I have a question about dealing with m2m / through models and their presentation in django rest framework. Let's take a classic example:

models.py:

from django.db import models

class Member(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length = 20)
    groups = models.ManyToManyField('Group', through = 'Membership')

class Group(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length = 20)

class Membership(models.Model):
    member = models.ForeignKey('Member')
    group = models.ForeignKey('Group')
    join_date = models.DateTimeField()

serializers.py:

imports...

class MemberSerializer(ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Member

class GroupSerializer(ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Group

views.py:

imports...

class MemberViewSet(ModelViewSet):
    queryset = Member.objects.all()
    serializer_class = MemberSerializer

class GroupViewSet(ModelViewSet):
    queryset = Group.objects.all()
    serializer_class = GroupSerializer

When GETing an instance of Member, I successfully receive all of the member's fields and also its groups - however I only get the groups' details, without extra details that comes from the Membership model.

In other words I expect to receive:

{
   'id' : 2,
   'name' : 'some member',
   'groups' : [
      {
         'id' : 55,
         'name' : 'group 1'
         'join_date' : 34151564
      },
      {
         'id' : 56,
         'name' : 'group 2'
         'join_date' : 11200299
      }
   ]
}

Note the join_date.

I have tried oh so many solutions, including of course Django Rest-Framework official page about it and no one seems to give a proper plain answer about it - what do I need to do to include these extra fields? I found it more straight-forward with django-tastypie but had some other problems and prefer rest-framework.

Solution 1

How about.....

On your MemberSerializer, define a field on it like:

groups = MembershipSerializer(source='membership_set', many=True)

and then on your membership serializer you can create this:

class MembershipSerializer(serializers.HyperlinkedModelSerializer):

    id = serializers.Field(source='group.id')
    name = serializers.Field(source='group.name')

    class Meta:
        model = Membership

        fields = ('id', 'name', 'join_date', )

That has the overall effect of creating a serialized value, groups, that has as its source the membership you want, and then it uses a custom serializer to pull out the bits you want to display.

EDIT: as commented by @bryanph, serializers.field was renamed to serializers.ReadOnlyField in DRF 3.0, so this should read:

class MembershipSerializer(serializers.HyperlinkedModelSerializer):

    id = serializers.ReadOnlyField(source='group.id')
    name = serializers.ReadOnlyField(source='group.name')

    class Meta:
        model = Membership

        fields = ('id', 'name', 'join_date', )

for any modern implementations

Solution 2

I was facing this problem and my solution (using DRF 3.6) was to use SerializerMethodField on the object and explicitly query the Membership table like so:

class MembershipSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    """Used as a nested serializer by MemberSerializer"""
    class Meta:
        model = Membership
        fields = ('id','group','join_date')

class MemberSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    groups = serializers.SerializerMethodField()

    class Meta:
        model = Member
        fields = ('id','name','groups')

    def get_groups(self, obj):
        "obj is a Member instance. Returns list of dicts"""
        qset = Membership.objects.filter(member=obj)
        return [MembershipSerializer(m).data for m in qset]

This will return a list of dicts for the groups key where each dict is serialized from the MembershipSerializer. To make it writable, you can define your own create/update method inside the MemberSerializer where you iterate over the input data and explicitly create or update Membership model instances.

Solution 3

NOTE: As a Software Engineer, I love to use Architectures and I have deeply worked on Layered Approach for Development so I am gonna be Answering it with Respect to Tiers.

As i understood the Issue, Here's the Solution models.py

class Member(models.Model):
    member_id = models.AutoField(primary_key=True)
    member_name = models.CharField(max_length = 

class Group(models.Model):
    group_id = models.AutoField(primary_key=True)
    group_name = models.CharField(max_length = 20)
    fk_member_id = models.ForeignKey('Member', models.DO_NOTHING, 
                             db_column='fk_member_id', blank=True, null=True)

class Membership(models.Model):
    membershipid = models.AutoField(primary_key=True)
    fk_group_id = models.ForeignKey('Group', models.DO_NOTHING, 
                             db_column='fk_member_id', blank=True, null=True)
    join_date = models.DateTimeField()

serializers.py

import serializer

class AllSerializer(serializer.Serializer):
    group_id = serializer.IntegerField()
    group_name = serializer.CharField(max_length = 20)
    join_date = serializer.DateTimeField()

CustomModels.py

imports...

    class AllDataModel():
        group_id = ""
        group_name = ""
        join_date = ""

BusinessLogic.py

imports ....
class getdata(memberid):
    alldataDict = {}
    dto = []
    Member = models.Members.objects.get(member_id=memberid) #or use filter for Name
    alldataDict["MemberId"] = Member.member_id
    alldataDict["MemberName"] = Member.member_name
    Groups = models.Group.objects.filter(fk_member_id=Member)
    for item in Groups:
        Custommodel = CustomModels.AllDataModel()
        Custommodel.group_id = item.group_id
        Custommodel.group_name = item.group_name
        Membership = models.Membership.objects.get(fk_group_id=item.group_id)
        Custommodel.join_date = Membership.join_date
        dto.append(Custommodel)
    serializer = AllSerializer(dto,many=True)
    alldataDict.update(serializer.data)
    return alldataDict

You would technically, have to pass the Request to DataAccessLayer which would return the Filtered Objects from Data Access Layer but as I have to Answer the Question in a Fast Manner so i adjusted the Code in Business Logic Layer!