What are the steps to make a ModelForm work with a ManyToMany relationship with an intermediary model in Django?

By : bchhun
Source: Stackoverflow.com
Question!
  • I have a Client and Groupe Model.
  • A Client can be part of multiple groups.
  • Clients that are part of a group can use its group's free rental rate at anytime but only once. That is where the intermediary model (ClientGroupe) comes in with that extra data.

For now, when I try to save the m2m data, it just dies and says I should use the ClientGroupe Manager...so what's missing?

Here are my models:

class Groupe(models.Model):
    nom = models.CharField(max_length=1500, blank=True)

class Client(models.Model):
    nom = models.CharField(max_length=450, blank=True)
    prenom = models.CharField(max_length=450, blank=True)
    groupes = models.ManyToManyField(Groupe, null = True, blank = True, through='ClientGroupe')

class ClientGroupe(models.Model):
    client = models.ForeignKey(Client)
    groupe = models.ForeignKey(Groupe)
    dt = models.DateField(null=True, blank=True) # the date the client is using its group's free rental rate    

    class Meta:
        db_table = u'clients_groupes'

and here's my view:

def modifier(request, id):
    client = Client.objects.get(id=id)    
    form = ClientForm(instance = client)

    dict = {
        "form": form
        , "instance" : client
    }

    if request.method == "POST":
        form = ClientForm(request.POST, instance = client)

        if form.is_valid():
            client_mod = form.save()

            id = client_mod.id
            return HttpResponseRedirect(
                "/client/%(id)s/?err=success" % {"id" : id}
            )
        else:
            return HttpResponseRedirect(
                "/client/%(id)s/?err=warning" % {"id" : id}
            )

    return render_to_response(
        "client/modifier.html"
        , dict
        , context_instance=RequestContext(request)
    )

EDIT:

and here's the ClientForm code:

class ClientForm(ModelForm):
    class Meta:
        model = Client

EDIT #2: here's the error message:

AttributeError at /client/445/

Cannot set values on a ManyToManyField which specifies an intermediary model. Use ClientGroupe's Manager instead.

Request Method:     POST
Request URL:    http://localhost/client/445/
Exception Type:     AttributeError
Exception Value:    Cannot set values on a ManyToManyField which specifies an intermediary model.  Use ClientGroupe's Manager instead.

Exception Location:     C:\Python25\lib\site-packages\django\db\models\fields\related.py  in __set__, line 574
Python Executable:  C:\xampp\apache\bin\apache.exe
Python Version:     2.5.2
By : bchhun


Answers

I'm providing an alternative solution due to issues I encountered with forms_valid not being called:

class SplingCreate(forms.ModelForm):
class Meta:
    model = SplingModel
    fields = ('Link', 'Genres', 'Image', 'ImageURL',)

def save(self, commit=True):
    from django.forms.models import save_instance

    if self.instance.pk is None:
        fail_message = 'created'
    else:
        fail_message = 'changed'
    fields = set(self._meta.fields) - set(('Genres',))
    instance = save_instance(self, self.instance, fields,
                             fail_message, commit, construct=False)

    genres = self.cleaned_data.get('Genres')
    for genre in genres:
        SplingGenreModel.objects.get_or_create(spling=instance, genre=genre)

    return instance

I've copied the logic from djangos forms/models.py, my field Genres is a manytomany with an intermediary table - I exclude it from the save_instance and then save it separately.

By : hcliff


…
if form.is_valid():
    client_mod = form.save(commit=False)
    client_mod.save()
    for groupe in form.cleaned_data.get('groupes'):
        clientgroupe = ClientGroupe(client=client_mod, groupe=groupe)
        clientgroupe.save()
    …
By : Anber


If you use the save method right now, Django will try to save using the manager (which Django doesn't allow). Unfortunately, the behavior you want is a little bit trickier than what ModelForm does by default. What you need to do is create a formset.

First of all, you will need to change the options of your ClientForm so that it doesn't display the groupes attribute.

class ClientForm(ModelForm):
    class Meta:
        model = Client
        exclude = ('groupes',)

Next, you must change the view to display the formset:

from django.forms.models import inlineformset_factory

def modifier(request, id):
    client = Client.objects.get(id=id)    
    form = ClientForm(instance = client)
    # Create the formset class
    GroupeFormset = inlineformset_factory(Client, Groupe)
    # Create the formset
    formset = GroupeFormset(instance = client)

    dict = {
        "form": form
        , "formset" : formset
        , "instance" : client
    }

    if request.method == "POST":
        form = ClientForm(request.POST, instance = client)
        formset = GroupeFormset(request.POST, instance = client)

        if form.is_valid() and formset.is_valid():
            client_mod = form.save()
            formset.save()

            id = client_mod.id
            return HttpResponseRedirect(
                "/client/%(id)s/?err=success" % {"id" : id}
            )
        else:
            return HttpResponseRedirect(
                "/client/%(id)s/?err=warning" % {"id" : id}
            )

    return render_to_response(
        "client/modifier.html"
        , dict
        , context_instance=RequestContext(request)
    )

And obviously, you must also tweak your template to render the formset.

If you need any other advice on formsets, see these articles:

Model formsets
Formsets



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