Difference between app and project in Django

In this Django tutorial, we will try to understand the difference between app and project in Django. Moreover, we will also cover the following topics in this tutorial.

  • What is project in Django
  • What is app in Django
  • Difference between app and project in Django
  • Difference between startapp and startproject in Django

What is project in Django

  • A project in Django is a python package that represents the whole web application.
  • A project in Django basically contains the configuration and setting related to the entire website.
  • A single project can also have multiple apps in it that can be used to implement some functionality.

When we create a project, Django automatically generates a project directory with a python package in it. It also creates a manage.py file in the project directory. A manage.py is a utility that is mainly used to interact with your project.

Additionally, we can also use a project without adding any apps to it. But then, it will be an underutilization of a Django framework.

Read: How to install Django

What is app in Django

  • An app in Django is a sub-module of a project, and it is used to implement some functionality.
  • Now, you can refer to an app as a standalone python module that is used to provide some functionality to your project.
  • We can create multiple apps within a single Django project. And these apps can be independent of one another. Theoretically, we can use an app from one Django project to another without making any changes to it.

Now, when we create an app in our project, Django automatically creates a self-contained directory. So, the developers can focus on business logic rather than building application directories.

The Django framework works on the principle of DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself), and the concept of applications is a huge part of that.

Difference between app and project in Django

Till now, we discussed a basic introduction about a project and an app in Django. Now, if you want to understand How we can create a project or app, you can refer to this article “How to setup Django project“.

In this section, we will try to understand some key differences between app and project in Django.

  • A project represents the entire website whereas, an app is basically a submodule of the project.
  • A single project can contain multiple apps whereas, an app can also be used in different projects.
  • A project is like a blueprint of the entire web application whereas, apps are the building blocks of an web application.
  • We generally creates a single project for our website with one or more apps in it.
  • A project mantains configuration and settings realated to the whole web application. Apps on the other hand, can be independent or realted to one another.

Read: Python Django vs Flask

Difference between startapp and startproject in Django

In this section, we will understand the difference between the startapp and startproject command. So, here are some of the differences between these two commands in Django.

startproject command in Django

The startproject command is the very first command that we run, and it is used to create a new project in Django. By executing this command, Django automatically creates the project directory in the given location.

The complete startproject in Django is as follows.

django-admin startproject project_name

In the above command, we can specify the name of our project in place of project_name. And the given name will also be used as a project directory name.

startapp command in Django

The startapp command in Django is used to create a new app with our project. Now, we can use this command multiple times within our project to create multiple apps. By executing this command, Django automatically creates the application directory in the project directory. Now, to execute this command first we need to move to the project directory ad then we can use the following syntax.

python manage.py startapp app_name

To execute the startapp command, we have to use the manage.py utility instead of django-admin. And in the syntax, we can specify our app name in place of app_name. This name will also be used for the application directory name.

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In this tutorial, we understood the difference between app and project in Django. Also, in the article, we have covered the following topics.

  • What is project in Django
  • What is app in Django
  • Difference between app and project in Django
  • Difference between startapp and startproject in Django