Convert Django Model object to dict with all of the fields intact

Convert Django Model object to dict with all of the fields intact

How does one convert a Django Model object to a dict with all of its fields? All ideally includes foreign keys and fields with editable=False.
Let me elaborate. Let's say I have a Django model like the following:
from django.db import models

class OtherModel(models.Model): pass

class SomeModel(models.Model):
    normal_value = models.IntegerField()
    readonly_value = models.IntegerField(editable=False)
    auto_now_add = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True)
    foreign_key = models.ForeignKey(OtherModel, related_name="ref1")
    many_to_many = models.ManyToManyField(OtherModel, related_name="ref2")

In the terminal, I have done the following:
other_model = OtherModel()
other_model.save()
instance = SomeModel()
instance.normal_value = 1
instance.readonly_value = 2
instance.foreign_key = other_model
instance.save()
instance.many_to_many.add(other_model)
instance.save()

I want to convert this to the following dictionary:
{'auto_now_add': datetime.datetime(2015, 3, 16, 21, 34, 14, 926738, tzinfo=),
 'foreign_key': 1,
 'id': 1,
 'many_to_many': [1],
 'normal_value': 1,
 'readonly_value': 2}


Questions with unsatisfactory answers:
Django: Converting an entire set of a Model's objects into a single dictionary
How can I turn Django Model objects into a dictionary and still have their foreign keys?

Solutions/Answers:

Answer 1:

There are many ways to convert an instance to a dictionary, with varying degrees of corner case handling and closeness to the desired result.


1. instance.__dict__

instance.__dict__

which returns

{'_foreign_key_cache': <OtherModel: OtherModel object>,
 '_state': <django.db.models.base.ModelState at 0x7ff0993f6908>,
 'auto_now_add': datetime.datetime(2018, 12, 20, 21, 34, 29, 494827, tzinfo=<UTC>),
 'foreign_key_id': 2,
 'id': 1,
 'normal_value': 1,
 'readonly_value': 2}

This is by far the simplest, but is missing many_to_many, foreign_key is misnamed, and it has two unwanted extra things in it.


2. model_to_dict

from django.forms.models import model_to_dict
model_to_dict(instance)

which returns

{'foreign_key': 2,
 'id': 1,
 'many_to_many': [<OtherModel: OtherModel object>],
 'normal_value': 1}

This is the only one with many_to_many, but is missing the uneditable fields.


3. model_to_dict(..., fields=...)

from django.forms.models import model_to_dict
model_to_dict(instance, fields=[field.name for field in instance._meta.fields])

which returns

{'foreign_key': 2, 'id': 1, 'normal_value': 1}

This is strictly worse than the standard model_to_dict invocation.


4. query_set.values()

SomeModel.objects.filter(id=instance.id).values()[0]

which returns

{'auto_now_add': datetime.datetime(2018, 12, 20, 21, 34, 29, 494827, tzinfo=<UTC>),
 'foreign_key_id': 2,
 'id': 1,
 'normal_value': 1,
 'readonly_value': 2}

This is the same output as instance.__dict__ but without the extra fields.
foreign_key_id is still wrong and many_to_many is still missing.


5. Custom Function

The code for django’s model_to_dict had most of the answer. It explicitly removed non-editable fields, so removing that check and getting the ids of foreign keys for many to many fields results in the following code which behaves as desired:

from itertools import chain

def to_dict(instance):
    opts = instance._meta
    data = {}
    for f in chain(opts.concrete_fields, opts.private_fields):
        data[f.name] = f.value_from_object(instance)
    for f in opts.many_to_many:
        data[f.name] = [i.id for i in f.value_from_object(instance)]
    return data

While this is the most complicated option, calling to_dict(instance) gives us exactly the desired result:

{'auto_now_add': datetime.datetime(2018, 12, 20, 21, 34, 29, 494827, tzinfo=<UTC>),
 'foreign_key': 2,
 'id': 1,
 'many_to_many': [2],
 'normal_value': 1,
 'readonly_value': 2}

6. Use Serializers

Django Rest Framework‘s ModelSerialzer allows you to build a serializer automatically from a model.

from rest_framework import serializers
class SomeModelSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = SomeModel
        fields = "__all__"

SomeModelSerializer(instance).data

returns

{'auto_now_add': '2018-12-20T21:34:29.494827Z',
 'foreign_key': 2,
 'id': 1,
 'many_to_many': [2],
 'normal_value': 1,
 'readonly_value': 2}

This is almost as good as the custom function, but auto_now_add is a string instead of a datetime object.


