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      Run a Small Business? Here are 8 Ways to Manage Your Stress


      There are plenty of perks to owning your business — like being the boss, for one. You get to see your own plans and dreams come to life. And you can set the company track exactly as you see fit. But the downside to running a small business? All of the stress that comes with it. That’s why learning to manage stress is crucial for small biz owners.

      “Managing stress is important as a business owner because typically, we tend to be sole proprietors or have few employees,” says Amanda Pratt MSW, LCSW, CPLC, The Chronic Illness Therapist, Imagine Life Therapy. “This means that if we burn out, it can ultimately slow business progress or momentum and when we aren’t well, our businesses can’t be well. We also know that if we cope poorly with stress, we tend to have worse physical and mental health outcomes overall, so business owner or not, this is an area that I feel should be a top priority for all of us.”

      Reducing stress should always be at the top of your to-do list to keep you sane — and your company healthy, too. “That’s why it’s important not to feel guilty for stepping back or prioritizing some ‘me’ time,” says Poppy Greenwood, mental health advocate, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of female entrepreneur support platform Meyvnn.

      Luckily, there are plenty of small business stress management techniques that will help take away the tension and anxiety of your work. Give these tactics a try to manage your stress levels.

      8 Ways to Handle Small Biz Stress

      Stressed small business owner.

      1. Recognize What’s Going Well

      “This is one of the first things I will point out to clients — it’s just as important to recognize what’s going well (if not more so) as it is to recognize where things aren’t going so well,” Pratt says.

      “Strategies that work best for us tend to play off our strengths. It’s also good to take inventory of areas of coping where we tend to have more engaged or active responses to stress (versus disengaged responses) and can inform our future attempts at other areas of stress management. We all have habits that come more naturally to us that are healthy, and I believe these are the strategies we should tap into first to address when creating a stress management plan.”

      Plus, when you consider what’s going right with your business, that instantly puts you in a positive mindset, which makes it much easier to combat stress. “Taking stock of things that have gone well helps you put into perspective the change you are affecting and the growth that you have achieved,” Greenwood says. “Feeling that you’re making progress, no matter how small, is one of the best ways to relax. It helps you to recognize you’re on a journey, and that your work towards whatever goal you have is pushing you forwards.

      “It also just makes you feel more organized,” Greenwood says. “Being able to identify where things are working or are not makes you feel like you have control over what is happening, in what can feel like the chaos of running a business.”

      Focusing on the good things about your business also keeps your mind in the present. “When you’re stressed, your brain tells you that you have to stay vigilant,” says Drema Dial, Ph.D., psychologist and life coach. “Your brain goes into hyperdrive with all the things that could be going wrong, will go wrong, might have already gone wrong, and how will you fix it! This is one way our brain uses to keep us locked into familiar routines. This is precisely why it’s imperative to break this cycle, which keeps us chained to unhealthy coping behaviors and keeps your stress level high.”

      2. Identify Your Stressors

      “Identifying your stressors is vital to be able to tackle them,” Greenwood says. “Stress usually comes from a problem you haven’t yet started to solve or are having trouble solving. I think the best way to identify stressors is to take a step back. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re constantly working and adjusting and testing to grow. Being in that kind of intense mindset all day long can really constrict a wider perspective you need to really pinpoint the areas that are causing you stress and how best to tackle them. Once you’ve identified what is causing you stress, you are much more able to work out how to deal with it. And even just identifying what is causing you stress can help alleviate some of it.”

      Remember that people respond to stress in their own unique way. “Self-awareness is key here because everyone is different,” says Mike McDonnell, international speaker, serial entrepreneur, global brand co-owner and podcaster. Once you know what stresses you out, you can delegate those tasks to others. If that’s not an option, knowing that a particular part of the job triggers anxiety can help you prepare to tackle it and just take a deep breath before going in. Over time, you can work on changing your response to the stressor.

      “We can do this through practicing mindfulness techniques to open our awareness to our body sensations, thoughts, and behaviors,” Pratt says. “We can also self-monitor through journaling or tracking mood states, symptoms and thought habits. And while it’s good to identify stressors, it’s even more important to identify our perceptions and responses to these stressors. Research shows us that it matters less what the stressor is and more how we respond to the stressor.”

      3. Build a Solid Schedule

      “Structure is important because the more we plan, the less we have to actively anticipate what might happen,” Pratt says. “Planning helps us have a greater sense of self-efficacy or confidence in our ability to handle whatever might come up.”

      When you have a regular routine, you know what to expect at work, and that gives you a sense of peace and control, making it easier to keep stress at bay. If you know in advance that you have a difficult item to cross off your to-do list, tackle it first thing in the morning to avoid that sense of dread. Plus, you’ll feel accomplished and ready to conquer whatever else comes your way.

      “Your body also likes a routine — it’s good for your circadian rhythm, which is effectively your internal body clock that can dictate things like when you feel tired or energized and can really impact your ability to focus,” Greenwood says. “For example, I know my energy and concentration dip around 3 p.m. So, in my routine around that time, I usually have a workout scheduled that gives me some time away to re-energize.”

      A common complaint from small business owners is that there are never enough hours in the day. “Usually when we delve into this issue, the problem is not a lack of time but a lack of a schedule,” Dial says. “A schedule allows a person to plan, to anticipate, and helps keep life organized. I recommend that all activities go onto a schedule, even play time!”

      4. Prioritize Your Time

      There’s a reason “self-care” has become such a buzzword — we’ve come to realize just how crucial it is to carve out time for ourselves to keep a healthy mental state. Looking after yourself is key to keeping stress under control.

      “Prioritizing ‘me time’ is really important because it is so easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, you can really forget about yourself and who you are — separate from your business,” Greenwood says. “Taking time for yourself, or using it to go out with friends and family, is often what re-affirms your belief in what you’re doing. It’s really important to not lose yourself within your business, because that, in the worst case scenario, then can lead to your business itself losing its way.”

      As a small business owner, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of always being on the clock. Just as you schedule time for certain tasks you need to get done, you should schedule free time. “I teach clients to see their downtime as beneficial to creativity and efficiency because they tend to work better after taking a break,” Dial says. “Taking a break allows the brain to take in new information and to generate creativity.”

      5. Learn to Say ‘No’

      “When you’re starting out, you may not have the luxury of opportunities flying at you, so you say yes to everything,” McDonnell says. “But eventually you focus on your mission and ask yourself, ‘Will this help me get there?’ before deciding yes or no.”

      Of course, saying no can be really tough. But it’s important to remember your value and that you have limited time. “Instead of thinking you may offend the other person, it’s an opportunity to show them that when you decide to do something, you really value what you’re doing and you’re doing it on your terms,” Greenwood says.

      Otherwise, taking on more than you can handle is the fastest way to fall into a stress trap. “It’s important to learn that setting boundaries is necessary to safeguard small business owners’ well-being, their time, and to protect their business,” Dial says. “When approached with a request, the small business owner should ask themselves the following: ‘1. Is this something I want to do? 2. Do I have time to do it? 3. What is its importance level, and will it fit it into my schedule?’”

      Saying no is also key to setting boundaries. “When we don’t set boundaries, we end up feeling taken advantage of, burned out, stressed out, and end up as people pleasers, workaholics, isolated, or feeling misunderstood,” Pratt says. “Simply stated: Boundaries are one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health and wellness.”

      6.Delegate or Outsource Tasks

      When you’re used to being the boss, it can be hard to let go and give up control. But as any small business owner knows, you can’t do it all. And if you’re trying to, then you’re probably not doing a good job at every single thing. That’s why learning how to delegate or outsource certain parts of the biz is a foundation for being successful.

      For example, do you struggle with Facebook but love working face-to-face with clients? Hiring a social media manager might free you up to do just that. Figure out how you want to spend your time — and what you’d rather avoid.

      In the end, outsourcing allows you to grow your company. “It’s important early on to recognize where your weaknesses are, so that you can hand over those areas to other people who do them much better,” Greenwood says. “Doing this can also relieve so much stress, not having a task hang over you that you know you need to do but that you struggle with and find time-consuming.”

