Boolean Fields in Serializers – Django REST Framework

In Django REST Framework the very concept of Serializing is to convert DB data to a datatype that can be used by javascript. Every serializer comes with some fields (entries) which are going to be processed. For example if you have a class with name Employee and its fields as Employee_id, Employee_name, is_admin, etc. Then, you would need AutoField, CharField and BooleanField for storing and manipulating data through Django. Similarly, serializer also works with same principle and has fields that are used to create a serializer.
This article revolves around Boolean Fields in Serializers in Django REST Framework. There are two major fields for Boolean values – BooleanField and NullBooleanField.


A boolean field used to wrap True or False values. It works the same as BooleanField – Django Models. By default, serializers.BooleanField instances as created by default as False.
Syntax –

field_name = serializers.BooleanField()


A boolean field that accepts True, False and Null values. It works the same as NullBooleanField – Django Models. By default, serializers.NullBooleanField instances as created by deafult as none.
Syntax –

field_name = serializers.NullBooleanField()

How to use Boolean Fields in Serializers ?

To explain the usage of Boolean Fields, let’s use the same project setup from – How to Create a basic API using Django Rest Framework ?.
Now that you have a file called serializers in your project, let’s create a serializer with BooleanField and NullBooleanField as the fields.





#import serializer from rest_framework
from rest_framework import serializers
class Geeks(object):
    def __init__(self, bool1, bool2):
        self.field_1 = bool1
        self.field_2 = bool2
# create a serializer
class GeeksSerializer(serializers.Serializer):
    # intialize fields
    field_1 = serializers.BooleanField()
    field_2 = serializers.NullBooleanField()


Now let us create some objects and try serializing them and check if they are actually working, Run, –

Python shell

Now, run following python commands in the shell

# import everything from serializers
>>> from apis.serializers import *

# create a object of type Geeks
>>> obj = Geeks(bool1 = True, bool2 = True)

# serialize the object
>>> serializer = GeeksSerializer(obj)

# print serialized data
{'field_1': True, 'field_2': True}

# another example
>>> obj1 = Geeks(bool1 = True, bool2 = None)
>>> serializer = GeeksSerializer(obj1)
{'field_1': True, 'field_2': None}

Here is the output of all these operations on terminal –


Core arguments in serializer fields

Argument Description
read_only Set this to True to ensure that the field is used when serializing a representation, but is not used when creating or updating an instance during deserialization
write_only Set this to True to ensure that the field may be used when updating or creating an instance, but is not included when serializing the representation.
required Setting this to False also allows the object attribute or dictionary key to be omitted from output when serializing the instance.
default If set, this gives the default value that will be used for the field if no input value is supplied.
allow_null Normally an error will be raised if None is passed to a serializer field. Set this keyword argument to True if None should be considered a valid value.
source The name of the attribute that will be used to populate the field.
validators A list of validator functions which should be applied to the incoming field input, and which either raise a validation error or simply return.
error_messages A dictionary of error codes to error messages.
label A short text string that may be used as the name of the field in HTML form fields or other descriptive elements.
help_text A text string that may be used as a description of the field in HTML form fields or other descriptive elements.
initial A value that should be used for pre-populating the value of HTML form fields.

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