What is `related_name` used for in Django?


What is the related_name argument useful for on ManyToManyField and ForeignKey fields? For example, given the following code, what is the effect of related_name='maps'?

class Map(db.Model):
    members = models.ManyToManyField(User, related_name='maps',
12/19/2015 8:18:43 AM

Accepted Answer

The related_name attribute specifies the name of the reverse relation from the User model back to your model.

If you don't specify a related_name, Django automatically creates one using the name of your model with the suffix _set, for instance User.map_set.all().

If you do specify, e.g. related_name=maps on the User model, User.map_set will still work, but the User.maps. syntax is obviously a bit cleaner and less clunky; so for example, if you had a user object current_user, you could use current_user.maps.all() to get all instances of your Map model that have a relation to current_user.

The Django documentation has more details.

9/13/2013 3:42:32 PM

To add to existing answer - related name is a must in case there 2 FKs in the model that point to the same table. For example in case of Bill of material

class BOM(models.Model): 
    name = models.CharField(max_length=200,null=True, blank=True)
    description = models.TextField(null=True, blank=True)
    tomaterial =  models.ForeignKey(Material, related_name = 'tomaterial')
    frommaterial =  models.ForeignKey(Material, related_name = 'frommaterial')
    creation_time = models.DateTimeField(auto_now_add=True, blank=True)
    quantity = models.DecimalField(max_digits=19, decimal_places=10)

So when you will have to access this data you only can use related name

 bom = material.tomaterial.all().order_by('-creation_time')

It is not working otherwise (at least I was not able to skip the usage of related name in case of 2 FK's to the same table.)

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