From Concept to Reality in 30 Days

The funny thing about Django, is that once you start using it, it’s not easy to look at web applications the same. It’s quick, easy to use and written in Python, my 3 favorite things. So it’s not uncommon for someone like me to have this sort of view. This doesn’t mean it’s entirely true and by no means am I saying “my company sucks.”

Where I work, our primary language is ColdFusion, which we use in conjunction with the Fusebox framework. This makes it pretty easy for us to build different components which we can swap out of one project and into another, much like Django applications. When we swap things out however, there are always little changes that need to be done, usually adding fields or making something required or not required. The problem here is that we then have to add view code for the admin side of things, add it to all the stored procedures, etc, etc, etc. With Django, a change like that is two or three lines, in probably 50% of the cases.

In Django’s default install (0.91), a developer gets a huge portion of what our company offers, right out of the box, by way of Generic Views and the default Admin (with user management and permissions). Most of the basic functionality, our CMS handles, involves pulling things straight out of the database, and onto the page, all of which could be done with generic views. Quite often we do this without a pager (Django could do this for us), which for whatever reason our clients usually decide is unneccessary.

On the Admin side, it is usually straight CRUD, just giving the user an abstract look at the database. This is nothing Django couldn’t handle out of the box. In fact, Django would probably do this better since it keeps a history of who did what and when it happened. (We don’t keep these records).

Our content management system, for all intents and purposes could be rewritten in Django in a few hours at most and would result in a much faster development cycle and possibly be faster than enterprise level ColdFusion. Not only that, but it would be much cheaper (ColdFusion + MSSQL costs big bucks), and provide better urls than our solution, which in turn would be better for Search Engine Optimization. Since Django runs on LAMP, LAPP (for postgres users), and LASP (for sqlite3), a Django application could be deployed for the cost of a server, and a few hours of development time.

Am I saying that my place of employment isn’t smart for using the quickest (and probably better) tool for the job? Not at all. The solutions they provide are of high quality, and they’ve been around for over 10 years serving pages for lots of major clients.

I’m just saying that with the help of Django at this shop, we could increase the number of projects we’re working on, and the number of projects that go live within a month. And the month is only because of design rounds and production.

— 2006-04-04