Soft UI - Generate a Django Dashboard with ease

Simple dashboard generated by Django Cookie-Cutter tool on top of Soft UI, a modern Bootstrap 5 design crafted by Creative-Tim.

Soft UI - Simple Dashboard project generated by Django Cookie-Cutter.
Soft UI - Simple Dashboard project generated by Django Cookie-Cutter.

This article presents an easy way to generate a Django dashboard on top of Soft UI, a modern Bootstrap 5 design crafted by Creative-Tim. To achieve this goal we will use an open-source tool provided by AppSeed: Django Cookie-Cutter. During the process, we can choose the design (Soft UI) and also the database type from a short-list with popular engines: SQLite, MySql, or PostgreSQL.  

What's in the box? The generated product looks similar to this one:

Soft UI Django - product page (includes demo & sources)
A modern and colorful dashboard with a left menu and many charts and widgets in the center of the page, all styled with Soft UI, a modern design from Creative-Tim.
Soft UI - Generated by Django Cookie-Cutter.

To use this open-source generator a minimal programming kit should be installed in the workstation starting with Python3 and GIT:

  • Python - the language used by the tool
  • GIT - the popular command-line versioning tool
  • A modern programming editor like Atom or VSCode

Once we have all the tools, we can proceed further and generate our simple Django Dashboard.

Step #1 - Install dependencies (cookie-cutter and GitPython)
$ pip install cookiecutter
$ pip install GitPython
Soft UI - Install Dependencies

CookieCutter is the Python library that makes all the work for us and GitPython is a nice and useful Python wrapper around Git used to pull the UI themes from Git.

Step #2 - Generate the dashboard using Soft UI design
$ cookiecutter
Soft UI Dashboard - Generate Command
Step #3 - Customize the project

Most of the commands provide a default value selectable by an ENTER. The most important step is the one when we choose the UI kit because the tool provides multiple choices regarding the design:

>>> # Project Name Option 
>>> project_name [Django Seed project]: Django Soft UI

>>> # Project Slug is the directory name
>>> project_slug [django_soft_ui]:

>>> # Project Description: saved in the README file 
>>> description [A simple Django project]: My Simple Django Project

>>> # Project Author: saved in the README file   
>>> author_name []: Bill Gates

>>> # Author Email: saved in the README file   
>>> email []:

>>> Project Version: saved in the README file
>>> version [0.0.1]:

>>> UI Kit: (Volt default option)
>>> Select theme:
1 - volt
2 - soft-ui                       <------ The magic option            
3 - datta-able

>>> Database: (SQLite default option) 
Select database:
1 - sqlite3
2 - mysql
3 - postgresql

>>> Database Credentials: Used to configure the connection
>>> database_name [appseed_django]: (use default)
>>> database_user [appseed_user]: (use default)
>>> database_pass [Pass1234]: (use default)
Soft UI Dashboard - Project Options

Once the process is finished, we can open the django_soft_ui directory using a programming editor like Atom or VsCode and follow the instruction provided by the README to compile the generated project.

Step #1 - Create a virtual environment  (used to install dependencies)
$ virtualenv env
$ source env/bin/activate
Soft UI - Create Virtual Environment
Step #2 - Install project dependencies
$ # Install modules
$ pip3 install -r requirements.txt
Soft UI - Install Modules
Step #3 - Set up the database
$ python makemigrations
$ python migrate
Soft UI - Set UP the Database
Step #4 - Start the generated Django project
$ # Start the application (development mode)
$ python runserver

By visiting the project in the browser we should see something similar to the original project: Soft UI Dashboard (demo link). Once we create a new user and Sign IN, the access to the private pages is unlocked.

A modern and colorful page with blue and red lines colored using a gradient pattern styled with Soft UI, a modern design crafted by Creative-Tim.
Soft UI - Dashboard generated by Django Cookie-Cutter.
Soft UI - VR Page
A futuristic 3d page with a simple yet stylish room in the background and a few widgets and a left menu in front, all provided by Soft UI, a modern dashboard design crafted by Creative-Tim.
Soft UI - VR Sample page generated by Django Cookie-Cutter Tool

In the same way, we can build more Django projects but using different UI kits with less manual work. Regarding the Django Cookie-Cutter tool, the product has a nice roadmap where the publisher presents a few really nice features:

  • New themes: CoreUI, AdminLTE (popular open-source templates)
  • Deployment: AWS, Google Cloud, HEROKU, Docker
  • Modules: Data tables, Charts, Stripe Payments

For more information please access the public repository of this tool and read more about it.

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