Associating Users with Objects

These new "users" can't create and update Things yet in our database. We're going to assume a one-to-one database relationship between users and Things — that is users can only create and update one Thing. This works best for schemes like "profiles in a directory" but less so for "items in a store." For the sake of brevity, we're going to stick with the former but will give some resources later in the book if you're building something where users will need to have multiple Things.

Changing our model so Users can own a Thing

First thing we need to do is tie our Thing model to our Users model, so every Thing is owned by one and only one User.

Update your Thing model (or whatever you called it) to the following:

# don't forget to import this
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django.db import models

class Thing(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=255)
    description = models.TextField()
    slug = models.SlugField(unique=True)
    # the new line we're adding
    user = models.OneToOneField(User, blank=True, null=True)

We're in a tiny bit of a pickle. We're saying that each Thing needs to have a unique User. Remember the migrations stuff we did earlier? We'll need to migrate the database to this new schema. Visualize a spreadsheet of Things with all their attributes — we need to add a new column for the Thing's User, and fill that in for each row.

To make this easy, we're going to tell Django that it's okay if the Thing doesn't have a User assigned to it — that's the blank=True, null=True stuff we added. That way we don't have to worry about filling in the previous objects created, just our future ones.

Migrating your database

Create the migration by running the command below:

$ python makemigrations
Migrations for 'collection':
    - Add field user to thing

And then apply the migration...

$ python migrate
Operations to perform:
  Synchronize unmigrated apps: registration
  Apply all migrations: admin, contenttypes, collection, auth, sessions
Synchronizing apps without migrations:
  Creating tables...
  Installing custom SQL...
  Installing indexes...
Running migrations:
  Applying collection.0002_thing_user... OK

Now your Things can have a User owning them!

Updating your registration flow

You're almost done with this doozy of a chapter. The last thing we need to do is set up an additional registration page so when a new user signs up, they'll also set up their Thing.

First, add a couple new URLs to our file:

# add this to the top
from collection.backends import MyRegistrationView
url(r'^accounts/create_thing/$', views.create_thing, 

Then head back over to to create the new view:

# add at the top
from django.template.defaultfilters import slugify

# add below your edit_thing view
def create_thing(request):
    form_class = ThingForm

    # if we're coming from a submitted form, do this
    if request.method == 'POST':
        # grab the data from the submitted form and
        # apply to the form
        form = form_class(request.POST)
        if form.is_valid():
            # create an instance but don't save yet
            thing =

            # set the additional details
            thing.user = request.user
            thing.slug = slugify(

            # save the object

            # redirect to our newly created thing
            return redirect('thing_detail', slug=thing.slug)

    # otherwise just create the form
        form = form_class()

    return render(request, 'things/create_thing.html', {
        'form': form,

We're going to be reusing the form (ThingForm) we made before! Next, we'll need to create the template. Create the file:

$ cd collection/templates/things
collection/templates/things $ touch create_thing.html

Then fill it out:


{% extends 'base.html' %}
{% block title %}
    Create a Thing - {{ block.super }}
{% endblock title %} 

{% block content %}
    <h1>Create a Thing</h1>
    <form role="form" action="" method="post">
        {% csrf_token %}
        {{ form.as_p }}
        <input type="submit" value="Submit" />
{% endblock %}

Very last thing we need to do is tell django-registration-redux to go to this form's page after successful registration instead of the registration complete page.

We're going to accomplish this by subclassing a portion of django-registration-redux. This is a powerful way to override bits of code in open-source plugins, so you can change only the bit you want to change, rather than rewriting the entire plugin.

We're going to put this piece of overwritten code in its own file. In your collection directory, create a file called

$ cd collection
collection $ touch

Here are the contents of the new

from registration.backends.simple.views import RegistrationView

# my new registration view, subclassing RegistrationView
# from our plugin
class MyRegistrationView(RegistrationView):
    def get_success_url(self, request, user):
        # the named URL that we want to redirect to after
        # successful registration
        return ('registration_create_thing')

How did we know about this? Check out django-registration-redux's documentation on views ( — this page lists out all the classes included in django-registration-redux and what is recommended to subclass. You can also browse the code on the django-registration-redux GitHub repository (

Check out your web app — users can now register for your website, which prompts them to create a Thing, and after successful registration, plops them into the newly created Thing page with a link to edit it.

Update permissions to edit objects

We probably want to make it so the owner of a Thing can edit only his or her respective Thing. Update your Thing template so the link is hidden to anyone who isn't logged in:


{% extends 'base.html' %}
{% block title %}
    {{ }} - {{ block.super }}
{% endblock title %}

{% block content %}
    <h1>{{ }}</h1>
    <p>{{ thing.description }}</p>
    {% if user == thing.user %}
            <a href="{% url 'edit_thing' slug=thing.slug %}">
                Edit me!
    {% endif %}
{% endblock content %}

We also want to add some additional security precautions to our view to make sure that we don't let non-owners edit information that isn't theirs.

Update your

from django.contrib.auth.decorators import login_required
from django.http import Http404

def edit_thing(request, slug):
    # grab the object...
    thing = Thing.objects.get(slug=slug)

    # make sure the logged in user is the owner of the thing
    if thing.user != request.user:
        raise Http404

    # set the form we're using...
    form_class = ThingForm

    # if we're coming to this view from a submitted form,
    # do this
    if request.method == 'POST':
        # grab the data from the submitted form and
        # apply to the form
        form = form_class(data=request.POST, instance=thing)
        if form.is_valid():
            # save the new data
            return redirect('thing_detail', slug=thing.slug)
    # otherwise just create the form
        form = form_class(instance=thing)

    # and render the template
    return render(request, 'things/edit_thing.html', {
        'thing': thing,
        'form': form,

We're adding two important security measures — adding a decorator to our view (@login_required), provided by Django, that basically says, "The only people who can access this view are ones who are logged in." The second thing we're doing is checking the Thing we're grabbing the edit page for, and creating a 404 "Page not found" error if the logged-in user isn't the owner of the Thing instance. You, as admin, can still update/edit info for your users from your admin panel, but this prevents users from editing other users' information.

Our longest, most intense chapter yet! I hope this chapter gave you a better idea on how you can extend open-source plugins, update them to satisfy your needs, and how to keep data secure on your website.

One last thing — we set up the templates to do a password update for logged in users (that's the password_change templates we set up before). Can you figure out how to add that yourself?

Commit your work before moving forward!

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