3. App Integration

It is pretty easy to integrate your own Django applications with django CMS. You have 5 ways of integrating your app:

  1. Menus

    Static extend the menu entries

  2. AttachMenus

    Attach your menu to a page.

  3. App-Hooks

    Attach whole apps with optional menu to a page.

  4. Navigation Modifiers

    Modify the whole menu tree

  5. Custom Plugins

    Display your models / content in cms pages

3.2. Attach Menus

Classes that extend from menus.base.Menu always get attached to the root. But if you want the menu be attached to a CMS Page you can do that as well.

Instead of extending from Menu you need to extend from cms.menu_bases.CMSAttachMenu and you need to define a name. We will do that with the example from above:

from menus.base import NavigationNode
from menus.menu_pool import menu_pool
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _
from cms.menu_bases import CMSAttachMenu

class TestMenu(CMSAttachMenu):

    name = _("test menu")

    def get_nodes(self, request):
        nodes = []
        n = NavigationNode(_('sample root page'), "/", 1)
        n2 = NavigationNode(_('sample settings page'), "/bye/", 2)
        n3 = NavigationNode(_('sample account page'), "/hello/", 3)
        n4 = NavigationNode(_('sample my profile page'), "/hello/world/", 4, 3)
        return nodes


Now you can link this Menu to a page in the ‘Advanced’ tab of the page settings under attached menu.

Each must have a get_menu_title() method, a get_absolute_url() method, and a childrens list with all of its children inside (the ‘s’ at the end of childrens is done on purpose because children is already taken by django-mptt).

Be sure that get_menu_title() and get_absolute_url() don’t trigger any queries when called in a template or you may have some serious performance and database problems with a lot of queries.

It may be wise to cache the output of get_nodes(). For this you may need to write a wrapper class because of dynamic content that the pickle module can’t handle.

If you want to display some static pages in the navigation (“login”, for example) you can write your own “dummy” class that adheres to the conventions described above.

A base class for this purpose can be found in cms/utils/navigation.py

3.3. App-Hooks

With App-Hooks you can attach whole Django applications to pages. For example you have a news app and you want it attached to your news page.

To create an apphook create a cms_app.py in your application. And in there write the following:

from cms.app_base import CMSApp
from cms.apphook_pool import apphook_pool
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _

class MyApphook(CMSApp):
    name = _("My Apphook")
    urls = ["myapp.urls"]


Replace myapp.urls with the path to your applications urls.py.

Now edit a page and open the advanced settings tab. Select your new apphook under “Application”. Save the page.


If you are on a multi-threaded server (mostly all webservers, except the dev-server): Restart the server because the URLs are cached by Django and in a multi-threaded environment we don’t know which caches are cleared yet.


If at some point you want to remove this apphook after deleting the cms_app.py there is a cms management command called uninstall apphooks that removes the specified apphook(s) from all pages by name. eg. manage.py cms uninstall apphooks MyApphook. To find all names for uninstallable apphooks there is a command for this aswell manage.py cms list apphooks.

If you attached the app to a page with the url /hello/world/ and the app has a urls.py that looks like this:

from django.conf.urls.defaults import *

urlpatterns = patterns('sampleapp.views',
    url(r'^$', 'main_view', name='app_main'),
    url(r'^sublevel/$', 'sample_view', name='app_sublevel'),

The main_view should now be available at /hello/world/ and the sample_view has the url /hello/world/sublevel/.


All views that are attached like this must return a RequestContext instance instead of the default Context instance.

3.3.1. Language Namespaces

An additional feature of apphooks is that if you use the cms.middleware.multilingual.MultilingualURLMiddleware all apphook urls are language namespaced.

What this means:

To reverse the first url from above you would use something like this in your template:

{% url app_main %}

If you want to access the same url but in a different language use a langauge namespace:

{% url de:app_main %}
{% url en:app_main %}
{% url fr:app_main %}

If you want to add a menu to that page as well that may represent some views in your app add it to your apphook like this:

from myapp.menu import MyAppMenu

class MyApphook(CMSApp):
    name = _("My Apphook")
    urls = ["myapp.urls"]
    menus = [MyAppMenu]


For an example if your app has a Category model and you want this category model to be displayed in the menu when you attach the app to a page. We assume the following model:

from django.db import models
from django.core.urlresolvers import reverse
import mptt

class Category(models.Model):
    parent = models.ForeignKey('self', blank=True, null=True)
    name = models.CharField(max_length=20)

    def __unicode__(self):
        return self.name

    def get_absolute_url(self):
        return reverse('category_view', args=[self.pk])

except mptt.AlreadyRegistered:

We would now create a menu out of these categories:

from menus.base import NavigationNode
from menus.menu_pool import menu_pool
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _
from cms.menu_bases import CMSAttachMenu
from myapp.models import Category

class CategoryMenu(CMSAttachMenu):

    name = _("test menu")

    def get_nodes(self, request):
        nodes = []
        for category in Category.objects.all().order_by("tree_id", "lft"):
            node = NavigationNode(
        return nodes


If you add this menu now to your app-hook:

from myapp.menus import CategoryMenu

class MyApphook(CMSApp):
    name = _("My Apphook")
    urls = ["myapp.urls"]
    menus = [MyAppMenu, CategoryMenu]

You get the static entries of MyAppMenu and the dynamic entries of CategoryMenu both attached to the same page.

3.5. Custom Plugins

If you want to display content of your apps on other pages custom plugins are a great way to accomplish that. For example, if you have a news app and you want to display the top 10 news entries on your homepage, a custom plugin is the way to go.

For a detailed explanation on how to write custom plugins please head over to the Custom Plugins section.