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Django Model Field Reference


nullIf true, empty values may be stored as null in the database
blankIf true, then the field will not be required in forms. If fields are left blank, Django will use the default field value.
choicesAn iterable of 2-element iterables to be used as choices for this field. If set, field is rendered as a drop-down in the admin. [('m', 'Male'),('f','Female'),('z','Prefer Not to Disclose')]. To group options, simply nest the values: [('Video Source',((1,'YouTube'),(2,'Facebook')),('Audio Source',((3, 'Soundcloud'),(4, 'Spotify'))]
db_columnBy default, django uses the field name for the database column. Use this to provide a custom name
db_indexIf True, an index will be created on this field in the database
db_tablespaceThe tablespace to use for this field's index. This field is only used if the database engine supports it, otherwise its ignored.
defaultThe default value for this field. Can be a value, or a callable object. For mutable defaults (a list, a set, a dictionary) you must use a callable. Due to compatibility with migrations, you cannot use lambdas.
editableIf False, the field is not shown in the model admin or any ModelForm. Default is True.
error_messagesUsed to customize the default error messages shown for this field. The value is a dictionary, with the keys representing the error and the value being the message. Default keys (for error messages) are null, blank, invalid, invalid_choice, unique and unique_for_date; additional error messages may be defined by custom fields.
help_textText to be displayed with the field, to assist users. HTML is allowed.
on_deleteWhen an object referenced by a ForeignKey is deleted, Django will emulate the behavior of the SQL constraint specified by the on_delete argument. This is the second positional argument for both ForeignKey and OneToOneField fields. Other fields do not have this argument.
primary_keyIf True, this field will be the primary key. Django automatically adds a primary key; so this is only required if you wish to create a custom primary key. You can only have one primary key per model.
uniqueIf True, errors are raised if duplicate values are entered for this field. This is a database-level restriction, and not simply a user-interface block.
unique_for_dateSet the value to a DateField or DateTimeField, and errors will be raised if there are duplicate values for the same date or date time.
unique_for_monthSimilar to unique_for_date, except checks are limited for the month.
unique_for_yearSimilar to unique_for_date, except checks are limited to the year.
verbose_nameA friendly name for the field, used by django in various places (such as creating labels in the admin and model forms).
validatorsA list of validators for this field.


  • You can write your own fields if you find it necessary
  • You can override functions of the base model class, most commonly the save() function

Number Fields

Examples of numeric fields are given:


An auto-incrementing integer generally used for primary keys.

from django.db import models

class MyModel(models.Model):
    pk = models.AutoField()

Each model gets a primary key field (called id) by default. Therefore, it is not necessary to duplicate an id field in the model for the purposes of a primary key.


An integer fitting numbers from -9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807(8 Bytes).

from django.db import models

class MyModel(models.Model):
    number_of_seconds = models.BigIntegerField()


The IntegerField is used to store integer values from -2147483648 to 2147483647 (4 Bytes).

from django.db import models

class Food(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    calorie = models.IntegerField(default=0)

default parameter is not mandatory. But it's useful to set a default value.


Like an IntegerField, but must be either positive or zero (0). The PositiveIntegerField is used to store integer values from 0 to 2147483647 (4 Bytes). This can be useful at field which should be semantically positive. For example if you are recording foods with its calories, it should not be negative. This field will prevent negative values via its validations.

from django.db import models

class Food(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    calorie = models.PositiveIntegerField(default=0)

default parameter is not mandatory. But it's useful to set a default value.


The SmallIntegerField is used to store integer values from -32768 to 32767 (2 Bytes). This field is useful for values not are not extremes.

from django.db import models

class Place(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    temperature = models.SmallIntegerField(null=True)


The SmallIntegerField is used to store integer values from 0to 32767 (2 Bytes). Just like SmallIntegerField this field is useful for values not going so high and should be semantically positive. For example it can store age which cannot be negative.

from django.db import models

class Staff(models.Model):
    first_name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    age = models.PositiveSmallIntegerField(null=True)

Besides PositiveSmallIntegerField is useful for choices, this is the Djangoic way of implementing Enum:

from django.db import models
from django.utils.translation import gettext as _


    (APPLICATION_NEW, _('New')),
    (APPLICATION_RECEIVED, _('Received')),
    (APPLICATION_APPROVED, _('Approved')),
    (APPLICATION_REJECTED, _('Rejected')),

class JobApplication(models.Model):
    first_name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    status = models.PositiveSmallIntegerField(

Definition of the choices as class variables or module variables according to the situation is a good way to use them. If choices are passed to field without friendly names than it will create confusion.


A fixed-precision decimal number, represented in Python by a Decimal instance. Unlike IntegerField and its derivatives this field has 2 required arguments:

  1. DecimalField.max_digits: The maximum number of digits allowed in the number. Note that this number must be greater than or equal to decimal_places.
  2. DecimalField.decimal_places: The number of decimal places to store with the number.

If you want to store numbers up to 99 with 3 decimal places you need use max_digits=5 and decimal_places=3:

class Place(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    atmospheric_pressure = models.DecimalField(max_digits=5, decimal_places=3)


This is a specialized field, used to store binary data. It only accepts bytes. Data is base64 serialized upon storage.

As this is storing binary data, this field cannot be used in a filter.

from django.db import models

class MyModel(models.Model):
    my_binary_data = models.BinaryField()


The CharField is used for storing defined lengths of text. In the example below up to 128 characters of text can be stored in the field. Entering a string longer than this will result in a validation error being raised.

from django.db import models

class MyModel(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=128, blank=True)


DateTimeField is used to store date time values.

class MyModel(models.Model):
    start_time = models.DateFimeField(null=True, blank=True)
    created_on = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True)
    updated_on = models.DateTimeField(auto_now=True)

A DateTimeField has two optional parameters:

  • auto_now_add sets the value of the field to current datetime when the object is created.

  • auto_now sets the value of the field to current datetime every time the field is saved.

These options and the default parameter are mutually exclusive.


ForeignKey field is used to create a many-to-one relationship between models. Not like the most of other fields requires positional arguments. The following example demonstrates the car and owner relation:

from django.db import models

class Person(models.Model):

        (GENDER_FEMALE, 'Female'),
        (GENDER_MALE, 'Male'),

    first_name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    last_name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    gender = models.CharField(max_length=1, choices=GENDER_CHOICES)
    age = models.SmallIntegerField()

class Car(model.Model)
    owner = models.ForeignKey('Person')
    plate = models.CharField(max_length=15)
    brand = models.CharField(max_length=50)
    model = models.CharField(max_length=50)
    color = models.CharField(max_length=50)

The first argument of the field is the class to which the model is related. The second positional argument is on_delete argument. In the current versions this argument is not required, but it will be required in Django 2.0. The default functionality of the argument is shown as following:

class Car(model.Model)
    owner = models.ForeignKey('Person', on_delete=models.CASCADE)

This will cause Car objects to be deleted from the model when its owner deleted from Person model. This is the default functionality.

class Car(model.Model)
    owner = models.ForeignKey('Person', on_delete=models.PROTECT)

This will prevents Person objects to be deleted if they are related to at least one Car object. All of the Car objects which reference a Person object should be deleted first. And then the Person Object can be deleted.

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