Django vs Flask, Cuspy.io review
May 18, 2020

Software Development

Flask vs Django: Comparing Two Powerful Python Web Frameworks

By Pavel Kukhnavets

According to the numerous studies, Django and Flask are the most demanded Python web frameworks nowadays. Flask has recently outrun Django and took the top spot that is surely not a surprise. It is easily explained by the fact that the web development environment has been trending toward smaller frameworks and microservices over the past years.

How to choose the right option in the battle “Flask vs Django”? They both are widely supported and popular and have strong communities. Both Python frameworks provide productive approaches to application development and allow focusing your time and energy on the unique parts of your app. You can use them to develop outstanding web applications. Both Flask and Django can easily get you from point A to point B, but they will propose quite different approaches. Let’s define what makes them unique.

 

 

Actually, the world of software development is full of comparisons, evaluations, and different kinds of ratings. We compare means that we want to choose the best option right for our needs. And without this, you cannot be a real expert and professional. To succeed in this sphere, you have to compare and find the best options from programming languages, libraries, frameworks, modules, tools, templates, and much more. That is why in our Cuspy blog we often publish comparison posts. Here are some of the latest articles:

 

 

However, returning to the topic of this post, let us start with the brief intro related to the most used Python frameworks. 

Quick Introduction of Two Famous Python Web Frameworks

Basic facts you should know about Django

Django is a free and open-source Python web development framework used all over the world. The framework that follows the MTV (Model–Template–View) pattern was created by Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison in 2003. It was aimed to simplify the process of website development. Django is focused on less code, reusable components, and rapid development. It was influenced by several earlier frameworks (for example Zope and Plone) and then it had inspired lots of other frameworks (for example, Pyramid and CherryPy).

And a couple of words about Flask

Flask is a micro web framework written in Python that was created in 2010 by Armin Ronacher of Pocoo, an international group of Python enthusiasts formed in 2004. Before creating Flask, Armin Ronacher had written two other solutions  – a server framework, Werkzeug, and a template library, Jinja2. Then he just took these two solutions and put them together in a zip file, creating the Denied Framework (the initial name of Flask). 

Flask does not require particular tools or libraries. It has no database abstraction layer or other components where pre-existing third-party libraries provide common functions. However, this framework supports extensions that can add app features as if they were implemented in Flask itself. 

Among the most famous solutions that use Flask, you may find LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Django vs Flask: Key Characteristics of Two Popular Python Web Frameworks 

As we have mentioned above, Django is a full-stack web framework that is developed based on the batteries-included approach. The batteries make it easier for Django developers to accomplish common web development tasks. For example, URL routing, user authentication, or database schema migration.

Flask is a lightweight and minimalistic web framework that has no some of the built-in features that Django provides. However, Flask helps developers to keep the core of a web application simple and extensible. So what are the main parameters we may use to compare these frameworks?

Comparing usage 

According to statistics, Django seems more popular than Flask despite the fact that they both are widely used by several websites with high traffic. Django provides developers with beneficial features to build and deploy complex web apps rapidly. 

They also may use Flask to boost the development of simple websites that use static content. Additionally, they can extend and customize Flask according to precise project requirements.

Comparing flexibility

Thanks to the batteries that are included in Django, developers can build various web apps without using third-party tools and libraries. However, there are no possibilities for them to make changes to the modules provided by Django. That’s why they have to build web apps using the built-in features provided by the web framework. 

Flask is an extensible web framework that allows developers to create web apps more flexibly. It happens because of using some powerful web development tools and libraries. It is quite logical when beginners find it easier to learn Flask than Django because of its simple and customizable architecture.

Comparing admin interface

As Django provides a ready-to-use admin framework, it simplifies handling common project administration tasks (unlike Flask). Besides, it generates the functional admin module automatically based on project models. 

It is possible to customize the interface to meet particular business requirements. Developers can even use the admin interface to simplify website content administration and user management. 

Comparing the template engine

The template engine named Jinja2 lies in the base of Flask.  This engine, as a fully-featured template engine for Python, is also inspired by Django’s template system. Therefore, developers can boost the development of dynamic web apps using the benefits of an integrated sandboxed execution environment and writing templates in an expressive language. 

Django has a built-in template engine. It allows defining a web application’s user-facing layer without extra time and efforts. Developers can accelerate custom UI development by writing templates in the DTL (Django template language).

Comparing built-in bootstrapping functionality

Unlike Flask, Django provides Django-admin – a built-in bootstrapping tool. It empowers developers to start building web apps without external inputs. They even can divide a single project into numerous apps. Django developers can use this tool to create new apps within the project and use it to add functionality to the web applications based on different business requirements.

Comparing project layout

According to Flask, developers must provide each project as a single application. However, they have the opportunity to add several models and views to the same app. 

Django allows dividing a project into multiple applications, that is why it is easier for developers to write individual apps, and add functionality by integrating the apps into the project.

Comparing database support

If your developers choose Django, they may take advantage of a powerful ORM system. They are allowed to use this system to work with widely used databases (such as Oracle, MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL). The ORM system also allows performing common database operations without writing lengthy SQL queries. 

Flask does not provide the ORM system. Developers have work with databases and perform database operations through SQLAlchemy. Python developers are able to work with databases by using SQLAlchemy as a SQL toolkit and ORM system for Python.

Conclusion

In general, both Django & Flask are widely used open-source web frameworks for Python. 

Django is a full-stack web framework, while Flask is a micro and lightweight one. Django functionality helps to create large and complex web applications. Flask accelerates the development of simple web apps.

The main thing developers should do while comparing Django and Flask is to keep in mind the needs of any individual project.

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