {
    'default': {
        'ENGINE': ...,
        'NAME': '...',
        'USER': 'root',
        'PASSWORD': '123456',
        'HOST': '127.0.0.1',
        'PORT': ...,
    }
}

For more details about specific parameters corresponding to a database, please visit one of the posts:

Setup new Django app for Rest CRUD Api

Run following commands to create new Django app tutorials:

cd bzkRestApis
python manage.py startapp tutorials

Refresh the project directory tree, you can see it now looks like:

django-angular-10-crud-rest-framework-example-create-app

Now open tutorials/apps.py, you can see TutorialsConfig class (subclass of django.apps.AppConfig).
This represents the Django app that we’ve just created with its configuration:

from django.apps import AppConfig


class TutorialsConfig(AppConfig):
    name = 'tutorials'

Don’t forget to add this app to INSTALLED_APPS array in settings.py:

INSTALLED_APPS = [
    ...
    # Tutorials application 
    'tutorials.apps.TutorialsConfig',
]

Configure CORS

We need to allow requests to our Django application from other origins.
In this example, we’re gonna configure CORS to accept requests from localhost:8081.

First, install the django-cors-headers library:
pip install django-cors-headers

In settings.py, add configuration for CORS:

INSTALLED_APPS = [
    ...
    # CORS
    'corsheaders',
]

You also need to add a middleware class to listen in on responses:

MIDDLEWARE = [
    ...
    # CORS
    'corsheaders.middleware.CorsMiddleware',
    'django.middleware.common.CommonMiddleware',
]

Note: CorsMiddleware should be placed as high as possible, especially before any middleware that can generate responses such as CommonMiddleware.

Next, set CORS_ORIGIN_ALLOW_ALL and add the host to CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST:

CORS_ORIGIN_ALLOW_ALL = False
CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST = (
    'http://localhost:8081',
)
  • CORS_ORIGIN_ALLOW_ALL: If True, all origins will be accepted (not use the whitelist below). Defaults to False.
  • CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST: List of origins that are authorized to make cross-site HTTP requests. Defaults to [].

Define the Django Model

Open tutorials/models.py, add Tutorial class as subclass of django.db.models.Model.
There are 3 fields: title, description, published.

from django.db import models


class Tutorial(models.Model):
    title = models.CharField(max_length=70, blank=False, default='')
    description = models.CharField(max_length=200,blank=False, default='')
    published = models.BooleanField(default=False)

Each field is specified as a class attribute, and each attribute maps to a database column.
id field is added automatically.

Migrate Data Model to the database

Run the Python script: python manage.py makemigrations tutorials.

The console will show:

Migrations for 'tutorials':
  tutorials\migrations\0001_initial.py
    - Create model Tutorial

Refresh the workspace, you can see new file tutorials/migrations/0001_initial.py.
It includes code to create Tutorial data model:

# Generated by Django 2.1.15

from django.db import migrations, models


class Migration(migrations.Migration):

    initial = True

    dependencies = [
    ]

    operations = [
        migrations.CreateModel(
            name='Tutorial',
            fields=[
                ('id', models.AutoField(auto_created=True, primary_key=True, serialize=False, verbose_name='ID')),
                ('title', models.CharField(default='', max_length=70)),
                ('description', models.CharField(default='', max_length=200)),
                ('published', models.BooleanField(default=False)),
            ],
        ),
    ]

The generated code defines Migration class (subclass of the django.db.migrations.Migration).
It has operations array that contains operation for creating Customer model table: migrations.CreateModel().

The call to this will create a new model in the project history and a corresponding table in the database to match it.

To apply the generated migration above, run the following Python script:
python manage.py migrate tutorials

The console will show:

Operations to perform:
  Apply all migrations: tutorials
Running migrations:
  Applying tutorials.0001_initial... OK

At this time, you can see that a table/collection for Tutorial model was generated automatically with the name: tutorials_tutorial in the database.