      7. Choose Your Tools Wisely

      Work tools and software are meant to make your job easier — not harder. But if you’re spending more time learning how to use them than actually using them, it’s not doing you any favors. “It’s important to choose tools wisely, because they are meant to be the things that take away stress and help with tasks instead of adding to the problem,” Greenwood says.

      Opting for reliable small business appsweb management tools, and hosting services will always pay off in the end. Imagine if your business’ website went down? That’s why it’s worth using DreamHost hosting and WordPress to have one less thing to worry about.

      “Test out different software until you find the one that takes your stress away so you can benefit fully from it,” McDonnell says.

      Shared Hosting That Powers Your Purpose

      We make sure your website is fast, secure and always up so your visitors trust you.

      8. Unplug During Your Off-time

      “You’re not a robot,” Greenwood says. “You can’t work all the time and expect to maintain the same level of productivity and efficiency. You need to replenish your energy levels, and not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When you’re working on your business, you want to be present and in the moment. That would be difficult if you’re unable to unplug in your off time and feel a conflict between your work life and your personal life.”

      As a small business owner, you probably feel tied to your phone, but you need time away from answering emails and checking in with customers. “Unplugging and doing a digital detox allows parts of your brain to rest,” Dial says. “Reading, watching TV, going for a walk, and talking with others are all great ways to engage a different part of your brain. Make sure you take time for activities you find enjoyable. It’s essential to combat stress by seeking out experiences that will help restore you.”

      It’s especially important to power down your devices and avoid blue light, which can keep you awake, at least an hour before bedtime. Plus, you won’t have to worry about an email keeping you up that night. You’ll sleep better so you can be rested and alert for the next day of tending to your business.

      Breathe In and Out

      It’s no secret that running a small business is one of the most challenging (and stressful) things you’ll ever take on. But it’s also one of the most rewarding! So tell us: how do you manage your stress as a small-biz owner? What keeps you fired up as you “Rise and Grind?” Connect with us on Twitter and let us know your thoughts!





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      Install and Manage MySQL Databases with Puppet Hiera on Ubuntu 18.04


      Updated by Linode Contributed by Linode

      Puppet is a configuration management system that helps simplify the use and deployment of different types of software, making system administration more reliable and replicable. In this guide, we use Puppet to manage an installation of MySQL, a popular relational database used for applications such as WordPress, Ruby on Rails, and others. Hiera is a method of defining configuration values that Puppet will use to simplify MySQL configuration.

      In this guide, you’ll use Puppet to deploy modules on your server. At the end, you will have MySQL installed, configured, and ready to use for a variety of applications that require a database backend.

      Note

      This guide is written for a non-root user. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with sudo. If you’re not familiar with the sudo command, see the Users and Groups guide.

      Before You Begin

      1. A Linode 1GB plan should be sufficient to run MySQL. Consider using a larger plan if you plan to use MySQL heavily, or for more than just a simple personal website.

      2. Familiarize yourself with our Getting Started guide and complete the steps for setting your Linode’s hostname and timezone.

      3. This guide will use sudo wherever possible. Complete the sections of our Securing Your Server to create a standard user account, harden SSH access and remove unnecessary network services.

      4. Update your system:

        sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
        

      Install and Configure Puppet

      Follow these steps to set up Puppet for single-host, local-only deployment. If you need to configure more than one server or to deploy a Puppet master, follow our multi-server Puppet guide.

      Install the Puppet Package

      1. Install the puppetlabs-release-bionic repository to add the Puppet packages:

        wget https://apt.puppetlabs.com/puppet-release-bionic.deb
        sudo dpkg -i puppet-release-bionic.deb
        
      2. Update the apt package index to make the Puppet Labs repository packages available, then install Puppet. This will install the puppet-agent package, which provides the puppet executable within in a compatible Ruby environment:

        sudo apt update && sudo apt install puppet-agent
        
      3. Confirm the version of Puppet installed:

        puppet --version
        

        At the time of writing, the Puppet version is 6.1.0.

      Install the Puppet MySQL Module

      Puppet Forge is a collection of modules that aid in the installation of different types of software. The MySQL module handles the installation and configuration of MySQL without you needing to manage various configuration files and services by hand.

      1. Install the MySQL module:

        sudo puppet module install puppetlabs-mysql --version 7.0.0
        

        This will install the mysql module into the default path: /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/modules/.

      Puppet MySQL Manifest

      This guide uses a Puppet manifest to provide Puppet with installation and configuration instructions. Alternatively, you can configure a Puppet master.

      While the entirety of a Puppet manifest can contain the desired configuration for a host, values for Puppet classes or types can also be defined in a Hiera configuration file to simplify writing Puppet manifests in most cases. In this example, the mysql::server class parameters will be defined in Hiera, but the class must first be applied to the host.

      To apply the mysql::server class to all hosts by default, create the following Puppet manifest:

      /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/manifests/site.pp
      1
      
      include ::mysql::server

      Note that site.pp is the default manifest file. Without a qualifying node { .. } line, this applies the class to any host applying the manifest. Puppet now knows to apply the mysql::server class, but still needs values for resources like databases, users, and other settings. Configure Hiera to provide these values in the next section.

      Install and Configure Puppet Hiera

      To understand how Hiera works, consider this excerpt from the default hiera.yaml file:

      /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/hiera.yaml
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      ---
      version: 5
      hierarchy:
        - name: "Per-node data"
          path: "nodes/%{::trusted.certname}.yaml"
        - name: "Common data"
          path: "common.yaml"

      This Hiera configuration instructs Puppet to accept variable values from nodes/%{::trusted.certname}.yaml. If your Linode’s hostname is examplehostname, define a file called nodes/examplehostname.yaml). Any variables found in YAML files higher in the hierarchy are preferred, while any variable names that do not exist in those files will fall-through to files lower in the hierarchy (in this example, common.yaml).

      The following configuration will define Puppet variables in common.yaml to inject variables into the mysql::server class.

      Initial Hiera Configuration

      Hiera configuration files are formatted as yaml, with keys defining the Puppet parameters to inject their associated values. To get started, set the MySQL root password. The following example of a Puppet manifest is one way to control this password:

      example.pp
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      class { '::mysql::server':
        root_password => 'examplepassword',
      }

      We can also define the root password with the following Hiera configuration file. Create the following YAML file and note how the root_password parameter is defined as Hiera yaml:

      /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/data/common.yaml
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      mysql::server::root_password: examplepassword

      Replace examplepassword with the secure password of your choice. Run Puppet to set up MySQL with default settings and the chosen root password:

      sudo -i puppet apply /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/manifests/site.pp
      

      Puppet will output its progress before completing. To confirm MySQL has been configured properly, run a command:

      mysql -u root -p -e 'select version();'
      

      Enter the password and MySQL returns its version:

      +-------------------------+
      | version()               |
      +-------------------------+
      | 5.7.24-0ubuntu0.18.04.1 |
      +-------------------------+
      

      Define MySQL Resources

      Using Hiera, we can define the rest of the MySQL configuration entirely in yaml. The following steps will create a database and user for use in a WordPress installation.

      1. Create a pre-hashed MySQL password. Replace the password wordpresspassword in this example, and when prompted for a the root MySQL password, use the first root password chosen in the previous section to authenticate. Note the string starting with a * that the command returns for Step 2:

        mysql -u root -p -NBe 'select password("wordpresspassword")'
        *E62D3F829F44A91CC231C76347712772B3B9DABC
        
      2. With the MySQL password hash ready, we can define Hiera values. The following YAML defines parameters to create a database called wordpress and a user named wpuser that has permission to connect from localhost. The YAML also defines a GRANT allowing wpuser to operate on the wordpress database with ALL permissions:

        /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/data/common.yaml
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        mysql::server::root_password: examplepassword
        mysql::server::databases:
          wordpress:
            ensure: present
        mysql::server::users:
          wpuser@localhost:
            ensure: present
            password_hash: '*E62D3F829F44A91CC231C76347712772B3B9DABC'
        mysql::server::grants:
          wpuser@localhost/wordpress.*:
            ensure: present
            privileges: ALL
            table: wordpress.*
            user: wpuser@localhost
      3. Re-run Puppet:

        sudo -i puppet apply /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/manifests/site.pp
        
      4. The wpuser should now be able to connect to the wordpress database. To verify, connect to the MySQL daemon as the user wpuser to the wordpress database:

        mysql -u wpuser -p wordpress
        

        After you enter the password for wpuser, exit the MySQL prompt:

        exit
        

      Add Hierarchies for Specific Environments

      Additional configurations can be added that will only be applied to specific environments. For example, backup jobs may only be applied for hosts in a certain region, or specific databases can be created in a particular deployment.

