Change is probably the only constant in the web development industry. In 2018 we landed in the reality dominated by high performing Single Page Applications (SPA) that are utilising widespread microservices and serverless architecture. User expectations towards content are growing. Modern products need to be responsive, engaging, accessible, in real-time and offline ready - you need to consider all these experiences in the development process.
Let’s check how Django manages to keep up with the latest trends. In this article, I’ll also try to find an answer if it’s a relevant framework for your project in 2018.
#1 With Django, you’re just a few clicks away from launching your own API
Front-end apps are more often separated and interact with backends programmatically through API’s. That’s where a RESTful architecture kicks in. API-first approach starts dominating backend development. Django Developers are expected to deliver an app, often designed as a microservice, to serve multiple platforms - from the web, through mobile, to the embedded devices.
Here comes Django Rest Framework (DRF), a powerful library that helps you to build a RESTful API. What makes it so capable? DRF utilises both Django project structure and MVT (Model-View-Template) pattern by adding data serialisation and lots of customisation options. It comes with a handful of out-of-the-box features:
- browsable API, which adds intuitive usability and moves dev’s workspace from console back to the browser,
- multiple authentication methods, from basic Token and Session built-ins to packages supporting OAuth2 and JWT,
- serialization that supports Django models (ORM) as well as other sources of data.
#2 Real-time Django projects
Users of chats, live streams, and games require more instant interactions. Comparing to traditional solutions, real-time apps exchange data with a server without sending numerous requests. Communication is made through so-called WebSockets.
Django doesn’t hang back. With its project called Channels, apps communication abilities are extended far beyond HTTP. Although Django itself is meant to run in a synchronous mode, it can handle connections and sockets asynchronously. Channels is stable, easy to use, and takes relatively a small amount of code to get it on wheels.
#3 Seamlessly serverless Django
No more permanent infrastructure? Infinite scaling? Low to zero maintenance? All of those goals can be achieved with you taking flexibility and costs into consideration. The serverless approach takes over in 2018.
In a matter of minutes, your HTTP based API built in Django can be deployed in the cloud. This simple concept of provisioning a standard WSGI app into serverless service is supported by Zappa framework. This awesome tool already gained a great reputation through its broad community and is a part of many production applications worldwide. No code rewriting needed!
#4 Converting into Progressive Web App
Django is well-known for its easily extendable template engine, which allows Django Developers to build dynamic websites out of a relatively small amount of front-end code. There are still tons of websites utilizing templates. Is it possible to enhance their responsiveness and add app-like feel with just a few extra lines of code?
There is a bunch of popular plugins, which will save you plenty of time on customisation. Add breakpoints for a wide range of devices, configure service worker, and add support for IndexedDB to make a cached content available offline. That’s all it takes to achieve a better responsiveness on your website. Moreover, since Django 2.0 has been released, an admin panel is responsive straight out of the box.
#5 Django takes care of your customers
More interactions mean that more support for your customer is required. Chatbots embedded into your website allow users to contact you at any time, without the need of going through a customer service team. Chatbots can provide simple information, redirect to other web pages, or even help to make a choice while completing a transaction. All of that is possible thanks to the Machine Learning. With Python packages, you can run a conversational engine, which will train a model and learn from communication with your customers. Check out ChatterBot if you want to see how it can be done in a right way.
#6 Easier GDPR compliance with Django
Although it’s hard to call a process of becoming GDPR complaint a trend, it’s certainly is an important topic this year. How Django protects people’s personal data?
First of all, Django takes security seriously. The framework comes with default protection against common threats, including XSS and CSRF attacks, SQL injections, clickjacking, and others. Django admin has proven solid, and the framework itself comes out-of-a-box with user management, which can be easily customised to comply with GDPR.
Django - a trusty framework with experience under its belt
Django might not be ‘super cool’ or ‘hip’ tool anymore since other frameworks (such as NodeJS) draw more attention. However, the truth is that Django is reliable and battle-tested. It encourages rapid development and utilises pragmatic design. Moreover, what I hopefully managed to prove, it keeps up with the latest trends. Hand it to experienced Django Developers and you will score a stable and cutting-edge platform.