Create Serializer class for Data Model

Let’s create TutorialSerializer class that will manage serialization and deserialization from JSON.

It inherit from rest_framework.serializers.ModelSerializer superclass which automatically populates a set of fields and default validators. We need to specify the model class here.

tutorials/serializers.py

from rest_framework import serializers 
from tutorials.models import Tutorial
 
 
class TutorialSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
 
    class Meta:
        model = Tutorial
        fields = ('id',
                  'title',
                  'description',
                  'published')

In the inner class Meta, we declare 2 attributes:

  • model: the model for Serializer
  • fields: a tuple of field names to be included in the serialization

Define Routes to Views functions

When a client sends request for an endpoint using HTTP request (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE), we need to determine how the server will response by defining the routes.

These are our routes:

  • /api/tutorials: GET, POST, DELETE
  • /api/tutorials/:id: GET, PUT, DELETE
  • /api/tutorials/published: GET

Create a urls.py inside tutorials app with urlpatterns containing urls to be matched with request functions in the views.py:

from django.conf.urls import url 
from tutorials import views 
 
urlpatterns = [ 
    url(r'^api/tutorials$', views.tutorial_list),
    url(r'^api/tutorials/(?P<pk>[0-9]+)$', views.tutorial_detail),
    url(r'^api/tutorials/published$', views.tutorial_list_published)
]

Don’t forget to include this URL patterns in root URL configurations.
Open bzkRestApis/urls.py and modify the content with the following code:

from django.conf.urls import url, include 
 
urlpatterns = [ 
    url(r'^', include('tutorials.urls')),
]

Write API Views

We’re gonna create these API functions for CRUD Operations:
tutorial_list(): GET list of tutorials, POST a new tutorial, DELETE all tutorials
tutorial_detail(): GET / PUT / DELETE tutorial by ‘id’
tutorial_list_published(): GET all published tutorials

Open tutorials/views.py and write following code:

from django.shortcuts import render
...

@api_view(['GET', 'POST', 'DELETE'])
def tutorial_list(request):
    # GET list of tutorials, POST a new tutorial, DELETE all tutorials
 
 
@api_view(['GET', 'PUT', 'DELETE'])
def tutorial_detail(request, pk):
    # find tutorial by pk (id)
    try: 
        tutorial = Tutorial.objects.get(pk=pk) 
    except Tutorial.DoesNotExist: 
        return JsonResponse({'message': 'The tutorial does not exist'}, status=status.HTTP_404_NOT_FOUND) 
 
    # GET / PUT / DELETE tutorial
    
        
@api_view(['GET'])
def tutorial_list_published(request):
    # GET all published tutorials

You can continue with step by step to implement this Django Server in one of the posts:

Run the Django Rest Api Server

Run our Django Project with command: python manage.py runserver 8080.
The console shows:

Performing system checks...

System check identified no issues (0 silenced).
Django version 2.1.15, using settings 'bzkRestApis.settings'
Starting development server at http://127.0.0.1:8080/
Quit the server with CTRL-BREAK.

React Front-end

Overview

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-example-react-overview

– The App component is a container with React Router. It has navbar that links to routes paths.

TutorialsList component gets and displays Tutorials.
Tutorial component has form for editing Tutorial’s details based on :id.
AddTutorial component has form for submission new Tutorial.

– These Components call TutorialDataService methods which use axios to make HTTP requests and receive responses.

Technology

  • React 16
  • react-router-dom 5.1.2
  • axios 0.19.2
  • bootstrap 4.4.1

Project Structure

django-react-axios-rest-framework-crud-example-react-project-structure

package.json contains 4 main modules: react, react-router-dom, axios & bootstrap.
App is the container that has Router & navbar.
– There are 3 components: TutorialsList, Tutorial, AddTutorial.
http-common.js initializes axios with HTTP base Url and headers.
TutorialDataService has methods for sending HTTP requests to the Apis.
.env configures port for this React CRUD App.

