How to Serialize Data in Django


In this article, we show how to serialize data in Django.

Through serialization, we can convert native Python (or Django) code into JSON or XML format.

Why would we want to serialize data in Django?

There are many reasons why you would want to convert native Django code into JSON or XML code, but the major reason is that Django code is limited to use only by Django. Meanwhile, JSON and XML are pretty much universal data formats that can be used by a wide variety of languages. So it is often necessary to serialize data into JSON or XML format, so that it can be worked with on the other receiving end. Django code wouldn't be suitable in many cases and needs often to be converted into JSON or XML.

So how do we serialize data in Django?

Like many things, Django has built-in functionality in order to accomplish this.

From django.core, we import serializers.

This serializers class has a serialize() function that takes 2 parameters: the first is the type of data (whether 'json' or 'xml') and the second is the data object that you want converted.

This is shown in the following code below.

So let's go over the code now.

So, in this code, we have imported serializers from django.core

We also import the Post model from the file in the posts app.

Then we create a variable, allposts, which contain all of the Post objects of the Post model.

If you were to use the Python type() function, you would find that this allposts variable is of type, 'django.db.models.query.QuerySet'.

This data is really only useful within a Django programming environment.

If you were doing an API, this data would have to be converted into a more universal format, such as JSON or XML.

An API, though, is not the only reason to serialize data. If you want to place this Django QuerySet within a session variable, you would have to serialize the data. You could not place a QuerySet within a session variable directly. So this is another use case for serializing objects in Django.

So, back to our code, we create a variable, serializeddata, which holds the serialized data of the allposts variable in JSON format.

We can now send this data either to an external application which can process JSON data, or we can place this serialized data within a session variable and transfer the data that way. There are many options of what you can do with the serialized data.

And this is how to serialize data in Django.

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