What’s the difference between django OneToOneField and ForeignKey


What's the difference between Django OneToOneField and ForeignKey?

Best Solution

Differences between OneToOneField(SomeModel) and ForeignKey(SomeModel, unique=True) as stated in The Definitive Guide to Django:


A one-to-one relationship. Conceptually, this is similar to a ForeignKey with unique=True, but the "reverse" side of the relation will directly return a single object.

In contrast to the OneToOneField "reverse" relation, a ForeignKey "reverse" relation returns a QuerySet.


For example, if we have the following two models (full model code below):

  1. Car model uses OneToOneField(Engine)
  2. Car2 model uses ForeignKey(Engine2, unique=True)

From within python manage.py shell execute the following:

OneToOneField Example

>>> from testapp.models import Car, Engine
>>> c = Car.objects.get(name='Audi')
>>> e = Engine.objects.get(name='Diesel')
>>> e.car
<Car: Audi>

ForeignKey with unique=True Example

>>> from testapp.models import Car2, Engine2
>>> c2 = Car2.objects.get(name='Mazda')
>>> e2 = Engine2.objects.get(name='Wankel')
>>> e2.car2_set.all()
[<Car2: Mazda>]

Model Code

from django.db import models

class Engine(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=25)

    def __unicode__(self):
        return self.name

class Car(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=25)
    engine = models.OneToOneField(Engine)

    def __unicode__(self):
        return self.name

class Engine2(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=25)

    def __unicode__(self):
        return self.name

class Car2(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=25)
    engine = models.ForeignKey(Engine2, unique=True, on_delete=models.CASCADE)

    def __unicode__(self):
        return self.name