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Ralph API resources

How to create new API resource based on Django model

# model
from django.db import models

class Foo(model.Model):
    bar = models.CharField(max_length=10)

from ralph.api import RalphAPISerializer, RalphAPIViewSet, router

class FooSerializer(RalphAPISerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Foo

class FooViewSet(RalphAPIViewSet):
    queryset = Foo.objects.all()
    serializer_class = FooSerializer

# use Ralph router instance to register new viewset
router.register(r'foos', FooViewSet)

What are built-in features of Ralph API classes?


  • include both object PK and its url (see ralph.api.serializers.RalphAPISerializer.get_default_field_names for details).
  • every sub-serializer (even instantiated directly as a field in other serializer) have current context set.
  • use ralph.api.serializers.ReversedChoiceField for all choice fields - this serializer allow to pass value by name instead of key. Additionally it present value in user-friendly format by-name. This field works perfectly with dj.choices.Choices.
  • include permissions per field checking using ralph.lib.permissions.api.PermissionsPerFieldSerializerMixin - only fields to which user has access will be returned. This field also handle view-only permission as read-only field.
  • include permission validation on object level for related fields - if related field model use permissions for object, then only objects to which user has access could be selected/displayed in related field.
  • validate data using model's clean validation (set _validate_using_model_clean to False in your save seriazlier to turn this off)


  • default serializer for save actions (POST, PUT, PATCH) in which every relation will be serialized using rest_framework.serializers.PrimaryKeyRelatedField (so user should specify object PK in relation field). This serializer could be overwritten using save_serializer_class attribute in RalphAPIViewSet.
  • include ralph.api.utils.QuerysetRelatedMixin which can easily handle select_related and prefetch_related on queryset. By default select_related is fill with related admin site list_select_related value.
  • include ralph.api.viewsets.AdminSearchFieldsMixin thanks to which search fields will be by default taken from related admin site.
  • include ralph.api.permissions.RalphPermission, which check if user is properly authenticated (through IsAuthenticated), user has access to object (through ObjectPermissionsMixin) and user has proper Django admin permissions (add_*, change_*, delete_*) requested model.

Filter backends

By default RalphAPIViewSet use the following filter backends: rest_framework.filters.DjangoFilterBackend - provides basic filtering for Django model - in RalphAPIViewSet (through AdminSearchFieldsMixin) filter fields are associated with model's admin. ralph.lib.permissions.api.PermissionsForObjectFilter - limit result only to object for which user has permission at least to view. rest_framework.filters.OrderingFilter - order queryset using order url param. ralph.api.filters.ExtendedFiltersBackend - allows to filter for multiple fields using single query param - it's usefull especially for polymorphic models. To use extended filters define extended_filter_fields in your view, ex. extended_filter_fields = {'name': ['asset__hostname', ip__address', 'cloudhost__hostname'] - this filter will allow you to search using name query param and it will be resolved to compound search (using OR operator) for fields asset__hostname, ip__address or cloudhost__hostname (ex. <URL>?name=abc will result in search Q(asset__hostname=abc) | Q(ip__address=abc) | Q(cloudhost__hostname=abc)). ralph.api.filters.LookupFilterBackend - filter by lookups (using Django's __ convention) in query params, ex. <URL>?barcode__startswit=123 or <URL>?invoice_date__lte=2015-01-01. ralph.api.filters.TagsFilterBackend - Filter queryset by tags. Multiple tags could be specified in url query: <URL>?tag=abc&tag=def&tag=123.

Note that polymorphic models (api resources) by default support lookup filters and extended filters, so you could call compound query on your polymorphic-root model, ex. <URL>/base-objects/?name__startswith=abc, which will be resolved to query, checking if one of fields defined in extended_filter_fields (in above example asset__hostname, ip__address or cloudhost__hostname) startswith abc.