Python – How to store a dictionary on a Django Model


I need to store some data in a Django model. These data are not equal to all instances of the model.

At first I thought about subclassing the model, but I’m trying to keep the application flexible. If I use subclasses, I’ll need to create a whole class each time I need a new kind of object, and that’s no good. I’ll also end up with a lot of subclasses only to store a pair of extra fields.

I really feel that a dictionary would be the best approach, but there’s nothing in the Django documentation about storing a dictionary in a Django model (or I can’t find it).

Any clues?

Best Solution

If it's really dictionary like arbitrary data you're looking for you can probably use a two-level setup with one model that's a container and another model that's key-value pairs. You'd create an instance of the container, create each of the key-value instances, and associate the set of key-value instances with the container instance. Something like:

class Dicty(models.Model):
    name      = models.CharField(max_length=50)

class KeyVal(models.Model):
    container = models.ForeignKey(Dicty, db_index=True)
    key       = models.CharField(max_length=240, db_index=True)
    value     = models.CharField(max_length=240, db_index=True)

It's not pretty, but it'll let you access/search the innards of the dictionary using the DB whereas a pickle/serialize solution will not.