Bonus Round: better model printing

If you want a django model that has a better python command-line display, have your models child-class the following:

from django.db import models
from itertools import chain

class PrintableModel(models.Model):
    def __repr__(self):
        return str(self.to_dict())

    def to_dict(instance):
        opts = instance._meta
        data = {}
        for f in chain(opts.concrete_fields, opts.private_fields):
            data[f.name] = f.value_from_object(instance)
        for f in opts.many_to_many:
            data[f.name] = [i.id for i in f.value_from_object(instance)]
        return data

    class Meta:
        abstract = True

So, for example, if we define our models as such:

class OtherModel(PrintableModel): pass

class SomeModel(PrintableModel):
    normal_value = models.IntegerField()
    readonly_value = models.IntegerField(editable=False)
    auto_now_add = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True)
    foreign_key = models.ForeignKey(OtherModel, related_name="ref1")
    many_to_many = models.ManyToManyField(OtherModel, related_name="ref2")

Calling SomeModel.objects.first() now gives output like this:

{'auto_now_add': datetime.datetime(2018, 12, 20, 21, 34, 29, 494827, tzinfo=<UTC>),
 'foreign_key': 2,
 'id': 1,
 'many_to_many': [2],
 'normal_value': 1,
 'readonly_value': 2}

Answer 2:

I found a neat solution to get to result:

Suppose you have an model object o:

Just call:

type(o).objects.filter(pk=o.pk).values().first()

Answer 3:

@Zags solution was gorgeous!

I would add, though, a condition for datefields in order to make it JSON friendly.

Bonus Round

If you want a django model that has a better python command-line display, have your models child class the following:

from django.db import models
from django.db.models.fields.related import ManyToManyField

class PrintableModel(models.Model):
    def __repr__(self):
        return str(self.to_dict())

    def to_dict(self):
        opts = self._meta
        data = {}
        for f in opts.concrete_fields + opts.many_to_many:
            if isinstance(f, ManyToManyField):
                if self.pk is None:
                    data[f.name] = []
                else:
                    data[f.name] = list(f.value_from_object(self).values_list('pk', flat=True))
            elif isinstance(f, DateTimeField):
                if f.value_from_object(self) is not None:
                    data[f.name] = f.value_from_object(self).timestamp()
            else:
                data[f.name] = None
            else:
                data[f.name] = f.value_from_object(self)
        return data

    class Meta:
        abstract = True

So, for example, if we define our models as such:

class OtherModel(PrintableModel): pass

class SomeModel(PrintableModel):
    value = models.IntegerField()
    value2 = models.IntegerField(editable=False)
    created = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True)
    reference1 = models.ForeignKey(OtherModel, related_name="ref1")
    reference2 = models.ManyToManyField(OtherModel, related_name="ref2")

Calling SomeModel.objects.first() now gives output like this:

{'created': 1426552454.926738,
'value': 1, 'value2': 2, 'reference1': 1, u'id': 1, 'reference2': [1]}

Answer 4:

Simplest way,

  1. If your query is Model.Objects.get():

    get() will return single instance so you can direct use __dict__ from your instance

    model_dict = Model.Objects.get().__dict__

  2. for filter()/all():

    all()/filter() will return list of instances so you can use values() to get list of objects.

    model_values = Model.Objects.all().values()

