Django vs. Flask

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The simplicity of Python and its power, which is granted by numerous packages, makes it ideal for several applications. Over the years, we have seen Python used for things like making mobile apps and developing machine learning algorithms. Hardcore Python programmers know that using Python for web development is old news.

Django and Flask are two popular frameworks that can be used to develop web applications with Python. Because of their popularity, there’s a lot of information on them online which makes it easy to learn and use either one. However, these packages tackle the same problem from different angles. The features and capabilities of the two systems will be explored in more detail below.

Flask

Flask is a relatively simple framework that allows you to go straight from installation to serving web pages in a matter of moments. It comes with a context manager that allows you to create complex web pages using templates. These templates can be extended by other pages, making it easy to duplicate the same theme across multiple web pages. The setup for Flask is straightforward and can be done in a single Python file.

Django

Django, on the other hand, is a batteries-included framework that automates certain mundane tasks associated with web development, such as database migration and creating folders to organize files. Django uses a Model Template View (MTV) architecture that provides an existing layout for managing back-end and front-end code. Just like Flask, Django also has its own context manager for creating and extending templates.

Django also has built-in Object Relational Mapping (ORM) which makes it possible to create databases (known as models in Django), with Python code without writing any SQL code. This also eliminates the need to write SQL queries, as this is managed by the ORM. Django’s ORM handles database migrations, which simplifies the process to a single command. In addition, Django has a built-in user model and an authentication system which takes away the need to create these things from scratch in many cases. Django also provides an admin panel that can be used to manage several aspects of your project.

Comparison

Django, as compared to Flask, trades simplicity for its batteries-included approach. This makes Django significantly harder to learn than Flask and can easily make developing simple applications feel overwhelming. However, Django’s approach pays off significantly, especially for large projects. This is because it keeps all files well organized right from the start and eliminates the need to manage several dependencies because it provides a lot of web related functionality by default.

Conclusion

From personal experience, choosing one of the two packages will depend on the complexity of the project you’re building. For example, if you’re building a simple website that will only serve web pages, then Flask is the way to go. However, if you’re building something more complicated like a blog or an online forum that would require database and user authentication, then you should definitely use Django.


Stephan is a third-year student at Ashesi pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer engineering. Stephan is passionate about technology and is focused on continuous learning to gain new skills. He has worked in software development, and has worked on IoT projects and designing products for the health sector.


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