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Home / Viewpoint / Fast API vs Django: Which One Should You Choose for Your Next Web Project?

Fast API vs Django: Which One Should You Choose for Your Next Web Project?

Fast API and Django are two of the most popular and powerful web frameworks in the Python ecosystem. But how do you decide which one is better for your needs? In this blog post, we will compare Fast API and Django on various aspects, and help you make an informed decision.

If you are a web developer, you probably know that there are many frameworks and tools available to help you create amazing web applications. However, choosing the right one for your project can be tricky, especially if you have to consider factors such as performance, scalability, security, documentation, and community support.

Two of the most popular and powerful web frameworks in the Python ecosystem are Fast API and Django. Both of them have their own strengths and weaknesses, and they can be used for different kinds of projects. But how do you decide which one is better for your needs? In this blog post, we will compare Fast API and Django on various aspects, and help you make an informed decision.

What is Fast API?

Fast API is a modern, high-performance, web framework for building APIs with Python 3.6+. It is based on the ASGI (Asynchronous Server Gateway Interface) standard, which allows it to handle concurrent requests with async/await syntax. Fast API is also designed to be easy to use and learn, thanks to its intuitive and expressive syntax, automatic data validation and serialization, interactive documentation, and extensive testing tools.

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Some of the main features of Fast API are:

  • Fast: Fast API is one of the fastest web frameworks available, thanks to its use of Starlette and Pydantic, two libraries that optimize speed and memory usage. According to independent benchmarks, Fast API can handle more than 21,000 requests per second, which is more than six times faster than Django.
  • API-centric: Fast API is focused on building APIs, which means that it supports various data formats, such as JSON, XML, Protobuf, and GraphQL. It also follows the OpenAPI specification, which defines a standard way to describe and document APIs. This allows Fast API to generate interactive documentation and client code automatically, using tools such as Swagger UI and ReDoc.
  • Type-safe: Fast API uses Python type annotations to define the input and output parameters of the API endpoints. This enables automatic data validation and serialization, using the Pydantic library. Pydantic also supports advanced features, such as data models, schema generation, and custom validators. Type annotations also help with code completion, error checking, and refactoring, using IDEs and editors such as VS Code and PyCharm.
  • Scalable: Fast API is built on top of the ASGI standard, which allows it to handle asynchronous and concurrent requests, using async/await syntax. This means that Fast API can scale horizontally, by adding more workers or servers, without blocking or slowing down the application. Fast API also supports WebSocket, Server-Sent Events, and HTTP/2, which enable real-time and bidirectional communication between the client and the server.
  • Secure: Fast API provides several security features, such as authentication, authorization, encryption, and CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing). It also integrates with popular security libraries, such as OAuth2, JWT, and HTTP Basic Auth. Fast API also supports HTTPS, which encrypts the data in transit, and HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security), which prevents downgrade attacks.

What is Django?

Django is a mature, full-stack, web framework for building web applications with Python. It follows the MVT (Model-View-Template) pattern, which separates the logic, presentation, and data layers of the application. Django is also known for its batteries-included philosophy, which means that it provides a lot of features and functionalities out of the box, such as an ORM (Object-Relational Mapper), a templating engine, a forms framework, an admin interface, and more.

Django

Some of the main features of Django are:

  • Versatile: Django can be used for a wide range of web projects, from simple websites to complex web applications. It supports various data formats, such as JSON, XML, HTML, and CSV. It also integrates with many third-party libraries and services, such as Celery, Redis, Elasticsearch, and AWS.
  • Productive: Django aims to make web development fast and easy, by providing a lot of tools and shortcuts that simplify common tasks, such as URL routing, database queries, form handling, and testing. It also has a powerful and customizable admin interface, which allows you to manage your data and models with a few clicks.
  • Reliable: Django is a stable and proven framework, that has been around since 2005, and has been used by many large and successful websites, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Spotify. It also has a strong and active community, that contributes to the development and maintenance of the framework, and provides a lot of resources and support, such as documentation, tutorials, books, courses, and forums.
  • Secure: Django takes security seriously, and provides several mechanisms to prevent common web attacks, such as SQL injection, XSS (Cross-Site Scripting), CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery), and clickjacking. It also enforces good practices, such as using HTTPS, escaping user input, and hashing passwords.