      In the following example, Puppet will configure the MySQL server with one additional database, but only if that server’s distribution is Debian-based.

      1. Modify hiera.yaml to contain the following:

        /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/hiera.yaml
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        ---
        version: 5
        hierarchy:
          - name: "Per OS Family"
            path: "os/%{facts.os.family}.yaml"
          - name: "Other YAML hierarchy levels"
            paths:
              - "common.yaml"

        This change instructs Hiera to look for Puppet parameters first in "os/%{facts.os.family}.yaml" and then in common.yaml. The first, fact-based element of the hierarchy is dynamic, and dependent upon the host that Puppet and Hiera control. In this Ubuntu-based example, Hiera will look for Debian.yaml in the os folder, while on a distribution such as CentOS, the file RedHat.yaml will automatically be referenced instead.

      2. Create the following YAML file:

        /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/data/os/Debian.yaml
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        lookup_options:
          mysql::server::databases:
            merge: deep
        
        mysql::server::databases:
          ubuntu-backup:
            ensure: present

        Though similar to the common.yaml file defined in previous steps, this file will add the ubuntu-backup database only on Debian-based hosts (like Ubuntu). In addition, the lookup_options setting ensures that the mysql::server:databases parameter is merged between Debian.yaml and common.yaml so that all databases are managed. Without lookup_options set to deeply merge these hashes, only the most specific hierarchy file will be applied to the host, in this case, Debian.yaml.

        • Alternatively, because our Puppet manifest is short, we can test the same command using the -e flag to apply an inline manifest:

          sudo -i puppet apply -e 'include ::mysql::server'
          
      3. Run Puppet and observe the changes:

        sudo -i puppet apply /etc/puppetlabs/code/environments/production/manifests/site.pp
        
      4. Verify that the new database exists:

        mysql -u root -p -e 'show databases;'
        

        This includes the new ubuntu-backup database:

        +---------------------+
        | Database            |
        +---------------------+
        | information_schema  |
        | mysql               |
        | performance_schema  |
        | sys                 |
        | ubuntu-backup       |
        | wordpress           |
        +---------------------+
        

      Congratulations! You can now control your Puppet configuration via highly configurable Hiera definitions.

      More Information

      You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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      How To Build a Modern Web Application to Manage Customer Information with Django and React on Ubuntu 18.04


      The author selected Open Sourcing Mental Illness Ltd to receive a donation as part of the Write for DOnations program.

      Introduction

      People use different types of devices to connect to the internet and browse the Web. Because of this, applications need to be accessible from a variety of locations. For traditional websites, having a responsive UI is usually enough, but more complex applications often require the use of other techniques and architectures. These include having separate REST back-end and front-end applications that can be implemented as client-side web applications, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), or native mobile apps.

      Some tools that you can use when building more complex applications include:

      • React, a JavaScript framework that allows developers to build web and native frontends for their REST API backends.
      • Django, a free and open-source Python web framework that follows the model view controller (MVC) software architectural pattern.
      • Django REST framework, a powerful and flexible toolkit for building REST APIs in Django.

      In this tutorial, you will build a modern web application with a separate REST API backend and frontend using React, Django, and the Django REST Framework. By using React with Django, you’ll be able to benefit from the latest advancements in JavaScript and front-end development. Instead of building a Django application that uses a built-in template engine, you will use React as a UI library, taking advantage of its virtual Document Object Model (DOM), declarative approach, and components that quickly render changes in data.

      The web application you will build stores records about customers in a database, and you can use it as a starting point for a CRM application. When you are finished you’ll be able to create, read, update, and delete records using a React interface styled with Bootstrap 4.

      Prerequisites

      To complete this tutorial, you will need:

      Step 1 — Creating a Python Virtual Environment and Installing Dependencies

      In this step, we’ll create a virtual environment and install the required dependencies for our application, including Django, the Django REST framework, and django-cors-headers.

      Our application will use two different development servers for Django and React. They will run on different ports and will function as two separate domains. Because of this, we need to enable cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) to send HTTP requests from React to Django without being blocked by the browser.

      Navigate to your home directory and create a virtual environment using the venv Python 3 module:

      • cd ~
      • python3 -m venv ./env

      Activate the created virtual environment using source:

      Next, install the project's dependencies with pip. These will include:

      • Django: The web framework for the project.
      • Django REST framework: A third-party application that builds REST APIs with Django.
      • django-cors-headers: A package that enables CORS.

      Install the Django framework:

      • pip install django djangorestframework django-cors-headers

      With the project dependencies installed, you can create the Django project and the React frontend.

      Step 2 — Creating the Django Project

      In this step, we'll generate the Django project using the following commands and utilities:

      • django-admin startproject project-name: django-admin is a command-line utility used to accomplish tasks with Django. The startproject command creates a new Django project.

      • python manage.py startapp myapp: manage.py is a utility script, automatically added to each Django project, that performs a number of administrative tasks: creating new applications, migrating the database, and serving the Django project locally. Its startapp command creates a Django application inside the Django project. In Django, the term application describes a Python package that provides some set of features in a project.

      To begin, create the Django project with django-admin startproject. We will call our project djangoreactproject:

      • django-admin startproject djangoreactproject

      Before moving on, let's look at the directory structure of our Django project using the tree command.

      Tip: tree is a useful command for viewing file and directory structures from the command line. You can install it with the following command:

      • sudo apt-get install tree

      To use it, cd into the directory you want and type tree or provide the path to the starting point with tree /home/sammy/sammys-project.

      Navigate to the djangoreactproject folder within your project root and run the tree command:

      • cd ~/djangoreactproject
      • tree

      You will see the following output:

      Output

      ├── djangoreactproject │ ├── __init__.py │ ├── settings.py │ ├── urls.py │ └── wsgi.py └── manage.py

      The ~/djangoreactproject folder is the root of the project. Within this folder, there are several files that will be important to your work:

      • manage.py: The utility script that does a number of administrative tasks.
      • settings.py: The main configuration file for the Django project where you can modify the project's settings. These settings include variables such as INSTALLED_APPS, a list of strings designating the enabled applications for your project. The Django documentation has more information about available settings.
      • urls.py: This file contains a list of URL patterns and related views. Each pattern maps a connection between a URL and the function that should be called for that URL. For more on URLs and views, please refer to our tutorial on How To Create Django Views.

      Our first step in working with the project will be to configure the packages we installed in the previous step, including the Django REST framework and the Django CORS package, by adding them to settings.py. Open the file with nano or your favorite editor:

      • nano ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/settings.py

      Navigate to the INSTALLED_APPS setting and add the rest_framework and corsheaders applications to the bottom of the list:

      ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/settings.py

      ...
      INSTALLED_APPS = [
          'django.contrib.admin',
          'django.contrib.auth',
          'django.contrib.contenttypes',
          'django.contrib.sessions',
          'django.contrib.messages',
          'django.contrib.staticfiles',
          'rest_framework',
          'corsheaders'
      ]
      

      Next, add the corsheaders.middleware.CorsMiddleware middleware from the previously installed CORS package to the MIDDLEWARE setting. This setting is a list of middlewares, a Python class that contains code processed each time your web application handles a request or response:

      ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/settings.py

      ...
      
