A parser and renderer for Django REST Framework that adds support for the JSON API specification.

pip install drf-json-api==0.1.1


Django REST Framework - JSON API

A parser and renderer for Django REST Framework that adds support for the JSON API specification.

Build status: Build Status

Does this work?

This package is currently being actively developed, but is not widely used in production. If you find any problems when using this package, please create a bug report at the issue tracker so we can figure out how to fix it.

How do I use this?

This is designed to be used as only a renderer and parser and does not provide any additional functionality that may be expected by JSON API.

Specific to a view(set)

from rest_framework import generics
from rest_framework_json_api.renderers import JsonApiRenderer

class ExampleView(generics.ListAPIView):
    renderer_classes = (JsonApiRenderer, )

The JSON API renderer is not limited to just list views and can be used on any of the generic views. It supports viewsets as well as non-generic views.

All views

The JSON API renderer can be used on all views by setting it as a default renderer.

# ...
        # Any other renderers
        # Any other parsers

This may break the API root view of the Default Router, so you may want to instead apply it to your viewsets.

What does this support?

The JSON API renderer supports all features of hyperlinked serializers and will normalize attributes such as the url field to match the JSON API specification.

Introspected resource types

JSON API uses resource types to determine what relations exist and how to better side-load resources automatically. It is recommended that resource types match the URL structure of the API and use a plural form. The resource type is determined from the model, and is the plural form of the verbose model name.

If a verbose name cannot be determined, the generic keydata will be used for the resource type.

Hyperlinked relations

JSON API will detect hyperlinked relations and set up the url templates to match the destinations and attribute names automatically.

Nested serializers

JSON API will render nested serializers to match the compound document specification. This will theoretically support any depth of nested serializers, but only a single level is tested and supported.


JSON API does not explicitly call out pagination within the specification, but instead leaves it flexible for the developer to implement. The JSON API renderer supports the default pagination provided by Django REST Framework by adding it to the top level "meta" element. This can be overriden by using a modified render, or a paginator that relies on a header, such as the Link header based paginator.

What this will not easily support

Due to limitations within the JSON API specification, as well as a need to handle the most common easy cases, this JSON API renderer will not work with all views. When designing views that work well with the JSON API specification, there are a few needs that you should keep in mind.

Anything not related to rendering or parsing

This package is only designed to be used as a renderer and parser and does not provide support for parts of the JSON API specification that are not unique to the JSON API specification. This includes features such as custom filtering of results and pagination that does not use the response body. Features such as side-loading of data using query parameters are also not supported.

Isn't JSON API being actively developed?

Yes it is, and we will try to keep this package as close to the running specification as possible. This means that things may break during version changes, and until JSON API becomes stable we cannot guarantee backwards compatibility. Once JSON API stabilizes, a deprecation process will be established to match the policies of the JSON API specification.

Recommended packages

This parser/renderer combination is only meant to be used as one of many packages that can be grouped together to create an API that supports the JSON API specification.


The Link header based paginator will work with the renderer provided by this package.

JSON Patch

JSON API recommends using JSON Patch for PATCH requests, and allowing partial updates through the PUT HTTP method. JSON Patch support is available for Django REST Framework through a `third party package <https://github.com/kevin-brown/drf-json-patch`__ and should be compatible.