Using JSONField before Django 3.1

In Django 3.1, Django support save python data into database as JSON encoded data and it is also possible to make query based on field value in JSONField. The detailed usage can be found here. If you are using older version and want to try this feature. Though there are many packages ported this function, I recommend django-jsonfield-backport.


This package save data as JSON in database and also support JSON query. If your database meet the requirements (MySQL > 5.7, PG > 9.5, MariaDB > 10.2 or SQLite > 3.9 with JSON1 extension), you can use JSONField like Django’s native implementation.

from django.db import models
from django_jsonfield_backport.models import JSONField

class ContactInfo(models.Model):
    data = JSONField()

    'name': 'John',
    'cities': ['London', 'Cambridge'],
    'pets': {'dogs': ['Rufus', 'Meg']},


jsonfield is another popular package to use JSONField. It will save data as Text in database, but you can manipulate field value as python data. In addition, it does not provide JSON querying capability as django-jsonfield-backport.

Django REST framework

As data is stored as JSON string in database, the output is string rather than object when Django DRF serialize jsonfield.JSONField. If you prefer to get and update the data like object, you need to manually specify it as `serializer.JSONField` like this:

from rest_framework import serializers
from .models import Product

class ProductSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    images = serializers.JSONField()
    class Meta:
        model = Product
        fields = '__all__'

(You do not need to do this when using django-jsonfield-backport, everything just works.)


  1. GitHub - django-jsonfield-backport
  2. Use JSONField with Django Rest Framework
  3. JSONField in serializers – Django REST Framework
  4. Django REST framework - jsonfield