      MIDDLEWARE = [
      ...
      'django.contrib.messages.middleware.MessageMiddleware',
      'django.middleware.clickjacking.XFrameOptionsMiddleware',
      'corsheaders.middleware.CorsMiddleware'
      ]
      

      Next, you can enable CORS. The CORS_ORIGIN_ALLOW_ALL setting specifies whether or not you want to allow CORS for all domains, and CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST is a Python tuple that contains allowed URLs. In our case, because the React development server will be running at http://localhost:3000, we will add new CORS_ORIGIN_ALLOW_ALL = False and CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST('localhost:3000',) settings to our settings.py file. Add these settings anywhere in the file:

      ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/settings.py

      
      ...
      CORS_ORIGIN_ALLOW_ALL = False
      
      CORS_ORIGIN_WHITELIST = (
             'localhost:3000',
      )
      ...
      

      You can find more configuration options in the django-cors-headers docs.

      Save the file and exit the editor when you are finished.

      Still in the ~/djangoreactproject directory, make a new Django application called customers:

      • python manage.py startapp customers

      This will contain the models and views for managing customers. Models define the fields and behaviors of our application data, while views enable our application to properly handle web requests and return the required responses.

      Next, add this application to the list of installed applications in your project's settings.py file so Django will recognize it as part of the project. Open settings.py again:

      • nano ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/settings.py

      Add the customers application:

      ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/settings.py

      ...
      INSTALLED_APPS = [
          ...
          'rest_framework',
          'corsheaders',
          'customers'
      ]
      ...
      

      Next, migrate the database and start the local development server. Migrations are Django’s way of propagating the changes you make to your models into your database schema. These changes can include things like adding a field or deleting a model, for example. For more on models and migrations, see How To Create Django Models.

      Migrate the database:

      Start the local development server:

      • python manage.py runserver

      You will see output similar to the following:

      Output

      Performing system checks... System check identified no issues (0 silenced). October 22, 2018 - 15:14:50 Django version 2.1.2, using settings 'djangoreactproject.settings' Starting development server at http://127.0.0.1:8000/ Quit the server with CONTROL-C.

      Your web application will be running from http://127.0.0.1:8000. If you navigate to this address in your web browser you should see the following page:

      Django demo page

      At this point, leave the application running and open a new terminal to continue developing the project.

      Step 3 — Creating the React Frontend

      In this section, we're going to create the front-end application of our project using React.

      React has an official utility that allows you to quickly generate React projects without having to configure Webpack directly. Webpack is a module bundler used to bundle web assets such as JavaScript code, CSS, and images. Typically, before you can use Webpack you need to set various configuration options, but thanks to the create-react-app utility you don't have to deal with Webpack directly until you decide you need more control. To run create-react-app you can use npx, a tool that executes npm package binaries.

      In your second terminal, make sure you are in your project directory:

      Create a React project called frontend using create-react-app and npx:

      • npx create-react-app frontend

      Next, navigate inside your React application and start the development server:

      • cd ~/djangoreactproject/frontend
      • npm start

      You application will be running from http://localhost:3000/:

      React demo page

      Leave the React development server running and open another terminal window to proceed.

      To see the directory structure of the entire project at this point, navigate to the root folder and run tree again:

      • cd ~/djangoreactproject
      • tree

      You'll see a structure like this:

      Output

      ├── customers │ ├── admin.py │ ├── apps.py │ ├── __init__.py │ ├── migrations │ │ └── __init__.py │ ├── models.py │ ├── tests.py │ └── views.py ├── djangoreactproject │ ├── __init__.py │ ├── __pycache__ │ ├── settings.py │ ├── urls.py │ └── wsgi.py ├── frontend │ ├── package.json │ ├── public │ │ ├── favicon.ico │ │ ├── index.html │ │ └── manifest.json │ ├── README.md │ ├── src │ │ ├── App.css │ │ ├── App.js │ │ ├── App.test.js │ │ ├── index.css │ │ ├── index.js │ │ ├── logo.svg │ │ └── registerServiceWorker.js │ └── yarn.lock └── manage.py

      Our application will use Bootstrap 4 to style the React interface, so we will include it in the frontend/src/App.css file, which manages our CSS settings. Open the file:

      • nano ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/App.css

      Add the following import to the beginning of the file. You can delete the file's existing content, though that's not required:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/App.css

      @import  'https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/4.0.0/css/bootstrap.min.css';
      

      Here, @import is a CSS instruction that's used to import style rules from other style sheets.

      Now that we have created both the back-end and front-end applications, let's create the Customer model and some demo data.

      Step 4 — Creating the Customer Model and Initial Data

      After creating the Django application and the React frontend, our next step will be to create the Customer model, which represents the database table that will hold information about customers. You don't need any SQL since the Django Object Relational Mapper (ORM) will handle database operations by mapping Python classes and variables to SQL tables and columns. In this way the Django ORM abstracts SQL interactions with the database through a Python interface.

      Activate your virtual environment again:

      • cd ~
      • source env/bin/activate

      Move to the customers directory, and open models.py, a Python file that holds the models of your application:

      • cd ~/djangoreactproject/customers/
      • nano models.py

      The file will contain the following content:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/models.py

      from django.db import models
      # Create your models here.
      

      The Customer model's API is already imported in the file thanks to the from django.db import models import statement. You will now add the Customer class, which extends models.Model. Each model in Django is a Python class that extends django.db.models.Model.

      The Customer model will have these database fields:

      • first_name — The first name of the customer.
      • last_name — The last name of the customer.
      • email — The email address of the customer.
      • phone — The phone number of the customer.
      • address — The address of the customer.
      • description — The description of the customer.
      • createdAt — The date when the customer is added.

      We will also add the __str__() function, which defines how the model will be displayed. In our case, it will be with the customer's first name. For more on constructing classes and defining objects, please see How To Construct Classes and Define Objects in Python 3.

      Add the following code to the file:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/models.py

      from django.db import models
      
      class Customer(models.Model):
          first_name = models.CharField("First name", max_length=255)
          last_name = models.CharField("Last name", max_length=255)
          email = models.EmailField()
          phone = models.CharField(max_length=20)
          address =  models.TextField(blank=True, null=True)
          description = models.TextField(blank=True, null=True)
          createdAt = models.DateTimeField("Created At", auto_now_add=True)
      
          def __str__(self):
              return self.first_name
      

      Next, migrate the database to create the database tables. The makemigrations command creates the migration files where model changes will be added, and migrate applies the changes in the migrations files to the database.

      Navigate back to the project's root folder:

      Run the following to create the migration files:

      • python manage.py makemigrations

      You will get output that looks like this:

      Output

      customers/migrations/0001_initial.py - Create model Customer

      Apply these changes to the database:

      You will see output indicating a successful migration:

      Output

      Operations to perform: Apply all migrations: admin, auth, contenttypes, customers, sessions Running migrations: Applying customers.0001_initial... OK

      Next, you will use a data migration file to create initial customer data. A data migration file is a migration that adds or alters data in the database. Create an empty data migration file for the customers application:

      • python manage.py makemigrations --empty --name customers customers

      You will see the following confirmation with the name of your migration file:

      Output

      Migrations for 'customers': customers/migrations/0002_customers.py

      Note that the name of your migration file is 0002_customers.py.

      Next, navigate inside the migrations folder of the customers application:

      • cd ~/djangoreactproject/customers/migrations

      Open the created migration file:

      This is the initial content of the file:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/migrations/0002_customers.py

      from django.db import migrations
      
      class Migration(migrations.Migration):
          dependencies = [
              ('customers', '0001_initial'),
          ]
          operations = [
          ]        
      

      The import statement imports the migrations API, a Django API for creating migrations, from django.db, a built-in package that contains classes for working with databases.

      The Migration class is a Python class that describes the operations that are executed when migrating databases. This class extends migrations.Migration and has two lists:

      • dependencies: Contains the dependent migrations.
      • operations: Contains the operations that will be executed when we apply the migration.

      Next, add a method to create demo customer data. Add the following method before the definition of the Migration class:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/migrations/0002_customers.py

      ...
      def create_data(apps, schema_editor):
          Customer = apps.get_model('customers', 'Customer')
          Customer(first_name="Customer 001", last_name="Customer 001", email="customer001@email.com", phone="00000000", address="Customer 000 Address", description= "Customer 001 description").save()
      
      ...
      