Answer 5:

just vars(obj) , it will state the whole values of the object

>>> obj_attrs = vars(obj)
>>> obj_attrs
 {'_file_data_cache': <FileData: Data>,
  '_state': <django.db.models.base.ModelState at 0x7f5c6733bad0>,
  'aggregator_id': 24,
  'amount': 5.0,
  'biller_id': 23,
  'datetime': datetime.datetime(2018, 1, 31, 18, 43, 58, 933277, tzinfo=<UTC>),
  'file_data_id': 797719,
 }

You can add this also

>>> keys = obj_attrs.keys()
>>> temp = [obj_attrs.pop(key) if key.startswith('_') else None for key in keys]
>>> del temp
>>> obj_attrs
   {
    'aggregator_id': 24,
    'amount': 5.0,
    'biller_id': 23,
    'datetime': datetime.datetime(2018, 1, 31, 18, 43, 58, 933277, tzinfo=<UTC>),
    'file_data_id': 797719,
   }

Answer 6:

Update

The newer aggregated answer posted by @zags is more complete and elegant than my own. Please refer to that answer instead.

Original

If you are willing to define your own to_dict method like @karthiker suggested, then that just boils this problem down to a sets problem.

>>># Returns a set of all keys excluding editable = False keys
>>>dict = model_to_dict(instance)
>>>dict

{u'id': 1L, 'reference1': 1L, 'reference2': [1L], 'value': 1}


>>># Returns a set of editable = False keys, misnamed foreign keys, and normal keys
>>>otherDict = SomeModel.objects.filter(id=instance.id).values()[0]
>>>otherDict

{'created': datetime.datetime(2014, 2, 21, 4, 38, 51, tzinfo=<UTC>),
 u'id': 1L,
 'reference1_id': 1L,
 'value': 1L,
 'value2': 2L}

We need to remove the mislabeled foreign keys from otherDict.

To do this, we can use a loop that makes a new dictionary that has every item except those with underscores in them. Or, to save time, we can just add those to the original dict since dictionaries are just sets under the hood.

>>>for item in otherDict.items():
...    if "_" not in item[0]:
...            dict.update({item[0]:item[1]})
...
>>>

Thus we are left with the following dict:

>>>dict
{'created': datetime.datetime(2014, 2, 21, 4, 38, 51, tzinfo=<UTC>),
 u'id': 1L,
 'reference1': 1L,
 'reference2': [1L],
 'value': 1,
 'value2': 2L}

And you just return that.

On the downside, you can’t use underscores in your editable=false field names. On the upside, this will work for any set of fields where the user-made fields do not contain underscores.

This is not the best way of doing this, but it could work as a temporary solution until a more direct method is found.

For the example below, dict would be formed based on model_to_dict and otherDict would be formed by filter’s values method. I would have done this with the models themselves, but I can’t get my machine to accept otherModel.

>>> import datetime
>>> dict = {u'id': 1, 'reference1': 1, 'reference2': [1], 'value': 1}
>>> otherDict = {'created': datetime.datetime(2014, 2, 21, 4, 38, 51), u'id': 1, 'reference1_id': 1, 'value': 1, 'value2': 2}
>>> for item in otherDict.items():
...     if "_" not in item[0]:
...             dict.update({item[0]:item[1]})
...
>>> dict
{'reference1': 1, 'created': datetime.datetime(2014, 2, 21, 4, 38, 51), 'value2': 2, 'value': 1, 'id': 1, 'reference2': [1]}
>>>

That should put you in a rough ballpark of the answer to your question, I hope.

Answer 7:

(did not mean to make the comment)

Ok, it doesn’t really depend on types in that way. I may have mis-understood the original question here so forgive me if that is the case. If you create serliazers.py then in there you create classes that have meta classes.

Class MyModelSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = modelName
        fields =('csv','of','fields')

Then when you get the data in the view class you can:

model_data - Model.objects.filter(...)
serializer = MyModelSerializer(model_data, many=True)
return Response({'data': serilaizer.data}, status=status.HTTP_200_OK)

That is pretty much what I have in a vareity of places and it returns nice JSON via the JSONRenderer.

