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How to Handle Simple Form Submissions in Django?

By Editorial @stacktips, On Jan 23, 2024 Django 2.49K Views

Forms are the key component of building any web applications. Forms provide an easy and efficient way to handle user input and process form data.

In Django a form is a Python class that defines the fields of a form and their behavior, including how data is validated and processed. Django provide a convenient way to render forms in HTML templates. Form fields can be customized with labels, help text, and error messages. They can also be styled with CSS to match the look and feel of the web application.

Django provides two main types of forms:

  • Standard forms
  • Model forms.

Standard forms are used for creating custom forms that are not tied to any specific database model.

Model forms, on the other hand, are used for creating forms that are tied to a specific database model. Model forms automatically generate form fields based on the fields of the model, which can save a lot of time and effort in creating and managing forms.

Handling Standard forms in Django

Here is a basic example of how to handle form submissions in Django:

First, let us define a Django form in forms.py file.

from django import forms

class ContactForm(forms.Form):
    name = forms.CharField(max_length=100)
    email = forms.EmailField()
    message = forms.CharField(widget=forms.Textarea)

Secondly, define a view that renders the form and handles form submissions in views.py

from django.shortcuts import render
from .forms import ContactForm

def contact_form_view(request):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        form = ContactForm(request.POST)
        if form.is_valid():
            name = form.cleaned_data['name']
            email = form.cleaned_data['email']
            message = form.cleaned_data['message']
            return render(request, 'success_page.html')
    else:
        form = ContactForm()
    return render(request, 'contact_page.html', {'form': form})

If the request method is not POST, we create a new instance of the ContactForm class and render the form using a template contact_page.html. We pass the form object to the template context using a dictionary.

Lastly, define a template contact_page.html that renders the form

<form method="post">
    {% csrf_token %}
    {{ form.as_p }}
    <button type="submit">Submit</button>
</form>

The form.as_p method outputs each form field as a separate HTML paragraph element. We also include a CSRF token using the {% csrf_token %} template tag and a submit button to submit the form.

When the user submits the form, the data is sent to the server using a POST request. The view code above will then validate and process the data, and return an appropriate response to the user.

Handling Model Forms in Django

Creating Model Forms in Django is pretty straightforward.

Define Model

First we need to define a model class. A model class represents the database table, that the form with interact with.

from django.db import models

class Person(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    email = models.EmailField()

Create a form class:

Next, create a form class that is based on your model. This can be done by using Django's built-in ModelForm class.

The ModelForm class automatically creates form fields based on the fields in your model.

from django import forms
from .models import Person

class PersonForm(forms.ModelForm):
    class Meta:
        model = Person
        fields = ('name', 'email')
        labels = {
            'name': 'Name',
            'email': 'Email Address',
        }
        help_texts = {
            'name': 'Enter your name',
            'email': 'Enter your email address',
        }

In this example, we have defined a Person model with two fields: name and email. Then, we have created a PersonForm form class that is based on the Person model.

The form fields can be customized by specifying additional attributes such as labels, help texts, and validation rules.

Define Form template

Lastly, define a template person_form.html that renders the form

{% extends "base.html" %}

{% block content %}
  <h1>Create a new person</h1>
  <form method="post">
    {% csrf_token %}
    {{ form.as_p }}
    <input type="submit" value="Save">
  </form>
{% endblock %}

Create the form in a view:

Create an instance of the form class in a view function that is responsible for rendering the form to the user.

from django.shortcuts import render, redirect
from .forms import PersonForm

def create_person(request):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        form = PersonForm(request.POST)
        if form.is_valid():
            person = form.save()
            return redirect('person_detail', pk=person.pk)
    else:
        form = PersonForm()
    return render(request, 'person_form.html', {'form': form})

def person_detail(request, pk):
    person = Person.objects.get(pk=pk)
    return render(request, 'person_detail.html', {'person': person})

When the user submits the form, the create_person view function will validate the form data and save it to the database. If the data is valid, we redirect the user to the person_detail view.

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