      In this method, we are grabbing the Customer class of our customers app and creating a demo customer to insert into the database.

      To get the Customer class, which will enable the creation of new customers, we use the get_model() method of the apps object. The apps object represents the registry of installed applications and their database models.

      The apps object will be passed from the RunPython() method when we use it to run create_data(). Add the migrations.RunPython() method to the empty operations list:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/migrations/0002_customers.py

      
      ...
          operations = [
              migrations.RunPython(create_data),
          ]  
      

      RunPython() is part of the Migrations API that allows you to run custom Python code in a migration. Our operations list specifies that this method will be executed when we apply the migration.

      This is the complete file:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/migrations/0002_customers.py

      from django.db import migrations
      
      def create_data(apps, schema_editor):
          Customer = apps.get_model('customers', 'Customer')
          Customer(first_name="Customer 001", last_name="Customer 001", email="customer001@email.com", phone="00000000", address="Customer 000 Address", description= "Customer 001 description").save()
      
      class Migration(migrations.Migration):
          dependencies = [
              ('customers', '0001_initial'),
          ]
          operations = [
              migrations.RunPython(create_data),
          ]        
      

      For more information on data migrations, see the documentation on data migrations in Django

      To migrate your database, first navigate back to the root folder of your project:

      Migrate your database to create the demo data:

      You will see output that confirms the migration:

      Output

      Operations to perform: Apply all migrations: admin, auth, contenttypes, customers, sessions Running migrations: Applying customers.0002_customers... OK

      For more details on this process, refer back to How To Create Django Models.

      With the Customer model and demo data created, we can move on to building the REST API.

      Step 5 — Creating the REST API

      In this step we'll create the REST API using the Django REST Framework. We'll create several different API views. An API view is a function that handles an API request or call, while an API endpoint is a unique URL that represents a touchpoint with the REST system. For example, when the user sends a GET request to an API endpoint, Django calls the corresponding function or API view to handle the request and return any possible results.

      We'll also make use of serializers. A serializer in the Django REST Framework allows complex model instances and QuerySets to be converted into JSON format for API consumption. The serializer class can also work in the other direction, providing mechanisms for parsing and deserializing data into Django models and QuerySets.

      Our API endpoints will include:

      • api/customers: This endpoint is used to create customers and returns paginated sets of customers.
      • api/customers/<pk>: This endpoint is used to get, update, and delete single customers by primary key or id.

      We'll also create URLs in the project's urls.py file for the corresponding endpoints (i.e api/customers and api/customers/<pk>).

      Let's start by creating the serializer class for our Customer model.

      Adding the Serializer Class

      Creating a serializer class for our Customer model is necessary for transforming customer instances and QuerySets to and from JSON. To create the serializer class, first make a serializers.py file inside the customers application:

      • cd ~/djangoreactproject/customers/
      • nano serializers.py

      Add the following code to import the serializers API and Customer model:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/serializers.py

      from rest_framework import serializers
      from .models import Customer
      

      Next, create a serializer class that extends serializers.ModelSerializer and specifies the fields that will be serialized:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/serializers.py

      
      ...
      class CustomerSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
      
          class Meta:
              model = Customer 
              fields = ('pk','first_name', 'last_name', 'email', 'phone','address','description')
      

      The Meta class specifies the model and fields to serialize: pk,first_name, last_name, email, phone, address,description.

      This is the full content of the file:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/serializers.py

      from rest_framework import serializers
      from .models import Customer
      
      class CustomerSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
      
          class Meta:
              model = Customer 
              fields = ('pk','first_name', 'last_name', 'email', 'phone','address','description')
      

      Now that we've created our serializer class, we can add the API views.

      Adding the API Views

      In this section, we'll create the API views for our application that will be called by Django when the user visits the endpoint corresponding to the view function.

      Open ~/djangoreactproject/customers/views.py:

      • nano ~/djangoreactproject/customers/views.py

      Delete what's there and add the following imports:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/views.py

      from rest_framework.response import Response
      from rest_framework.decorators import api_view
      from rest_framework import status
      
      from django.core.paginator import Paginator, EmptyPage, PageNotAnInteger
      from .models import Customer 
      from .serializers import *
      

      We are importing the serializer we created, along with the Customer model and the Django and Django REST Framework APIs.

      Next, add the view for processing POST and GET HTTP requests:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/views.py

      ...
      
      @api_view(['GET', 'POST'])
      def customers_list(request):
          """
       List  customers, or create a new customer.
       """
          if request.method == 'GET':
              data = []
              nextPage = 1
              previousPage = 1
              customers = Customer.objects.all()
              page = request.GET.get('page', 1)
              paginator = Paginator(customers, 10)
              try:
                  data = paginator.page(page)
              except PageNotAnInteger:
                  data = paginator.page(1)
              except EmptyPage:
                  data = paginator.page(paginator.num_pages)
      
              serializer = CustomerSerializer(data,context={'request': request} ,many=True)
              if data.has_next():
                  nextPage = data.next_page_number()
              if data.has_previous():
                  previousPage = data.previous_page_number()
      
              return Response({'data': serializer.data , 'count': paginator.count, 'numpages' : paginator.num_pages, 'nextlink': '/api/customers/?page=' + str(nextPage), 'prevlink': '/api/customers/?page=' + str(previousPage)})
      
          elif request.method == 'POST':
              serializer = CustomerSerializer(data=request.data)
              if serializer.is_valid():
                  serializer.save()
                  return Response(serializer.data, status=status.HTTP_201_CREATED)
              return Response(serializer.errors, status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)
      

      First we use the @api_view(['GET', 'POST']) decorator to create an API view that can accept GET and POST requests. A decorator is a function that takes another function and dynamically extends it.

      In the method body we use the request.method variable to check the current HTTP method and execute the corresponding logic depending on the request type:

      • If it's a GET request, the method paginates the data using Django Paginator, and returns the first page of data after serialization, the count of available customers, the number of available pages, and the links to the previous and next pages. Paginator is a built-in Django class that paginates a list of data into pages and provides methods to access the items for each page.
      • If it's a POST request, the method serializes the received customer data and then calls the save() method of the serializer object. It then returns a Response object, an instance of HttpResponse, with a 201 status code. Each view you create is responsible for returing an HttpResponse object. The save() method saves the serialized data in the database.

      For more about HttpResponse and views, see this discussion of creating view functions.

      Now add the API view that will be responsible for processing the GET, PUT, and DELETE requests for getting, updating, and deleting customers by pk (primary key):

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/views.py

      
      ...
      @api_view(['GET', 'PUT', 'DELETE'])
      def customers_detail(request, pk):
       """
       Retrieve, update or delete a customer by id/pk.
       """
          try:
              customer = Customer.objects.get(pk=pk)
          except Customer.DoesNotExist:
              return Response(status=status.HTTP_404_NOT_FOUND)
      
          if request.method == 'GET':
              serializer = CustomerSerializer(customer,context={'request': request})
              return Response(serializer.data)
      
          elif request.method == 'PUT':
              serializer = CustomerSerializer(customer, data=request.data,context={'request': request})
              if serializer.is_valid():
                  serializer.save()
                  return Response(serializer.data)
              return Response(serializer.errors, status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)
      
          elif request.method == 'DELETE':
              customer.delete()
              return Response(status=status.HTTP_204_NO_CONTENT)
      

      The method is decorated with @api_view(['GET', 'PUT', 'DELETE']) to denote that it's an API view that can accept GET, PUT, and DELETE requests.

      The check in the request.method field verifies the request method, and depending on its value calls the right logic:

      • If it's a GET request, customer data is serialized and sent using a Response object.
      • If it's a PUT request, the method creates a serializer for new customer data. Next, it calls the save() method of the created serializer object. Finally, it sends a Response object with the updated customer.
      • If it's a DELETE request, the method calls the delete() method of the customer object to delete it, then returns a Response object with no data.

