django / docs / howto / legacy-databases.txt

Integrating Django with a legacy database

While Django is best suited for developing new applications, it's quite
possible to integrate it into legacy databases. Django includes a couple of
utilities to automate as much of this process as possible.

This document assumes you know the Django basics, as covered in the
:doc:`tutorial </intro/tutorial01>`.

Once you've got Django set up, you'll follow this general process to integrate
with an existing database.

Give Django your database parameters

You'll need to tell Django what your database connection parameters are, and
what the name of the database is. Do that by editing the :setting:`DATABASES`
setting and assigning values to the following keys for the ``'default'``

* :setting:`NAME`
* :setting:`ENGINE`
* :setting:`USER`
* :setting:`PASSWORD`
* :setting:`HOST`
* :setting:`PORT`

Auto-generate the models

.. highlight:: bash

Django comes with a utility called :djadmin:`inspectdb` that can create models
by introspecting an existing database. You can view the output by running this

    python inspectdb

Save this as a file by using standard Unix output redirection::

    python inspectdb >

This feature is meant as a shortcut, not as definitive model generation. See the
:djadmin:`documentation of inspectdb <inspectdb>` for more information.

Once you've cleaned up your models, name the file ```` and put it in
the Python package that holds your app. Then add the app to your
:setting:`INSTALLED_APPS` setting.

Install the core Django tables

Next, run the :djadmin:`syncdb` command to install any extra needed database
records such as admin permissions and content types::

    python syncdb

Test and tweak

Those are the basic steps -- from here you'll want to tweak the models Django
generated until they work the way you'd like. Try accessing your data via the
Django database API, and try editing objects via Django's admin site, and edit
the models file accordingly.
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