Opened 2 years ago

Closed 19 months ago

#27149 closed New feature (fixed)

Allow using a subquery in QuerySet.filter()

Reported by: MikiSoft Owned by: Matthew Schinckel
Component: Database layer (models, ORM) Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: Queryset SubQuery Exists
Cc: Triage Stage: Ready for checkin
Has patch: yes Needs documentation: no
Needs tests: no Patch needs improvement: no
Easy pickings: no UI/UX: no

Description (last modified by MikiSoft)

The following function is used for filtering by generic relation (and also by one column in the model where it is) which isn't natively supported by Django.

APP_LABEL = os.path.basename(os.path.dirname(__file__))
def generic_rel_filter(model, target, column, id):
    return model.objects.extra(where=['''
        {app_label}_{model}.id in (select object_id
        from {app_label}_{target}
        where content_type_id = (select id from django_content_type where model = '{model}')
            and {column} = {id})'''.format(app_label=APP_LABEL, model=model.__name__.lower(), target=target, column=column, id=id)])

Example: If I have Event and Like model, and the second one has generic relation to the first one (i.e. it has content_type, object_id and content_object fields), then if I want to get all events which current user liked, I would just make this call in a view: generic_rel_filter(Event, 'like', 'person',

Note that this function isn't intended to be used with user specified parameters, otherwise it's prone to SQL injection attacks.

P.S. It can be done with ORM but then it would go with three queries, which is much slower than the method above (which uses only one query to do the same): Event.objects.filter(pk__in=Like.objects.filter(content_type=ContentType.objects.get(model='event'), person=self.request.user).values_list('object_id', flat=True))

Change History (9)

comment:1 Changed 2 years ago by MikiSoft

Description: modified (diff)

comment:2 Changed 2 years ago by MikiSoft

Description: modified (diff)

comment:3 Changed 2 years ago by Shai Berger


Thanks for the suggestion; the code, as given, is not fit for general use because it makes assumptions which are not guaranteed to hold:

  • it assumes the model and target belong to the same app
  • it assumes the modles use the default table names (i.e. none of the models specifies Meta.db_table)
  • it assumes the default app label (a different one can be set via AppConfig objects)
  • it assumes the names content_type_id and object_id for the components of the generic FK -- these are not even defaults, but only a convention

Further, the code uses target in a way which bakes some of these assumptions into the API, not just the implementation.

I suggest you bring the idea up on the DevelopersMailingList, to get a wider discussion of whether the feature fits for inclusion in Django, and if so, to define an API everyone agrees on. When you do, please make sure you present the problem before you suggest your solution.

comment:4 Changed 2 years ago by Tim Graham

I think the intention of this ticket was to present a case where QuerySet.extra is required. If we want to deprecate it, we need to provide an alternative for accomplishing this.

comment:5 Changed 2 years ago by MikiSoft

Exactly, timgraham. Thanks for clearing it up instead of me. :)

By the way, I've begun to use QuerySet.extra whenever there are some nested queries (i.e. more than one), and I think that execution is now noticeably faster than earlier.

Last edited 2 years ago by MikiSoft (previous) (diff)

comment:6 Changed 2 years ago by Tim Graham

Summary: Filtering with generic relationAllow using a subquery in QuerySet.filter()
Triage Stage: UnreviewedAccepted

A PR provides the ability to annotate with SubQuery and Exists. I think this is a bit different since it applies to QuerySet.filter() rather than annotate().

comment:7 Changed 21 months ago by Matthew Schinckel

Has patch: set
Keywords: Queryset SubQuery Exists added; QuerySet.extra removed
Owner: changed from nobody to Matthew Schinckel
Patch needs improvement: set
Status: newassigned

For what it's worth, I have a PR about this (thanks to whoever pointed this issue out).

However, there is still one outstanding issue related to using .filter(foo__in=SubQuery(...))

Feel free to jump in with suggestions about how to resolve it at

Last edited 20 months ago by Tim Graham (previous) (diff)

comment:8 Changed 20 months ago by Tim Graham

Patch needs improvement: unset
Triage Stage: AcceptedReady for checkin

comment:9 Changed 19 months ago by Tim Graham <timograham@…>

Resolution: fixed
Status: assignedclosed

In 236ebe94:

Fixed #27149 -- Added Subquery and Exists database expressions.

Thanks Josh Smeaton for Oracle fixes.

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