DRF provided a very robus method to query from client. Client can query multiple dataset without adding new endpoint.

For example: Assume we have 2 models, Category and Article 1 article can be belong to 1 category or no category at all.

Our customer wants to:

  • Getting full list of articles
  • Filter articles by cateogry ID, category UID
  • Order articles by created time
  • Order articles by category’s created time

These requirements seem too much but it’s very simple in DRF realm.

All we need are 2 kind of filters:

  • django_filter: https://github.com/carltongibson/django-filter (note: use 2.x version)
  • Build-in OrderingFilter of DRF

To use django_filter, we need 2 steps if we don’t use generics.ListAPIView:

  • Define custom filter
  • Tell DRF the filters we want to use
  • Declare filterset_class in the view we want to use.

Define custom filter:

I recommend to put filters in separate file instead of inside models.py. api/apps/article/filters.py

from django_filters import rest_framework as filters
from .models import Article

class ArticleFilter(filters.FilterSet):
    category = filters.NumberFilter(field_name='category_id')
    category_uid = filters.CharFilter(field_name='category__uid')

    class Meta:
        model = Article
        fields = {
            'category': ['exact', 'isnull'],
            'category_uid': ['exact'],

Tell DRF the filters we want to use in settings.py:


Declare filter:

class ArticleViewSet(GenericViewSet):
    filterset_class = ArticleFilter
    ordering_fields = ('id', 'category', )

That is, this is the demo: