Introduction

django-queryable-properties attempts to offer a unified pattern to help with a common and recurring problem:

  1. Properties are added to a model class which are based on model field values of its instances. These properties may even be based on some related model objects and therefore perform additional database queries.
  2. The code base grows and needs to be able to satisfy new demands.
  3. The logic of the properties from step 1 would now be useful in batch operations (read: queryset operations), making the current implementation less feasible, as it would likely perform additional queries per object in a queryset operation. Also, regular properties do of course not offer queryset features like filtering, ordering, etc.

Since Django offers a lot of powerful options when working with querysets (like select_related, annotations, etc.), it is generally not an issue to solve these problems and implement a solution, which will likely be based on one of the following options (from bad to good):

  • Performing special annotations only in the exact places that they are needed in while possibly even duplicating the code if there are multiple such places.
  • Implementing functions/methods that perform the annotations to avoid duplicating code.
  • Implementing a custom model manager/queryset class to allow the usage of these special annotations whenever dealing with a queryset.

While especially the latter options are not wrong, they do require some boilerplate and will likely split up the business logic into multiple parts (e.g. the property for single objects is implemented on the model class while the corresponding annotation for batch operations is part of a queryset class), making it harder to apply changes to the business logic to all required parts.

django-queryable-properties does, in fact, not remove the general necessity of implementing the business logic in (at least) 2 parts - one for individual objects and one for batch/queryset operations. Instead, it aims to remove as much boilerplate as possible and offers an option to implement said parts in one place - just like the getter and setter of a regular property are implemented together.

Examples in this documentation

All parts of this documentation contain a few simple examples to show how to take advantage of all the features of queryable properties. For consistency, all of those examples are based on a few simple Django models, which are shown in the following code block. They represent models storing data for a version management system for applications, which in this over-simplified case only store which versions of an application exist. While this may not be the best real-world example, it can demonstrate how to work with queryable properties quite well.

from django.db import models


class Category(models.Model):
    """Represents a category for applications."""
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255)


class Application(models.Model):
    """Represents a named application."""
    categories = models.ManyToManyField(Category, related_name='applications')
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255)


class ApplicationVersion(models.Model):
    """Represents a version of an application using a major and minor version number."""
    application = models.ForeignKey(Application, on_delete=models.CASCADE, related_name='versions')
    major = models.PositiveIntegerField()
    minor = models.PositiveIntegerField()