As I said this is courtesy of the DjangoRestFramework so it’s worth looking into that.

Answer 8:

Lots of interesting solutions here. My solution was to add an as_dict method to my model with a dict comprehension.

def as_dict(self):
    return dict((f.name, getattr(self, f.name)) for f in self._meta.fields)

As a bonus, this solution paired with an list comprehension over a query makes for a nice solution if you want export your models to another library. For example, dumping your models into a pandas dataframe:

pandas_awesomeness = pd.DataFrame([m.as_dict() for m in SomeModel.objects.all()])

Answer 9:

Maybe this help you. May this not covert many to many relantionship, but es pretty handy when you want to send your model in json format.

def serial_model(modelobj):
  opts = modelobj._meta.fields
  modeldict = model_to_dict(modelobj)
  for m in opts:
    if m.is_relation:
        foreignkey = getattr(modelobj, m.name)
        if foreignkey:
            try:
                modeldict[m.name] = serial_model(foreignkey)
            except:
                pass
  return modeldict

Answer 10:

Best solution you have ever see.

Convert django.db.models.Model instance and all related ForeignKey, ManyToManyField and @Property function fields into dict.

"""
Convert django.db.models.Model instance and all related ForeignKey, ManyToManyField and @property function fields into dict.
Usage:
    class MyDjangoModel(... PrintableModel):
        to_dict_fields = (...)
        to_dict_exclude = (...)
        ...
    a_dict = [inst.to_dict(fields=..., exclude=...) for inst in MyDjangoModel.objects.all()]
"""
import typing

import django.core.exceptions
import django.db.models
import django.forms.models


def get_decorators_dir(cls, exclude: typing.Optional[set]=None) -> set:
    """
    Ref: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4930414/how-can-i-introspect-properties-and-model-fields-in-django
    :param exclude: set or None
    :param cls:
    :return: a set of decorators
    """
    default_exclude = {"pk", "objects"}
    if not exclude:
        exclude = default_exclude
    else:
        exclude = exclude.union(default_exclude)

    return set([name for name in dir(cls) if name not in exclude and isinstance(getattr(cls, name), property)])


class PrintableModel(django.db.models.Model):

    class Meta:
        abstract = True

    def __repr__(self):
        return str(self.to_dict())

    def to_dict(self, fields: typing.Optional[typing.Iterable]=None, exclude: typing.Optional[typing.Iterable]=None):
        opts = self._meta
        data = {}

        # support fields filters and excludes
        if not fields:
            fields = set()
        else:
            fields = set(fields)
        default_fields = getattr(self, "to_dict_fields", set())
        fields = fields.union(default_fields)

        if not exclude:
            exclude = set()
        else:
            exclude = set(exclude)
        default_exclude = getattr(self, "to_dict_exclude", set())
        exclude = exclude.union(default_exclude)

        # support syntax "field__childField__..."
        self_fields = set()
        child_fields = dict()
        if fields:
            for i in fields:
                splits = i.split("__")
                if len(splits) == 1:
                    self_fields.add(splits[0])
                else:
                    self_fields.add(splits[0])

                    field_name = splits[0]
                    child_fields.setdefault(field_name, set())
                    child_fields[field_name].add("__".join(splits[1:]))

        self_exclude = set()
        child_exclude = dict()
        if exclude:
            for i in exclude:
                splits = i.split("__")
                if len(splits) == 1:
                    self_exclude.add(splits[0])
                else:
                    field_name = splits[0]
                    if field_name not in child_exclude:
                        child_exclude[field_name] = set()
                    child_exclude[field_name].add("__".join(splits[1:]))

        for f in opts.concrete_fields + opts.many_to_many:
            if self_fields and f.name not in self_fields:
                continue
            if self_exclude and f.name in self_exclude:
                continue

