Django and Flask are the two very widely used frameworks for Python. They differ a lot though, so the question if Django or Flask is better is a widely discussed one. We will draw an analogy for Flask vs Django features and functionality, and consider the best use cases for each of these frameworks.
How to choose the best framework for your needs without digging deep?
What Is Django and What Does It Do?
Django is a well-polished framework aimed at rapid deployment and development of various web apps written in Python; this framework is distributed as an open-source. The framework itself is actually a code library, which helps developers in building reliable, easily scalable and maintainable web apps. Django is the most popular of a wide variety of frameworks, available to Python developers. There is one limitation though: some things are intended to be done in one and the only one way. You can replace certain modules yet some core functionality should remain unchanged. This is totally fine in 95% of the projects, though, and saves a ton of time, money and effort during development, as you have all the solutions you need straight out of the box.
Here are some facts about Django:
Let’s take a closer look at what possibilities Django has to offer:
- ORM allows working with several types of databases like SQLite, PostgreSQL, Oracle and MySQL
- Celery allows doing asynchronous tasks and replacing unix crontab for cron jobs
- You can use Gunicorn instead of Apache; it’s easy and fun (if you have no trouble with using NGINX)
- If your developers are skilled enough, you can use MongoDB as a primary database; this solves quite a lot of problems later on.
- Using named URLs, reverse function and the URL template tag allows creating a logically structured system, where one URL update will not wreak havoc and chaos
- Using supervisor for process monitoring allows rebooting your framework processes automatically if need be; truly a lifesaver during development stage
- Redis is a valuable in-memory data structure store, which can be used for queuing celery jobs, as a cache, as a store for sessions, even for auto-completion and much, much, more...
- Munin and statds are another great pair of apps, allowing smooth control and monitoring of your Django app processes.
As you can see from the list of websites using this framework, it is intended for creating apps with high scalability; websites that grow from thousands to millions of visitors quickly. This framework works great straight out of the box and provides all the main functionality needed to build an app with Python, including a web interface, database operations, admin functions, etc.
Once your project grows and new requirements appear – Django grows with it and provides more and more possibilities to satisfy these needs.
Flask versus Django: What Are the Differences?
Flask is another widely used web framework. Opposite to Django, oriented at providing an out-of-the-box product with ready solutions for each task, Flask works more like a LEGO set, where you can construct anything you wish, using a huge set of external libraries and add-ons. Flask philosophy is “web development, one drop at a time”. Python developers with big experience say that Flask allows adding new modules when the time comes, instead of overwhelming you with the details from the very beginning.
Some details on Flask versus Django comparison:
Let’s take a look at Flask architecture and functionality:
- Flask is all about minimalism and simplicity. There are no restrictions and you can implement anything the way you want it
- No database access layer and ORM. Additional apps like SQLAlchemy or pure SQL queries do this job without any limitations
- Routing with decorators is really simple; app structure is also fully adjustable
- Blueprints are like modules for your application. You can have lots of them suited for any task and construct your app like a LEGO toy, using the blueprints best suited for this particular task; extensions are incredibly helpful too and are integrated into the framework easily
- Jinja2 template engine works greatly for Flask, providing easy to use functionality
- Web server and debugging tools: Flask comes with built-in web server and multiple debugging tools, including the in-browser one, so you do not even need NGINX or Apache to test and debug your app
Flask appeared as an alternative to Django and Pyramid frameworks, as developers wanted to have a micro framework that would allow them using varying components, and neither of previous frameworks allowed modification of their modules to such extent. Flask is really so simple and straightforward that working in it allows an experienced Python developer creating projects within really tight timeframes.
Here are some Flask and Django use cases:
- Flask is great for building simple sites with static content, like blogs; it provides all the functionality you need and allows for customization to a huge extent
- Django is great for building complex sites with dynamic content, with scalability in mind; big projects that require out-of-the-box solutions can be deployed really fast
- Flask is perfect for developing simple web apps
- Django allows deploying more complicated web apps quicker, as its modules are preconfigured to provide rapid app development and deployment.
Overall, if we have to make a choice of Django vs Flask, DDI development team almost always chooses Django. It is a solid framework, great for launching apps for everyone - from startups to big companies; it excels at implementing Python possibilities and provides all the tools needed for sufficient app operations.
Quite opposite, Flask works more like a sandbox for developers, where they can hone their skills and quickly test solutions using different modules and libraries. We prefer using it for testing and working on less-structured objects, while using Django to deliver a solid product, meeting and exceeding customer’s expectations.
If you have any comments, ideas or suggestions on Flask vs Django comparison – please let us know in the comments. Do you know of anything Flask can do and Django cannot? Please share your thoughts with us!