How to Choose Between Fast API and Django?

Now that we have seen what Fast API and Django are, and what they can do, let’s compare them on some key criteria, and see which one is better suited for your project.

Installation: Fast API vs Django

To install Fast API and Django, you need to have Python 3.6 or higher installed on your system. You can use pip, a package manager for Python, to install the required packages. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Open a terminal or command prompt and create a virtual environment for your project. You can use the venv module that comes with Python, or any other tool of your choice. For example, to create a virtual environment named env, you can run:
python -m venv env
  • Activate the virtual environment. The command depends on your operating system and shell. For example, on Windows, you can run:
env\Scripts\activate
  • Install Fast API and its dependencies. You can use the following command:
pip install fastapi[all]
  • Install Django and its dependencies. You can use the following command:
pip install django
  • Optionally, you can also install some additional packages that can help you integrate Fast API and Django, such as djantic, django-extensions, and djangorestframework-simplejwt. You can use the following command:
pip install djantic django-extensions djangorestframework-simplejwt

You have successfully installed Fast API and Django on your system. You can now start creating your web project using these frameworks.

How to Create RESTful APIs with Django Rest Framework?
Django REST Framework (DRF) is a powerful and flexible toolkit for building Web APIs in Django applications. This article will delve deeper into Apidog’s role in orchestrating seamless integrations with Django’s REST framework.

Performance

Performance is an important factor to consider when choosing a web framework, as it affects the user experience, the resource consumption, and the scalability of your application. As we have seen, Fast API is much faster than Django, thanks to its use of ASGI, Starlette, and Pydantic. Django, on the other hand, uses WSGI (Web Server Gateway Interface), which is a synchronous and blocking standard, that limits the concurrency and throughput of the application.

However, performance is not everything, and it depends on many other factors, such as the database, the network, the caching, and the optimization of your code. Moreover, Django can also use ASGI, by using libraries such as Django Channels or Daphne, which enable it to handle asynchronous and concurrent requests. Therefore, the performance difference between Fast API and Django may not be significant in some cases, and you should always test and benchmark your application before making a decision.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is another important factor to consider when choosing a web framework, as it affects the learning curve, the development speed, and the maintainability of your application. Both Fast API and Django are easy to use and learn, thanks to their clear and expressive syntax, their comprehensive and up-to-date documentation, and their extensive testing and debugging tools.

However, there are some differences between them, that may affect your preference. For example, Fast API uses type annotations, which may be unfamiliar or cumbersome for some developers, especially if they come from a dynamic typing background. Django, on the other hand, uses plain Python code, which may be more intuitive and flexible for some developers, especially if they value readability and simplicity over strictness and correctness.

Another difference is that Fast API is a minimalist and modular framework, which means that it provides only the essential features and functionalities for building APIs, and leaves the rest to the developer or to the third-party libraries. Django, on the other hand, is a comprehensive and monolithic framework, which means that it provides a lot of features and functionalities out of the box, and follows a conventional and opinionated way of doing things.

Therefore, the ease of use of Fast API and Django may depend on your personal preference, your prior experience, and your project requirements. If you like type annotations, and you want to have more control and flexibility over your application, you may prefer Fast API. If you like plain Python code, and you want to have more convenience and productivity in your application, you may prefer Django.

Features and Functionalities

Features and functionalities are another important factor to consider when choosing a web framework, as they affect the capabilities, the quality, and the scope of your application. Both Fast API and Django provide a lot of features and functionalities, that can help you create amazing web applications. However, they have different focuses and strengths, that may suit different kinds of projects.