            if isinstance(f, django.db.models.ManyToManyField):
                if self.pk is None:
                    data[f.name] = []
                else:
                    result = []
                    m2m_inst = f.value_from_object(self)
                    for obj in m2m_inst:
                        if isinstance(PrintableModel, obj) and hasattr(obj, "to_dict"):
                            d = obj.to_dict(
                                fields=child_fields.get(f.name),
                                exclude=child_exclude.get(f.name),
                            )
                        else:
                            d = django.forms.models.model_to_dict(
                                obj,
                                fields=child_fields.get(f.name),
                                exclude=child_exclude.get(f.name)
                            )
                        result.append(d)
                    data[f.name] = result
            elif isinstance(f, django.db.models.ForeignKey):
                if self.pk is None:
                    data[f.name] = []
                else:
                    data[f.name] = None
                    try:
                        foreign_inst = getattr(self, f.name)
                    except django.core.exceptions.ObjectDoesNotExist:
                        pass
                    else:
                        if isinstance(foreign_inst, PrintableModel) and hasattr(foreign_inst, "to_dict"):
                            data[f.name] = foreign_inst.to_dict(
                                fields=child_fields.get(f.name),
                                exclude=child_exclude.get(f.name)
                            )
                        elif foreign_inst is not None:
                            data[f.name] = django.forms.models.model_to_dict(
                                foreign_inst,
                                fields=child_fields.get(f.name),
                                exclude=child_exclude.get(f.name),
                            )

            elif isinstance(f, (django.db.models.DateTimeField, django.db.models.DateField)):
                v = f.value_from_object(self)
                if v is not None:
                    data[f.name] = v.isoformat()
                else:
                    data[f.name] = None
            else:
                data[f.name] = f.value_from_object(self)

        # support @property decorator functions
        decorator_names = get_decorators_dir(self.__class__)
        for name in decorator_names:
            if self_fields and name not in self_fields:
                continue
            if self_exclude and name in self_exclude:
                continue

            value = getattr(self, name)
            if isinstance(value, PrintableModel) and hasattr(value, "to_dict"):
                data[name] = value.to_dict(
                    fields=child_fields.get(name),
                    exclude=child_exclude.get(name)
                )
            elif hasattr(value, "_meta"):
                # make sure it is a instance of django.db.models.fields.Field
                data[name] = django.forms.models.model_to_dict(
                    value,
                    fields=child_fields.get(name),
                    exclude=child_exclude.get(name),
                )
            elif isinstance(value, (set, )):
                data[name] = list(value)
            else:
                data[name] = value

        return data

https://gist.github.com/shuge/f543dc2094a3183f69488df2bfb51a52

Answer 11:

The answer from @zags is comprehensive and should suffice but the #5 method (which is the best one IMO) throws an error so I improved the helper function.

As the OP requested for converting many_to_many fields into a list of primary keys rather than a list of objects, I enhanced the function so the return value is now JSON serializable – by converting datetime objects into str and many_to_many objects to a list of id’s.

import datetime

def ModelToDict(instance):
    '''
    Returns a dictionary object containing complete field-value pairs of the given instance

    Convertion rules:

        datetime.date --> str
        many_to_many --> list of id's

    '''

    concrete_fields = instance._meta.concrete_fields
    m2m_fields = instance._meta.many_to_many
    data = {}

    for field in concrete_fields:
        key = field.name
        value = field.value_from_object(instance)
        if type(value) == datetime.datetime:
            value = str(field.value_from_object(instance))
        data[key] = value

    for field in m2m_fields:
        key = field.name
        value = field.value_from_object(instance)
        data[key] = [rel.id for rel in value]

    return data

Answer 12:

The easier way is to just use pprint, which is in base Python

import pprint
item = MyDjangoModel.objects.get(name = 'foo')
pprint.pprint(item.__dict__, indent = 4)

This gives output that looks similar to json.dumps(..., indent = 4) but it correctly handles the weird data types that might be embedded in your model instance, such as ModelState and UUID, etc.

Tested on Python 3.7

References