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Marshmallow schemas for Django REST framework.


django-rest-marshmallow provides an alternative serializer implementation to the built-in serializers, by using the python marshmallow library, but exposing the same API as REST framework's Serializer class.


  • Python (3.6+)
  • Django REST framework (3.8+)
  • Marshmallow (3.0.0+)


Install using pip...

$ pip install django-rest-marshmallow


Define your schemas as you would with marshmallow, but importing the Schema class from rest_marshmallow instead.

from rest_marshmallow import Schema, fields

class CustomerSchema(Schema):
    name = fields.String()
    email = fields.Email()
    created_at = fields.DateTime()

The Schema class has the same interface as a Django REST framework serializer, so you can use it in your generic views...

class CustomerListView(generics.ListAPIView):
    queryset = Customer.objects.all()
    serializer_class = CustomerSchema

Or use the serializer API directly, for either serialization...

serializer = CustomerSchema(queryset, many=True)
return Response(

Or for validation...

serializer = CustomerSchema(

Instance create and update

If you want to support you'll need to define the .create() and/or .update() methods explicitly.

class CustomerSchema(Schema):
    name = fields.String()
    email = fields.Email()
    created_at = fields.DateTime()

    def create(self, validated_data):
        return Customer.objects.create(**validated_data)

    def update(self, instance, validated_data):
        for key, value in validated_data.items():
            setattr(instance, key, value)
        return instance

You can now use .save() from your view code…

serializer = CustomerSchema(
return Response(, status=status.HTTP_201_CREATED)

Or use the schema together with generic views that create or update instances...

class CustomerListView(generics.ListCreateAPIView):
    queryset = Customer.objects.all()
    serializer_class = CustomerSchema

Note that you should always use the create() and update() methods instead of overriding the make_object() marshmallow method.

Nested representations

For nested representations, use marshmallow's standard Nested field as usual.

from rest_marshmallow import fields, Schema

class ArtistSchema(Schema):
    name = fields.String()

class AlbumSchema(Schema):
    title = fields.String()
    release_date = fields.Date()
    artist = fields.Nested(ArtistSchema)

Excluding fields

The marshmallow only and exclude arguments are also valid as serializer arguments:

serializer = CustomerSchema(queryset, many=True, only=('name', 'email'))
return Response(


Install testing requirements.

$ pip install -r requirements.txt

Run with runtests.

$ ./

You can also use the excellent tox testing tool to run the tests against all supported versions of Python and Django. Install tox globally, and then simply run:

$ tox


To build the documentation, you'll need to install mkdocs.

$ pip install mkdocs

To preview the documentation:

$ mkdocs serve
Running at:

To build the documentation:

$ mkdocs build