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In Django, what is the difference between null=True and blank=True?


When we add a database field in django we generally write:

models.CharField(max_length=100, null=True, blank=True)

ForeignKey, DecimalField, and other fields are treated similarly. What is the fundamental difference between having and not having

in terms of several fields (CharField, ForeignKey, ManyToManyField, DateTimeField) What are the benefits and drawbacks of employing 1/2/3?

Asked by user993563

Solution #1

null=True sets NULL (versus NOT NULL) on the column in your DB. Blank values for Django field types such as DateTimeField or ForeignKey will be stored as NULL in the DB.

blank determines whether the field will be required in forms. This includes the admin and any custom forms you’ve created. If blank=True then the field will not be required, whereas if it’s False the field cannot be blank.

Because allowing a field to be blank in your form usually necessitates allowing NULL values for that column in your database, the two are frequently used together. The only exceptions are CharFields and TextFields, which are never saved as NULL in Django. In the database, blank values are recorded as an empty string (“).

A few examples:

models.DateTimeField(blank=True) # raises IntegrityError if blank

models.DateTimeField(null=True) # NULL allowed, but must be filled out in a form

Obviously, those two choices aren’t rational to use (though null=True, blank=False might be useful if you want a field to always be needed in forms but optional when dealing with an object through the shell.)

models.CharField(blank=True) # No problem, blank is stored as ''

models.CharField(null=True) # NULL allowed, but will never be set as NULL

Django never saves CHAR and TEXT types as NULL, therefore null=True is redundant. You can, however, assign one of these fields to None to compel it to become NULL. You should still provide null=True if you have a circumstance where that would be required.

Answered by Chris Pratt

Solution #2

For Django 1.8, this is how the ORM maps blank and null fields.

class Test(models.Model):
    charNull        = models.CharField(max_length=10, null=True)
    charBlank       = models.CharField(max_length=10, blank=True)
    charNullBlank   = models.CharField(max_length=10, null=True, blank=True)

    intNull         = models.IntegerField(null=True)
    intBlank        = models.IntegerField(blank=True)
    intNullBlank    = models.IntegerField(null=True, blank=True)

    dateNull        = models.DateTimeField(null=True)
    dateBlank       = models.DateTimeField(blank=True)
    dateNullBlank   = models.DateTimeField(null=True, blank=True)        

The following database fields were added to PostgreSQL 9.4:

  id              serial                    NOT NULL,

  "charNull"      character varying(10),
  "charBlank"     character varying(10)     NOT NULL,
  "charNullBlank" character varying(10),

  "intNull"       integer,
  "intBlank"      integer                   NOT NULL,
  "intNullBlank"  integer,

  "dateNull"      timestamp with time zone,
  "dateBlank"     timestamp with time zone  NOT NULL,
  "dateNullBlank" timestamp with time zone,

The database fields created for MySQL 5.6 are :

     `id`            INT(11)     NOT  NULL    AUTO_INCREMENT,

     `charNull`      VARCHAR(10) NULL DEFAULT NULL,
     `charBlank`     VARCHAR(10) NOT  NULL,
     `charNullBlank` VARCHAR(10) NULL DEFAULT NULL,

     `intNull`       INT(11)     NULL DEFAULT NULL,
     `intBlank`      INT(11)     NOT  NULL,
     `intNullBlank`  INT(11)     NULL DEFAULT NULL,

     `dateNull`      DATETIME    NULL DEFAULT NULL,
     `dateBlank`     DATETIME    NOT  NULL,
     `dateNullBlank` DATETIME    NULL DEFAULT NULL

Answered by user

Solution #3

The choices in a Django model field declaration serve (at least) two purposes: establishing database tables and defining the default format and validation of model forms. (I say “default” because the settings can be altered at any time by supplying a custom form.) Some options have an impact on the database, while others have an impact on both.

Other responses have already stated that the former affects database table definition and the latter affects model validation when it comes to null and blank. Looking at use cases for all four conceivable configurations, I believe the distinction may be made even clearer:

Answered by Kevin Christopher Henry

Solution #4

Link, as stated in the Django Model Field reference:

Answered by Diogo

Solution #5

You may have your solution, but deciding whether to use null=True, blank=True, or both in a field remains a challenge. Providing so many options to developers, in my opinion, is both unnecessary and perplexing. Allow them to handle nulls or blanks as they see fit.

This table, taken from Two Scoops of Django:

Answered by saran3h

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