      The completed file looks like this:

      ~/djangoreactproject/customers/views.py

      from rest_framework.response import Response
      from rest_framework.decorators import api_view
      from rest_framework import status
      
      from django.core.paginator import Paginator, EmptyPage, PageNotAnInteger
      from .models import Customer 
      from .serializers import *
      
      
      @api_view(['GET', 'POST'])
      def customers_list(request):
          """
       List  customers, or create a new customer.
       """
          if request.method == 'GET':
              data = []
              nextPage = 1
              previousPage = 1
              customers = Customer.objects.all()
              page = request.GET.get('page', 1)
              paginator = Paginator(customers, 5)
              try:
                  data = paginator.page(page)
              except PageNotAnInteger:
                  data = paginator.page(1)
              except EmptyPage:
                  data = paginator.page(paginator.num_pages)
      
              serializer = CustomerSerializer(data,context={'request': request} ,many=True)
              if data.has_next():
                  nextPage = data.next_page_number()
              if data.has_previous():
                  previousPage = data.previous_page_number()
      
              return Response({'data': serializer.data , 'count': paginator.count, 'numpages' : paginator.num_pages, 'nextlink': '/api/customers/?page=' + str(nextPage), 'prevlink': '/api/customers/?page=' + str(previousPage)})
      
          elif request.method == 'POST':
              serializer = CustomerSerializer(data=request.data)
              if serializer.is_valid():
                  serializer.save()
                  return Response(serializer.data, status=status.HTTP_201_CREATED)
              return Response(serializer.errors, status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)
      
      @api_view(['GET', 'PUT', 'DELETE'])
      def customers_detail(request, pk):
          """
       Retrieve, update or delete a customer by id/pk.
       """
          try:
              customer = Customer.objects.get(pk=pk)
          except Customer.DoesNotExist:
              return Response(status=status.HTTP_404_NOT_FOUND)
      
          if request.method == 'GET':
              serializer = CustomerSerializer(customer,context={'request': request})
              return Response(serializer.data)
      
          elif request.method == 'PUT':
              serializer = CustomerSerializer(customer, data=request.data,context={'request': request})
              if serializer.is_valid():
                  serializer.save()
                  return Response(serializer.data)
              return Response(serializer.errors, status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)
      
          elif request.method == 'DELETE':
              customer.delete()
              return Response(status=status.HTTP_204_NO_CONTENT)
      

      We can now move on to creating our endpoints.

      Adding API Endpoints

      We will now create the API endpoints: api/customers/, for querying and creating customers, and api/customers/<pk>, for getting, updating, or deleting single customers by their pk.

      Open ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/urls.py:

      • nano ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/urls.py

      Leave what's there, but add the import to the customers views at the top of the file:

      ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/urls.py

      from django.contrib import admin
      from django.urls import path
      from customers import views
      from django.conf.urls import url
      

      Next, add the api/customers/ and api/customers/<pk> URLs to the urlpatterns list that contains the application's URLs:

      ~/djangoreactproject/djangoreactproject/urls.py

      ...
      
      urlpatterns = [
          path('admin/', admin.site.urls),
          url(r'^api/customers/$', views.customers_list),
          url(r'^api/customers/(?P<pk>[0-9]+)$', views.customers_detail),
      ]
      

      With our REST endpoints created, let's see how we can consume them.

      Step 6 — Consuming the REST API with Axios

      In this step, we'll install Axios, the HTTP client we'll use to make API calls. We'll also create a class to consume the API endpoints we've created.

      First, deactivate your virtual environment:

      Next, navigate to your frontend folder:

      • cd ~/djangoreactproject/frontend

      Install axios from npm using:

      The --save option adds the axios dependency to your application's package.json file.

      Next, create a JavaScript file called CustomersService.js, which will contain the code to call the REST APIs. We'll make this inside the src folder, where the application code for our project will live:

      • cd src
      • nano CustomersService.js

      Add the following code, which contains methods to connect to the Django REST API:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersService.js

      import axios from 'axios';
      const API_URL = 'http://localhost:8000';
      
      export default class CustomersService{
      
          constructor(){}
      
      
          getCustomers() {
              const url = `${API_URL}/api/customers/`;
              return axios.get(url).then(response => response.data);
          }  
          getCustomersByURL(link){
              const url = `${API_URL}${link}`;
              return axios.get(url).then(response => response.data);
          }
          getCustomer(pk) {
              const url = `${API_URL}/api/customers/${pk}`;
              return axios.get(url).then(response => response.data);
          }
          deleteCustomer(customer){
              const url = `${API_URL}/api/customers/${customer.pk}`;
              return axios.delete(url);
          }
          createCustomer(customer){
              const url = `${API_URL}/api/customers/`;
              return axios.post(url,customer);
          }
          updateCustomer(customer){
              const url = `${API_URL}/api/customers/${customer.pk}`;
              return axios.put(url,customer);
          }
      }
      

      The CustomersService class will call the following Axios methods:

      • getCustomers(): Gets first page of customers.
      • getCustomersByURL(): Gets customers by URL. This makes it possible to get the next pages of customers by passing links such as /api/customers/?page=2.
      • getCustomer(): Gets a customer by primary key.
      • createCustomer(): Creates a customer.
      • updateCustomer(): Updates a customer.
      • deleteCustomer(): Deletes a customer.

      We can now display the data from our API in our React UI interface by creating a CustomersList component.

      Step 7 — Displaying Data from the API in the React Application

      In this step, we'll create the CustomersList React component. A React component represents a part of the UI; it also lets you split the UI into independent, reusable pieces.

      Begin by creating CustomersList.js in frontend/src:

      • nano ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      Start by importing React and Component to create a React component:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      import  React, { Component } from  'react';
      

      Next, import and instantiate the CustomersService module you created in the previous step, which provides methods that interface with the REST API backend:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      
      ...
      import  CustomersService  from  './CustomersService';
      
      const  customersService  =  new  CustomersService();
      

      Next, create a CustomersList component that extends Component to call the REST API. A React component should extend or subclass the Component class. For more about E6 classes and inheritence, please see our tutorial on Understanding Classes in JavaScript.

      Add the following code to create a React component that extends react.Component:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      
      ...
      class  CustomersList  extends  Component {
      
          constructor(props) {
              super(props);
              this.state  = {
                  customers: [],
                  nextPageURL:  ''
              };
              this.nextPage  =  this.nextPage.bind(this);
              this.handleDelete  =  this.handleDelete.bind(this);
          }
      }
      export  default  CustomersList;
      

      Inside the constructor, we are initializing the state object. This holds the state variables of our component using an empty customers array. This array will hold customers and a nextPageURL that will hold the URL of the next page to retrieve from the back-end API. We are also binding the nextPage() and handleDelete() methods to this so they will be accessible from the HTML code.

      Next, add the componentDidMount() method and a call to getCustomers() within the CustomersList class, before the closing curly brace.

      The componentDidMount() method is a lifecycle method of the component that is called when the component is created and inserted into the DOM. getCustomers() calls the Customers Service object to get the first page of data and the link of the next page from the Django backend:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      
      ...
      componentDidMount() {
          var  self  =  this;
          customersService.getCustomers().then(function (result) {
              self.setState({ customers:  result.data, nextPageURL:  result.nextlink})
          });
      }
      

      Now add the handleDelete() method, which handles deleting a customer, below componentDidMount():

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      
      ...
      handleDelete(e,pk){
          var  self  =  this;
          customersService.deleteCustomer({pk :  pk}).then(()=>{
              var  newArr  =  self.state.customers.filter(function(obj) {
                  return  obj.pk  !==  pk;
              });
              self.setState({customers:  newArr})
          });
      }
      

      The handleDelete() method calls the deleteCustomer() method to delete a customer using its pk (primary key). If the operation is successful, the customers array is filtered out for the removed customer.

