Passing CBV data to a Form

March 17th, 2013

I have just started working with Django, building an example application to find my way through the framework. Django seems to be more dynamic than I expected and the web is full of answers to questions I almost asked but help in no way at all.

I got totally stuck on this problem:

using a CBV and form_class, how can I limit a select in the form to a subset determined by a value known in the CBV

Essentially I wanted to pass a value from the View to the Form which could then limit a selector. For example, suppose we have Clients who have Contracts which have Tasks; when adding a Task for a Client we only want to see Contracts for that specific Client.

Here's the basic structure:

#models.py

class Client(models.Model):
  name = models.CharField()

class Contract(models.Model):
  client = models.ForeignKey(Client)
  name = models.Charfield)

class Task(models.Model):
  contract = models.ForeignKey(Contract)
  notes = models.TextField()

From a detail page for a Client, we want to be able to add a task to a Contract belong to the Client. We provide an URL to provide a form to add the task

#urls.py
url(r'^clients/(?P<cid>\d+)/addtask$', view=TaskCreateView.as_view()),

This will pass a value cid to the class based view (CBV) representing the id of the Client. We want the CBV to pass this value on to the form. Here's how we can do this:

#views.py
class TaskCreateView(CreateView):
  model = Task
  template_name = 'task_form.html'
  form_class = TaskForm

  def get_form_kwargs(self, **kwargs):
    cid = self.kwargs.get('cid',0)
    kwargs = super(TaskCreateView, self).get_form_kwargs(**kwargs)
    kwargs['initial']['cid'] = cid
    return kwargs

  def get_context_data(self, **kwargs):
    context = super(TaskCreateView, self).get_context_data(**kwargs)
    if 'cid' in self.kwargs:
      context['client'] = get_object_or_404(Client, id=context['cid'])
    return context

Here the get_form_kwargs picks out cid and passes it to the form as a keyword argument. In get_context_data we also pick out cid this time fetching the Client record and returning it in the context so the template can render appropriate information about the Client in the Task form.

The Contract choices can now be specified in the form:

#forms.py
class TaskForm(forms.ModelForm):
  class Meta:
    model = Task

  def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
    super(TaskForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
    cid = kwargs['initial'].get('cid',0)
    if cid:
      self.fields['contract'].choices = ((c.id, c.name) for c in Contract.objects.filter(client=cid))

Here, as the form is being initialised, if a cid value has been passed from the View, we can filter the list of Contracts in the select widget

 
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© 2013 Andy Ferguson