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Django or Flask: which is the best Python web framework?
Web frameworks make development as easy as possible for web developers. However, Python, one of the most popular programming languages, has received a lot of contributions regarding its application in backend development.
Python has many web frameworks. These frameworks fall into either macro or micro categories. TurboGears, Web2Py, Pyramid, and Django are some of Python's macro web frameworks. In the meantime, Flask, CherryPy and Bottle are examples of microframeworks.
However, the most common examples in both categories are Django and Flask. With this in mind, let's look at both frameworks to decide which one is worth spending more time studying.
Although they are Python frameworks, the architectures of Django and Flask are fundamentally different from each other. Let's take a look at how their architecture affects your choice as a user.
Because of its use in building more complex Python-based web applications, Django has a robust architecture that allows for scalability. The MVT structure ( Model – View – Template ) makes it the perfect framework for full-stack development. So if you're looking for a way to get a handle on the front-end and back-end aspects of web development and use Python as the server-side language, Django is still your best option.
In addition to the availability of a large number of development packages and the ready-made Python file structure, Django offers an integrated Object-Relational Mapper (ORM) with which it can flexibly access a large number of databases. In essence, you don't have to write many queries to insert or call objects from the database.
When you create tables using Django's models, all you need to do is define the attributes of these tables in individual objects in your database. The raw queries that these tables create are then automatically included in your migration file after you move your tables to the database.
This is how Django's ORM helps you handle the extra work that comes with writing separate queries against your database. And if you want to focus more on making your website work without worrying about configuring a third-party database injection, Django might be the choice.
Compared to Django, Flask offers minimal architecture. It's a microframework that isn't as complex as Django. In contrast to Django's MVT architecture, Flask follows the more general MVC structure ( Model – Views – Controller ).
However, Flask's views and controller are synonymous with Django's templates and views. That means, instead of getting the views from Django, you get the controllers in Flask. And Flask's views take on the functions of Django's templates.
Unlike Django, when you install Flask in your virtual environment and open your project, you get an empty directory of files. That means you have to create your files manually.
So if you want to avoid the complex structure of Django, Flask is a great choice. However, due to its light weight, Flask doesn't offer as many built-in packages as Django. To use the ORM feature in Flask, you need a third party database injection package called SQLAlchemy.
Related: Important SQL Commands Every Programmer Should Know
In terms of ease of learning, Django has a lot of twists and turns that can get you bored across the board. However, it might be more interesting to learn Flask as there are few improvements to make your app work.
Due to the complexity and extensive use of Django in various development areas, e.g. For example, the role of the REST framework in developing searchable APIs, the learning curve can get confusing. But with that in mind, functionality alone could be a good reason to learn Django anyway.
While Flask also has a REST extension for building APIs, it does not provide the fully functional and integrated API structure that Django provides. Flask is more beginner-friendly, however, considering the ease with which both frameworks can generally be included.
And since you will make most of the connections and structure yourself in Flask, you will be introduced to a basic understanding of web development workflow with Python. Unlike Django, it's a straightforward framework that focuses on building exactly what you intend without losing control of how your files are connected.
If you are new to Python, learning Flask might be the perfect start. In addition, writing code in Flask is mostly comparable to writing pure Python.
However, if you're looking to purchase a more sophisticated Python framework that gives you more insight into standard web development practices - without thinking too much about internal cabling - Django might be the right choice. That doesn't mean you can't dive deeper with Flask either - as mentioned earlier, it's a great way to start your learning journey with Python web frameworks.
While Flask is easy to pick up and lightweight, it lags behind Django in terms of popularity. The robustness, stability of the version release, and the rapid development of web apps with Django are some of the reasons why it is the framework of choice for most developers.
And if you look at the stack overflow trend, Django is a little more debated than Flask. That means there is a large Django community that you can fall back on if you run into problems. However, this doesn't make Flask any less of a framework in terms of community support either.
Also, the difference between their popularity is not that significant. According to the 2020 developer survey posted on the JetBrains website, when it comes to popularity, Django is 49 percent, while Flask is 46 percent. That's only a 3 percent difference.
These statistics alone should allay your fears and concerns about the availability of a support community for Flask. No matter how tight you are, there is always a solution to fall back on.
One of the features of Django is that you can build multiple apps and link them together using dedicated URLs. This makes Django a preferred framework for building more complex applications that require future scalability.
Building complex apps with Flask is also possible, but does not fit the current architecture. It's better for building simple apps that don't require complicated infrastructure to evolve.
Even though Django offers scalability, you still don't have full control over its units. Flask, on the other hand, offers simplicity, but gives you the flexibility to dip your hands into its various components. That's because in Flask you write most of the blocks yourself with minimal dependence on third-party packages.
We discussed both frameworks without aiming to place either one on top of the other. Based on what you now know, the best Python web framework to start with will depend on your existing skills and use case.
However, a better approach is to know the basics of Python. You can then try the simple framework first before switching to the complex framework. Regardless of your choice, both frameworks have their specialty. So you can also decide on this basis.
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