Guide on Django Rest Framework Class-Based Views with Examples

Django Rest Framework (DRF) is a robust framework for building Web APIs in Django. One of its primary features is Class-Based Views (CBVs), which provide an object-oriented approach to creating API endpoints. In this blog, we’ll explore Django Rest Framework Class-Based Views and provide examples to help you understand their usage and advantages.

Understanding Class-Based Views

Class-Based Views in Django Rest Framework are Python classes that define the behavior of an API endpoint. They offer a more organized and reusable way to structure your views compared to function-based views. CBVs are especially beneficial when dealing with complex API logic and can easily accommodate different HTTP methods.

Read more on Function-Based Views in DRF

Creating a Class-Based View

Let’s start by creating a simple API endpoint to retrieve a list of items. First, define a model and a serializer:

# api/
from django.db import models

class Item(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    description = models.TextField()

# api/
from rest_framework import serializers
from .models import Item

class ItemSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model = Item
        fields = '__all__'

Next, create a Class-Based View to handle GET requests:

# api/
from rest_framework.views import APIView
from rest_framework.response import Response
from .models import Item
from .serializers import ItemSerializer

class ItemList(APIView):
    def get(self, request):
        items = Item.objects.all()
        serializer = ItemSerializer(items, many=True)
        return Response(

In this example, we’ve created a class ItemList that inherits from APIView and defines a get method to handle GET requests. Inside the get method, we retrieve all items, serialize them using ItemSerializer, and return the serialized data as a response.

Configuring URLs for Class-Based Views

To make your Class-Based View accessible through an API endpoint, update your project’s URL configuration. In your app’s file, define a URL pattern for the view:

# api/
from django.urls import path
from .views import ItemList

urlpatterns = [
    path('items/', ItemList.as_view(), name='item-list'),

Now, when a GET request is made to /api/items/, it will be handled by the ItemList class-based view.

Testing Your Class-Based View

To test your Class-Based View, start your Django development server:

python runserver

Access the URL http://localhost:8000/api/items/ in your browser or use tools like curl or Postman to make GET requests. You should receive a JSON response containing the list of items.


Django Rest Framework Class-Based Views provide an organized and reusable way to build API endpoints in your Django applications. They are particularly useful when handling complex API logic and supporting multiple HTTP methods. In this guide, we’ve covered the basics of creating Class-Based Views, defining serializers, configuring URLs, and testing your API endpoint. With this knowledge, you can confidently develop APIs that meet your project’s requirements using Django Rest Framework.