The Python programming language was becoming increasingly popular in the development of web-based applications. In an attempt to leverage this and help speedily deploy secure and maintainable web applications, the Django web framework was developed.

The open-source web framework of Django, which is based entirely on Python, follows the model-view-template (MVT) architectural pattern. The framework focuses on reusing components created to help with rapid development. GIven that it is Python-based, the framework is highly portable and can run on any platform and has support for several client-side frameworks, templating engines, and databases.

In this tutorial, we will look at how we can create charts using the Django framework. We will use the FusionCharts Javascript library to create the charts.


To create a chart in a web app developed using Django, you will need the following to be downloaded and installed on your system:

    Django Framework – Download Link
    FusionCharts Library – Download Link
    FusionCharts Django wrapper – Download Link

Note: You will require Python to be installed to start with Django and will also require working knowledge of Python to execute the code.

Creating charts using the Django Framework

Step 1: Creating the project

Run the following command to create a the myproject directory in the current directory.

django-admin startproject myproject
You can use the cd command on the command line interface to navigate to the required directory.

Step 2: Adding the dependencies

Next, we will add the FusionCharts javascript files required to render the charts in the web application.

  1. Create a template folder inside the myproject directory.
  2. Inside the template folder, create another folder named static.
  3. Copy all the javascript files extracted from the FusionCharts library into this folder.
  4. To map the javascript files, create a HTML file, index.html, in the template folder. This file will have the path to each javascript file and also the output element.
    <!DOCTYPE html>
    	<title>FC-python wrapper</title>
    	{% load static %} 
       <script type="text/javascript" src="{% static "fusioncharts/fusioncharts.js" %}"></script>
       <script type="text/javascript" src="{% static "fusioncharts/themes/fusioncharts.theme.fint.js" %}"></script>
    	<div id="chart-1">{{ output|safe }}</div>
  5. After including the paths of all the dependencies required, we need to update the static files by running the following command
    python collectstatic
  6. In the file, update the location of the templates
    'DIRS': ['fc_column2d/templates'],

Step 3: Creating the view page

The view page contains the chart constructors, attributes as well as the datasource required to render the chart.

  1. Add the code given below to the file.
from django.shortcuts import render
from django.http import HttpResponse

# Include the `` file which has required functions to embed the charts in html page
from .fusioncharts import FusionCharts

# Loading Data from a Static JSON String
# It is a example to show a Column 2D chart where data is passed as JSON string format.
# The `chart` method is defined to load chart data from an JSON string.

def chart(request):
    # Create an object for the column2d chart using the FusionCharts class constructor
  column2d = FusionCharts("column2d", "ex1" , "684", "476", "chart-1", "json", 
        # The data is passed as a string in the `dataSource` as parameter.
        "chart": {
        "caption": "Most Popular Superhero on Youtube",
        "baseFont": "Lato",
        "subcaption": "Jan 2008 - September 2017",
        "yaxisname": "Total time spent watching",
        "captionpadding": "20",
        "bgalpha": "0",
        "canvasbgalpha": "0",
        "showvalues": "0",
        "showborder": "0",
        "canvasborderalpha": "0",
        "showalternatehgridcolor": "0",
        "plotgradientcolor": "",
        "showplotborder": "0",
        "divlinealpha": "10",
        "LabelPadding": "50",
        "showlabels": "0",
        "formatnumberscale": "1",
        "numberscalevalue": "24,31,12",
        "numberscaleunit": " days, months, years",
        "palettecolors": "#3F365A",
        "plotToolText": "<div>Superhero : <b>$label</b><br/>Time Spend : <b>$value Hours</b></div>",
        "defaultnumberscale": " years",
        "plotFillAlpha": "90"
      "annotations": {
        "autoScale": "0",
        "scaleImages": "0",
        "origW": "400",
        "origH": "300",
        "groups": [{
          "id": "user-images",
          "items": [{
            "id": "Batman-icon",
            "type": "image",
            "url": "",
            "x": "$dataset.0.set.0.CenterX - 18",
            "y": "$dataset.0.set.0.EndY + 10",
            "xScale": "75",
            "yScale": "75"
          }, {
            "id": "Wolverine-icon",
            "type": "image",
            "url": "",
            "x": "$dataset.0.set.1.CenterX - 18",
            "y": "$dataset.0.set.1.EndY + 10",
            "xScale": "75",
            "yScale": "75"
          }, {
            "id": "IronMan-icon",
            "type": "image",
            "url": "",
            "x": "$dataset.0.set.2.CenterX - 18",
            "y": "$dataset.0.set.2.EndY + 10",
            "xScale": "75",
            "yScale": "75"
          }, {
            "id": "Deadpool-icon",
            "type": "image",
            "url": "",
            "x": "$dataset.0.set.3.CenterX - 18",
            "y": "$dataset.0.set.3.EndY + 10",
            "xScale": "75",
            "yScale": "75"
          }, {
            "id": "SpiderMan-icon",
            "type": "image",
            "url": "",
            "x": "$dataset.0.set.4.CenterX - 18",
            "y": "$dataset.0.set.4.EndY + 10",
            "xScale": "75",
            "yScale": "75"
          }, {
            "id": "Thor-icon",
            "type": "image",
            "url": "",
            "x": "$dataset.0.set.5.CenterX - 18",
            "y": "$dataset.0.set.5.EndY + 10",
            "xScale": "75",
            "yScale": "75"
          }, {
            "id": "SuperMan-icon",
            "type": "image",
            "url": "",
            "x": "$dataset.0.set.6.CenterX - 18",
            "y": "$dataset.0.set.6.EndY + 10",
            "xScale": "75",
            "yScale": "75"
          }, {
            "id": "CaptainAmerica-icon",
            "type": "image",
            "url": "",
            "x": "$dataset.0.set.7.CenterX - 18",
            "y": "$dataset.0.set.7.EndY + 10",
            "xScale": "75",
            "yScale": "75"
      "data": [{
        "label": "Batman",
        "value": "85000"
      }, {
        "label": "Wolverine",
        "value": "82000"
      }, {
        "label": "Iron Man",
        "value": "58000"
      }, {
        "label": "Deadpool",
        "value": "42000"
      }, {
        "label": "Spider Man",
        "value": "36000"
      }, {
        "label": "Thor",
        "value": "21000"
      }, {
        "label": "Super Man",
        "value": "18000"
      }, {
        "label": "Captain A",
        "value": "6000"

    # returning complete JavaScript and HTML code, which is used to generate chart in the browsers. 
  return  render(request, 'index.html', {'output' : column2d.render()})

Step 4: Setting up the configuration file

  1. Add the following code snippet to the file, to automatically set the URL to render the chart.
    from django.conf.urls import url
    from.import views
    urlpatterns = [
        url(r'^$', views.chart, name = 'demo'),
  2. To update the STATICFILES_DIRS object, include it in the file.
    os.path.join(BASE_DIR, "fc_column2d/templates/static"),

Step 5: Rendering the chart

With all the code in place, it is now time to render the chart.

  1. Run the following command on the shell interface
    python runserver

If you’ve followed the steps closely, your output should like the chart shown in the image below:

If you see any errors in your code, you can download the complete source code of the sample project we have created for this tutorial.
The article was first published here.

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