      Next, add a nextPage() method to get the data for the next page and update the next page link:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      
      ...
      nextPage(){
          var  self  =  this;
          customersService.getCustomersByURL(this.state.nextPageURL).then((result) => {
              self.setState({ customers:  result.data, nextPageURL:  result.nextlink})
          });
      }
      

      The nextPage() method calls a getCustomersByURL() method, which takes the next page URL from the state object, this.state.nextPageURL, and updates the customers array with the returned data.

      Finally, add the component render() method, which renders a table of customers from the component state:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      
      ...
      render() {
      
          return (
          <div  className="customers--list">
              <table  className="table">
                  <thead  key="thead">
                  <tr>
                      <th>#</th>
                      <th>First Name</th>
                      <th>Last Name</th>
                      <th>Phone</th>
                      <th>Email</th>
                      <th>Address</th>
                      <th>Description</th>
                      <th>Actions</th>
                  </tr>
                  </thead>
                  <tbody>
                      {this.state.customers.map( c  =>
                      <tr  key={c.pk}>
                          <td>{c.pk}  </td>
                          <td>{c.first_name}</td>
                          <td>{c.last_name}</td>
                          <td>{c.phone}</td>
                          <td>{c.email}</td>
                          <td>{c.address}</td>
                          <td>{c.description}</td>
                          <td>
                          <button  onClick={(e)=>  this.handleDelete(e,c.pk) }> Delete</button>
                          <a  href={"/customer/" + c.pk}> Update</a>
                          </td>
                      </tr>)}
                  </tbody>
              </table>
              <button  className="btn btn-primary"  onClick=  {  this.nextPage  }>Next</button>
          </div>
          );
      }
      

      This is the full content of the file:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomersList.js

      import  React, { Component } from  'react';
      import  CustomersService  from  './CustomersService';
      
      const  customersService  =  new  CustomersService();
      
      class  CustomersList  extends  Component {
      
      constructor(props) {
          super(props);
          this.state  = {
              customers: [],
              nextPageURL:  ''
          };
          this.nextPage  =  this.nextPage.bind(this);
          this.handleDelete  =  this.handleDelete.bind(this);
      }
      
      componentDidMount() {
          var  self  =  this;
          customersService.getCustomers().then(function (result) {
              console.log(result);
              self.setState({ customers:  result.data, nextPageURL:  result.nextlink})
          });
      }
      handleDelete(e,pk){
          var  self  =  this;
          customersService.deleteCustomer({pk :  pk}).then(()=>{
              var  newArr  =  self.state.customers.filter(function(obj) {
                  return  obj.pk  !==  pk;
              });
      
              self.setState({customers:  newArr})
          });
      }
      
      nextPage(){
          var  self  =  this;
          console.log(this.state.nextPageURL);        
          customersService.getCustomersByURL(this.state.nextPageURL).then((result) => {
              self.setState({ customers:  result.data, nextPageURL:  result.nextlink})
          });
      }
      render() {
      
          return (
              <div  className="customers--list">
                  <table  className="table">
                  <thead  key="thead">
                  <tr>
                      <th>#</th>
                      <th>First Name</th>
                      <th>Last Name</th>
                      <th>Phone</th>
                      <th>Email</th>
                      <th>Address</th>
                      <th>Description</th>
                      <th>Actions</th>
                  </tr>
                  </thead>
                  <tbody>
                  {this.state.customers.map( c  =>
                      <tr  key={c.pk}>
                      <td>{c.pk}  </td>
                      <td>{c.first_name}</td>
                      <td>{c.last_name}</td>
                      <td>{c.phone}</td>
                      <td>{c.email}</td>
                      <td>{c.address}</td>
                      <td>{c.description}</td>
                      <td>
                      <button  onClick={(e)=>  this.handleDelete(e,c.pk) }> Delete</button>
                      <a  href={"/customer/" + c.pk}> Update</a>
                      </td>
                  </tr>)}
                  </tbody>
                  </table>
                  <button  className="btn btn-primary"  onClick=  {  this.nextPage  }>Next</button>
              </div>
              );
        }
      }
      export  default  CustomersList;
      

      Now that we've created the CustomersList component for displaying the list of customers, we can add the component that handles customer creation and updates.

      Step 8 — Adding the Customer Create and Update React Component

      In this step, we'll create the CustomerCreateUpdate component, which will handle creating and updating customers. It will do this by providing a form that users can use to either enter data about a new customer or update an existing entry.

      In frontend/src, create a CustomerCreateUpdate.js file:

      • nano ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      Add the following code to create a React component, importing React and Component:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      import  React, { Component } from  'react';
      

      We can also import and instantiate the CustomersService class we created in the previous step, which provides methods that interface with the REST API backend:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      ...
      import  CustomersService  from  './CustomersService';
      
      const  customersService  =  new  CustomersService();
      

      Next, create a CustomerCreateUpdate component that extends Component to create and update customers:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      
      ...
      class  CustomerCreateUpdate  extends  Component {
      
          constructor(props) {
              super(props);
          }
      
      }
      export default CustomerCreateUpdate;
      

      Within the class definition, add the render() method of the component, which renders an HTML form that takes information about the customer:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      
      ...
      render() {
              return (
                <form onSubmit={this.handleSubmit}>
                <div className="form-group">
                  <label>
                    First Name:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='firstName' />
      
                  <label>
                    Last Name:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='lastName'/>
      
                  <label>
                    Phone:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='phone' />
      
                  <label>
                    Email:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='email' />
      
                  <label>
                    Address:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='address' />
      
                  <label>
                    Description:</label>
                    <textarea className="form-control" ref='description' ></textarea>
      
      
                  <input className="btn btn-primary" type="submit" value="Submit" />
                  </div>
                </form>
              );
        }
      

      For each form input element, the method adds a ref property to access and set the value of the form element.

      Next, above the render() method, define a handleSubmit(event) method so that you have the proper functionality when a user clicks on the submit button:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      
      ...
      handleSubmit(event) {
          const { match: { params } } =  this.props;
          if(params  &&  params.pk){
              this.handleUpdate(params.pk);
          }
          else
          {
              this.handleCreate();
          }
          event.preventDefault();
      }
      
      ...
      

      The handleSubmit(event) method handles the form submission and, depending on the route, calls either the handleUpdate(pk) method to update the customer with the passed pk, or the handleCreate() method to create a new customer. We will define these methods shortly.

      Back on the component constructor, bind the newly added handleSubmit() method to this so you can access it in your form:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      ...
      class CustomerCreateUpdate extends Component {
      
      constructor(props) {
          super(props);
          this.handleSubmit = this.handleSubmit.bind(this);
      }
      ...
      

      Next, define the handleCreate() method to create a customer from the form data. Above the handleSubmit(event) method, add the following code:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      
      ...
      handleCreate(){
          customersService.createCustomer(
              {
              "first_name":  this.refs.firstName.value,
              "last_name":  this.refs.lastName.value,
              "email":  this.refs.email.value,
              "phone":  this.refs.phone.value,
              "address":  this.refs.address.value,
              "description":  this.refs.description.value
              }).then((result)=>{
                      alert("Customer created!");
              }).catch(()=>{
                      alert('There was an error! Please re-check your form.');
              });
      }
      
      ...
      

      The handleCreate() method will be used to create a customer from inputted data. It calls the corresponding CustomersService.createCustomer() method that makes the actual API call to the backend to create a customer.

      Next, below the handleCreate() method, define the handleUpdate(pk) method to implement updates:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      
      ...
      handleUpdate(pk){
      customersService.updateCustomer(
          {
          "pk":  pk,
          "first_name":  this.refs.firstName.value,
          "last_name":  this.refs.lastName.value,
          "email":  this.refs.email.value,
          "phone":  this.refs.phone.value,
          "address":  this.refs.address.value,
          "description":  this.refs.description.value
          }
          ).then((result)=>{
      
              alert("Customer updated!");
          }).catch(()=>{
              alert('There was an error! Please re-check your form.');
          });
      }
      

      The updateCustomer() method will update a customer by pk using the new information from the customer information form. It calls the customersService.updateCustomer() method.

