A web developer has option to choose from a wide range of web frameworks while using Python as server-side programming languages. He can take advantage of the full-stack Python web frameworks to accelerate development of large and complex web applications by availing a number of robust features and tools. Likewise, he can also opt for micro and lightweight Python web frameworks to build simple web applications without putting extra time and effort.
Both Django and Flask are hugely popular among Python programmers. Django is a full-stack web framework for Python, whereas Flask is a lightweight and extensible Python web framework. Django is developed based on batteries-included approach. It enables programmers to accomplish common web development tasks without using third-party tools and libraries. Django lacks some of the robust features provided by Python.
But it is developed based on two robust POCO projects – Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI) toolkit and Jinja2 template engine. The developers can take advantage of WSGI to communicate web application and web server through a universal interface. Likewise, Jinja2 template engine makes it easier for programmers to build dynamic web applications. Hence, it becomes essential for web developers to understand the major differences between Django and Flask.
Comparing Two Widely Used Python Web Frameworks in 2018: Flask vs Django
Type of Web Framework
As noted earlier, Django is a full-stack Python web framework. Also, it is developed based on batteries included approach. The batteries included in Django makes it easier for Django developers to accomplish common web development tasks like user authentication, URL routing and database schema migration. Also, Django accelerates custom web application development by providing built-in template engine, ORM system, and bootstrapping tool. On the other hand, Flask is a simple, lightweight, and minimalist web framework. It lacks some of the built-in features provided by Django. But it helps developers to keep the core of a web application simple and extensible.
Functional Admin Interface
Unlike Flask, Django makes it easier for users to handle common project administration tasks by providing a ready-to-use admin framework. It further generates the functional admin module automatically based on project models. The developers even have option to customize the admin interface to meet specific business requirements. They can even take advantage of the admin interface to simplify website content administration and user management. The functional admin user interface makes Django standout in the crowd.
As noted earlier, Flask is developed based on Jinja2 template engine. As a fully-featured template engine for Python, Jinja2 is also inspired by Django’s template system. It enables developers to accelerate development of dynamic web applications by taking advantage of an integrated sandboxed execution environment and writing templates in an expressive language. Django comes with a built-in template engine that enables developers to define a web application’s user facing layer without putting extra time and effort. It even allows developers to accelerate custom user interface development by writing templates in Django template language (DTL).
Built-in Bootstrapping Tool
Unlike Flask, Django comes with a built-in bootstrapping tool – django-admin. Django-admin enables developers to start building web applications without any external input. Django even allows developers to divide a single project into a number of applications. The developers can use django-admin to create new applications within the project. They can further use the applications to add functionality to the web applications based on varied business requirements.
Flask requires developers to each project as a single application. But the developers have option to add multiple models and views to the same application. On the other hand, Django allows developers to divide a project into multiple applications. Hence, it becomes easier for developers to write individual applications, and add functionality to the web application by integrating the applications into the project. The small applications further help developers to extend and maintain the web applications written in Python.
Django allows developers to take advantage of a robust ORM system. The developers can use the ORM system to work with widely used databases like MySQL, Oracle, SQLite and PostgreSQL. Also, the ORM system enables developers to perform common database operations without writing lengthy SQL queries. Unlike Django, Flask does not provide a built-in ORM system. It requires developers to work with databases and perform database operations through SQLAlchemy. The Python developers can work with databases by using SQLAlchemy as a SQL toolkit and ORM system for Python. Also, they can perform common database queries by writing and executing SQL queries.
The batteries included in Django help developers to build a variety of web applications without using third-party tools and libraries. But the developers lack any option to make changes to the modules provided by Django. Hence, developers have to build web applications by availing the built-in features provided by the web framework. On the other hand, Flask is a micro but extensible web frameworks. It enables developers to build web applications more flexibly by using several widely used web development tools and libraries. Many beginners even find it easier to learn Flask than Django due to its simple and customizable architecture.
Usage and Use Cases
Both Flask and Django are currently being used by several high-traffic websites. But the usage statistics posted on various websites depict that Django is more popular than Flask. You can find some of the best websites developed using Django here. The developers can take advantage of the robust features provided by Django to build and deploy complex web applications rapidly. At the same time, they can use Flask to accelerate development of simple websites that use static content. However, the developers still have option to extend and customize Flask according to precise project requirements.
On the whole, both Flask and Django are widely used open source web frameworks for Python. Django is a full-stack web framework, whereas Flask is a micro and lightweight web framework. The features provided by Django help developers to build large and complex web applications. On the other hand, Flask accelerates development of simple web applications by providing the required functionality. Hence, the developers must keep in mind the needs of individual projects while comparing Flask and Django.