Django App helper

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Starting from 3.3 django-app-helper only supports Django 3.2+ and django CMS 3.11. If you need support for older (unsupported) versions, use django-app-helper<3.3

Starting from 3 django-app-helper only supports Django 2.2+ and django CMS 3.7+. If you need support for older (unsupported) versions, use django-app-helper 2.

Helper for django applications development

django-app-helper is a set of commands and helper methods to make developing and testing reusable Django applications easier.

Being born in the django CMS ecosystem, it provides a lot of utility functions to develop, run and test django CMS applications.

It’s a modified version of django CMS’s own script, modified to handle generic application development process.

It supports both tests writted using Django TestCase and pytest ones (see pytest support).

Supported versions

Python: 3.9, 3.10, 3.11

Django: 3.2, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2

django CMS: 3.11

Newer versions might work but are not tested yet.

Common options

  • --cms: Loads configuration to properly run a django CMS-based application;
  • --extra-settings: Path to a helper file to set extra settings; see Project settings with Django App Helper for details;


The command must be executed in the main plugin directory (i.e. in the same directory as the file) as it needs to import files relative to the current directory.

The basic command structure is:

django-app-helper <application> <command> [options ...]

where <application> is the django application name and <command> is one of the available commands. Options vary for each command.

Base test class

A base test class is available to provide helpers and methods that implements repetitive tasks during development or compatibility shims (especially for django CMS).


To bootstrap a project using django-app-helper you may want to have a look at cookiecutter-djangopackage-helper, a cookiecutter template for django-app-helper.

To use it follows usage


By using the integrated runned in the settings file you’ll be able to run the commands without invoking django-app-helper: see Integrated runner for reference.

ASGI / Channels

ASGI / Channels are supported by installing the project with django-app-helper[async].

With Daphne / Channels installed you can run django-app-helper server --use-daphne|--use-channels to run the project on ASGI.

See ASGI / Channels support

Pure ASGI support is available only for Django 3.0+.


Installing from pip:

pip install django-app-helper

Installing from source:

pip install git+


  • django CMS optional; required only to work with --cms option
  • docopt
  • tox
  • dj-database-url


Documentation is available on readthedocs.


django-app-helper was written by Iacopo Spalletti with help from other contributors.


The general logic and part of the code of the whole application is heavily taken from django CMS’s own so all the contributors deserve a huge thanks for their work.