      Next, add a componentDidMount() method. If the the user visits a customer/:pk route, we want to fill the form with information related to the customer using the primary key from the URL. To do that, we can add the getCustomer(pk) method after the component gets mounted in the lifecycle event of componentDidMount(). Add the following code below the component constructor to add this method:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      
      ...
      componentDidMount(){
          const { match: { params } } =  this.props;
          if(params  &&  params.pk)
          {
              customersService.getCustomer(params.pk).then((c)=>{
                  this.refs.firstName.value  =  c.first_name;
                  this.refs.lastName.value  =  c.last_name;
                  this.refs.email.value  =  c.email;
                  this.refs.phone.value  =  c.phone;
                  this.refs.address.value  =  c.address;
                  this.refs.description.value  =  c.description;
              })
          }
      }
      

      This is the full content of the file:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/CustomerCreateUpdate.js

      import React, { Component } from 'react';
      import CustomersService from './CustomersService';
      
      const customersService = new CustomersService();
      
      class CustomerCreateUpdate extends Component {
          constructor(props) {
              super(props);
      
              this.handleSubmit = this.handleSubmit.bind(this);
            }
      
            componentDidMount(){
              const { match: { params } } = this.props;
              if(params && params.pk)
              {
                customersService.getCustomer(params.pk).then((c)=>{
                  this.refs.firstName.value = c.first_name;
                  this.refs.lastName.value = c.last_name;
                  this.refs.email.value = c.email;
                  this.refs.phone.value = c.phone;
                  this.refs.address.value = c.address;
                  this.refs.description.value = c.description;
                })
              }
            }
      
            handleCreate(){
              customersService.createCustomer(
                {
                  "first_name": this.refs.firstName.value,
                  "last_name": this.refs.lastName.value,
                  "email": this.refs.email.value,
                  "phone": this.refs.phone.value,
                  "address": this.refs.address.value,
                  "description": this.refs.description.value
              }          
              ).then((result)=>{
                alert("Customer created!");
              }).catch(()=>{
                alert('There was an error! Please re-check your form.');
              });
            }
            handleUpdate(pk){
              customersService.updateCustomer(
                {
                  "pk": pk,
                  "first_name": this.refs.firstName.value,
                  "last_name": this.refs.lastName.value,
                  "email": this.refs.email.value,
                  "phone": this.refs.phone.value,
                  "address": this.refs.address.value,
                  "description": this.refs.description.value
              }          
              ).then((result)=>{
                console.log(result);
                alert("Customer updated!");
              }).catch(()=>{
                alert('There was an error! Please re-check your form.');
              });
            }
            handleSubmit(event) {
              const { match: { params } } = this.props;
      
              if(params && params.pk){
                this.handleUpdate(params.pk);
              }
              else
              {
                this.handleCreate();
              }
      
              event.preventDefault();
            }
      
            render() {
              return (
                <form onSubmit={this.handleSubmit}>
                <div className="form-group">
                  <label>
                    First Name:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='firstName' />
      
                  <label>
                    Last Name:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='lastName'/>
      
                  <label>
                    Phone:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='phone' />
      
                  <label>
                    Email:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='email' />
      
                  <label>
                    Address:</label>
                    <input className="form-control" type="text" ref='address' />
      
                  <label>
                    Description:</label>
                    <textarea className="form-control" ref='description' ></textarea>
      
      
                  <input className="btn btn-primary" type="submit" value="Submit" />
                  </div>
                </form>
              );
            }  
      }
      
      export default CustomerCreateUpdate;
      

      With the CustomerCreateUpdate component created, we can update the main App component to add links to the different components we've created.

      Step 9 — Updating the Main App Component

      In this section, we'll update the App component of our application to create links to the components we've created in the previous steps.

      From the frontend folder, run the following command to install the React Router, which allows you to add routing and navigation between various React components:

      • cd ~/djangoreactproject/frontend
      • npm install --save react-router-dom

      Next, open ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/App.js:

      • nano ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/App.js

      Delete everything that's there and add the following code to import the necessary classes for adding routing. These include BrowserRouter, which creates a Router component, and Route, which creates a route component:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/App.js

      import  React, { Component } from  'react';
      import { BrowserRouter } from  'react-router-dom'
      import { Route, Link } from  'react-router-dom'
      import  CustomersList  from  './CustomersList'
      import  CustomerCreateUpdate  from  './CustomerCreateUpdate'
      import  './App.css';
      

      BrowserRouter keeps the UI in sync with the URL using the HTML5 history API.

      Next, create a base layout that provides the base component to be wrapped by the BrowserRouter component:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/App.js

      ...
      
      const  BaseLayout  = () => (
      <div  className="container-fluid">
          <nav  className="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
              <a  className="navbar-brand"  href="#">Django React Demo</a>
              <button  className="navbar-toggler"  type="button"  data-toggle="collapse"  data-target="#navbarNavAltMarkup"  aria-controls="navbarNavAltMarkup"  aria-expanded="false"  aria-label="Toggle navigation">
              <span  className="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
          </button>
          <div  className="collapse navbar-collapse"  id="navbarNavAltMarkup">
              <div  className="navbar-nav">
                  <a  className="nav-item nav-link"  href="/">CUSTOMERS</a>
                  <a  className="nav-item nav-link"  href="http://www.digitalocean.com/customer">CREATE CUSTOMER</a>
              </div>
          </div>
          </nav>
          <div  className="content">
              <Route  path="/"  exact  component={CustomersList}  />
              <Route  path="/customer/:pk"  component={CustomerCreateUpdate}  />
              <Route  path="/customer/"  exact  component={CustomerCreateUpdate}  />
          </div>
      </div>
      )
      

      We use the Route component to define the routes of our application; the component the router should load once a match is found. Each route needs a path to specify the path to be matched and a component to specify the component to load. The exact property tells the router to match the exact path.

      Finally, create the App component, the root or top-level component of our React application:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/App.js

      ...
      
      class  App  extends  Component {
      
      render() {
          return (
          <BrowserRouter>
              <BaseLayout/>
          </BrowserRouter>
          );
      }
      }
      export  default  App;
      

      We have wrapped the BaseLayout component with the BrowserRouter component since our app is meant to run in the browser.

      The completed file looks like this:

      ~/djangoreactproject/frontend/src/App.js

      import React, { Component } from 'react';
      import { BrowserRouter } from 'react-router-dom'
      import { Route, Link } from 'react-router-dom'
      
      import  CustomersList from './CustomersList'
      import  CustomerCreateUpdate  from './CustomerCreateUpdate'
      import './App.css';
      
      const BaseLayout = () => (
        <div className="container-fluid">
      <nav className="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
        <a className="navbar-brand" href="#">Django React Demo</a>
        <button className="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarNavAltMarkup" aria-controls="navbarNavAltMarkup" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
          <span className="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
        </button>
        <div className="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarNavAltMarkup">
          <div className="navbar-nav">
            <a className="nav-item nav-link" href="/">CUSTOMERS</a>
            <a className="nav-item nav-link" href="http://www.digitalocean.com/customer">CREATE CUSTOMER</a>
      
          </div>
        </div>
      </nav>  
      
          <div className="content">
            <Route path="/" exact component={CustomersList} />
            <Route path="/customer/:pk"  component={CustomerCreateUpdate} />
            <Route path="/customer/" exact component={CustomerCreateUpdate} />
      
          </div>
      
        </div>
      )
      
      class App extends Component {
        render() {
          return (
            <BrowserRouter>
              <BaseLayout/>
            </BrowserRouter>
          );
        }
      }
      
      export default App;
      

      After adding routing to our application, we are now ready to test the application. Navigate to http://localhost:3000. You should see the first page of the application:

      Application Home Page

      With this application in place, you now have the base for a CRM application.

      Conclusion

      In this tutorial, you created a demo application using Django and React. You used the Django REST framework to build the REST API, Axios to consume the API, and Bootstrap 4 to style your CSS. You can find the source code of this project in this GitHub repository.

      This tutorial setup used separate front-end and back-end apps. For a different approach to integrating React with Django, check this tutorial and this tutorial.

      For more information about building an application with Django, you can follow the Django development series. You can also look at the official Django docs.



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