Tom Christie wrote this about what DRF brings to the table over plain Django:
Django REST framework isn't required, but it helps you get a lot of things right that will be time consuming and error prone if you're working from core Django. • Serializers The Django serializers are not really suitable for anything other than dumping and loading fixture data - they don't allow you to customize the representation in any substantial way. Using Django Forms for validation isn't suitable either as they're intended for HTML only validation and can't eg handle nested validation. REST frameworks serializers are designed for API usage and cover both JSON or form validation, as well as being able to represent as either HTML Forms or formats such as JSON. They also give you lots of scope for handling the representation of relationships, such as using hyperlinked relations. • Authentication and permissions REST framework's authentication will gracefully handle both session based and token based schemes at the same time, and get the CSRF behavior right. You'll find that really awkward to do if using plain Django. It also helps ensure you're issuing failure responses that are suitable for API clients (eg get 401 vs 403 responses right) The auth, permissions and throttling are also more flexible because they're defined at a view level, rather than as middleware or a view decorator. This makes it easier to eg combine multiple schemes, or to apply different schemes to different parts of your application. • Views Django's generic class based views are suitable to HTML applications. REST framework's generic class based views are suitable for API services. Typicallly API views have slightly different behavior by convention. Eg create in an HTML application might typically redirect the user to the created item, whereas an API will respond with a 201 CREATED response. There's stacks of other functionality and behavior that makes using Django REST framework simpler, quicker and likely more correct than if you start with plain Django. But those are some of the obvious differences to get started with. https://reddit.com/r/django/comments/3h9oj8/_/cu5pzu9/?context=1 Seems pretty concise and self explanatory to me. This could easily be adapted to be in the docs. -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Django developers (Contributions to Django itself)" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to django-developers+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/group/django-developers. To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/django-developers/af24d69f-1d16-40db-9558-11745fce2399%40googlegroups.com. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.