Implementation

Setup React.js Project

Open cmd at the folder you want to save Project folder, run command:
npx create-react-app react-crud

After the process is done. We create additional folders and files like the following tree:


public

src

components

add-tutorial.component.js

tutorial.component.js

tutorials-list.component.js

services

tutorial.service.js

App.css

App.js

index.js

package.json


Import Bootstrap to React CRUD App

Run command: npm install bootstrap.

Open src/App.js and modify the code inside it as following-

import React, { Component } from "react";
import "bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css";

class App extends Component {
  render() {
    // ...
  }
}

export default App;

Add React Router to React CRUD App

– Run the command: npm install react-router-dom.
– Open src/index.js and wrap App component by BrowserRouter object.

import React from "react";
import ReactDOM from "react-dom";
import { BrowserRouter } from "react-router-dom";

import App from "./App";
import * as serviceWorker from "./serviceWorker";

ReactDOM.render(
  <BrowserRouter>
    <App />
  </BrowserRouter>,
  document.getElementById("root")
);

serviceWorker.unregister();

Add Navbar to React CRUD App

Open src/App.js, this App component is the root container for our application, it will contain a navbar, and also, a Switch object with several Route. Each Route points to a React Component.

import React, { Component } from "react";
...

class App extends Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <nav className="navbar navbar-expand navbar-dark bg-dark">
          <a href="/tutorials" className="navbar-brand">
            bezKoder
          </a>
          <div className="navbar-nav mr-auto">
            <li className="nav-item">
              <Link to={"/tutorials"} className="nav-link">
                Tutorials
              </Link>
            </li>
            <li className="nav-item">
              <Link to={"/add"} className="nav-link">
                Add
              </Link>
            </li>
          </div>
        </nav>

        <div className="container mt-3">
          <Switch>
            <Route exact path={["/", "/tutorials"]} component={TutorialsList} />
            <Route exact path="/add" component={AddTutorial} />
            <Route path="/tutorials/:id" component={Tutorial} />
          </Switch>
        </div>
      </div>
    );
  }
}

export default App;

Initialize Axios for React CRUD HTTP Client

Let’s install axios with command: npm install axios.
Under src folder, we create http-common.js file with following code:

import axios from "axios";

export default axios.create({
  baseURL: "http://localhost:8080/api",
  headers: {
    "Content-type": "application/json"
  }
});

You can change the baseURL that depends on REST APIs url that your Server configures.

Create Data Service

In this step, we’re gonna create a service that uses axios object above to send HTTP requests.

services/tutorial.service.js

import http from "../http-common";

class TutorialDataService {
  getAll() {
    return http.get("/tutorials");
  }

  get(id) {
    return http.get(`/tutorials/${id}`);
  }

  create(data) {
    return http.post("/tutorials", data);
  }

  update(id, data) {
    return http.put(`/tutorials/${id}`, data);
  }

  delete(id) {
    return http.delete(`/tutorials/${id}`);
  }

  deleteAll() {
    return http.delete(`/tutorials`);
  }

  findByTitle(title) {
    return http.get(`/tutorials?title=${title}`);
  }
}

export default new TutorialDataService();

We call axios get, post, put, delete method corresponding to HTTP Requests: GET, POST, PUT, DELETE to make CRUD Operations.

You can continue with step by step to implement this React App in the post:
React.js CRUD example to consume Web API
– or React Hooks CRUD example to consume Web API

Run React CRUD App

You can run our App with command: npm start.
If the process is successful, open Browser with Url: http://localhost:8081/ and check it.

Further Reading

Conclusion

Now we have an overview of Django React example when building a CRUD App that interacts with database. We also take a look at client-server architecture for REST API using Django Rest Framework, as well as React with Axios project structure for building a front-end app to make HTTP requests and consume responses.

Next tutorials show you more details about how to implement the system (including source code):
– Back-end:

– Front-end:

Happy learning, see you again!

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