As we have seen, Fast API is focused on building APIs, which means that it supports various data formats, such as JSON, XML, Protobuf, and GraphQL. It also follows the OpenAPI specification, which enables it to generate interactive documentation and client code automatically. Moreover, Fast API supports WebSocket, Server-Sent Events, and HTTP/2, which enable real-time and bidirectional communication between the client and the server.

Django, on the other hand, is focused on building web applications, which means that it supports various web features such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and templating. It also follows the MVT pattern, which enables it to separate the logic, presentation, and data layers of the application. Moreover, Django provides a lot of features and functionalities out of the box, such as an ORM, a templating engine, a forms framework, an admin interface, and more.

Therefore, the features and functionalities of Fast API and Django may depend on the type and complexity of your project. If you want to build a fast and scalable API, that supports various data formats and real-time communication, you may prefer Fast API. If you want to build a full-fledged web application, that supports various web features and functionalities, you may prefer Django.

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Community and Support

Community and support are another important factor to consider when choosing a web framework, as they affect the availability, the reliability, and the diversity of the resources and help that you can get for your application. Both Fast API and Django have strong and active communities, that contribute to the development and maintenance of the frameworks, and provide a lot of resources and support, such as documentation, tutorials, books, courses, and forums.

However, there are some differences between them, that may affect your preference. For example, Fast API is a relatively new and emerging framework, that was released in 2018, and has gained a lot of popularity and traction in a short time. It has more than 35,000 stars on GitHub, and more than 1,000 contributors. It also has a friendly and welcoming community, that is eager to help and share their knowledge and experience.

Django, on the other hand, is a well-established and mature framework, that has been around since 2005, and has been used by many large and successful websites. It has more than 57,000 stars on GitHub, and more than 2,000 contributors. It also has a loyal and diverse community, that is passionate and proud of their framework.

Therefore, the community and support of Fast API and Django may depend on your personal preference, your prior experience, and your project requirements. If you like new and trendy frameworks, and you want to be part of a fast-growing and enthusiastic community, you may prefer Fast API. If you like stable and proven frameworks, and you want to be part of a long-standing and reputable community, you may prefer Django.

How to test Fast Api and Django with Apidog

Testing Fast API and Django applications is easy and enjoyable with Apidog. Apidog is a collaborative API development platform that allows you to design, document, mock, and test your APIs with ease.

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You can use Apidog to test your Fast API and Django applications, by following these steps:

Creating a New Project:

  • Initiate a new project by clicking the "New Project" button on the right side of the interface. Provide a suitable name for the project and select the project type.
Creating a New Project

Creating and Testing APIs:

  • Users can create new APIs and apply various methods to their requests. For instance, testing the GET method for a localhost can be done by assuming a URL like "http://localhost:8000/api/items/". The platform provides a user-friendly interface to input the URL, send the request, and examine the response.
Creating and Testing APIs

Validating Responses:

  • Responses to requests can be checked in the designated Response section. Valid responses are displayed, while validation errors are highlighted in case of issues. It is crucial to ensure that all API-generating steps have been executed accurately
Validating Responses

By using Apidog, you can test your Fast API and Django applications in a fast and easy way, and ensure that your API meets the quality and reliability standards.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have compared Fast API and Django on various aspects, such as performance, ease of use, features and functionalities, and community and support. We have seen that both frameworks have their own strengths and weaknesses, and they can be used for different kinds of projects. However, there is no definitive answer to which one is better, as it depends on your personal preference, your prior experience, and your project requirements.

Therefore, the best way to choose between Fast API and Django is to try them out yourself, and see which one suits your needs and expectations better. You can also check out some of the resources and examples that we have listed below, to learn more about each framework, and to see them in action.

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We hope that this blog post has helped you to make an informed decision, and to choose the best web framework for your next web project. Happy coding!

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