Quick & Dirty Search with Django
There's a lot of options out there for search. You can defer to the big boys like Google, you can go with the enterprise-y solutions like lucene/solr and there's plenty more smaller options, like full-text search within your database engine or smaller engines like Sphinx.
But in the scale of the some of the small sites I've produced, Django has an often overlooked option, the
Q object. The
Q object allows you to perform more difficult queries without leaving the comfort of Django's ORM layer. It allows lets you add simple search to your site without have to configure and run a separate daemon.
Adding it is easy. We'll start with the following code:
import datetime from django.db import models class NewsPost(models.Model): title = models.CharField(max_length=255) slug = models.SlugField() content = models.TextField() posted_date = models.DateTimeField(default=datetime.datetime.now)
To add search, we'll create a custom
Manager and add the functionality there. This makes the most sense, as it is consistent with other Manager API usage like
import datetime import operator from django.db import models from django.db.models import Q class NewsPostManager(models.Manager): def search(self, search_terms): terms = [term.strip() for term in search_terms.split()] q_objects =  for term in terms: q_objects.append(Q(title__icontains=term)) q_objects.append(Q(content__icontains=term)) # Start with a bare QuerySet qs = self.get_query_set() # Use operator's or_ to string together all of your Q objects. return qs.filter(reduce(operator.or_, q_objects)) class NewsPost(models.Model): title = models.CharField(max_length=255) slug = models.SlugField() content = models.TextField() posted_date = models.DateTimeField(default=datetime.datetime.now) objects = NewsPostManager()
Now searching your
NewsPosts can be done with a simple call like so:
results = NewsPost.objects.search("quick search")
There's tons of ways to make simple improvements to this (skip words, customizable attribute search, aggregating searches between models, etc.) but it makes for a simple way to provide basic search without hassle.