Projectroles Integration

This document provides instructions and guidelines for integrating projectroles and other SODAR Core apps into your Django site.

Installation on a New Site

If you want to set up a new Django site for integrating projectroles, see the recommended options in this section.


If the SODAR Django site template does not suit your needs, it is also possible to set up your site using cookiecutter-django. In this case, follow the instructions in the following section as if you were integrating SODAR Core to an existing Django site.


The project was created using an old version of the cookiecutter script and evolved from there. This means the site created by the version currently may differ in several ways from how SODAR Core is set up. This method is recommended only for experienced Django developers.


For any other issues regarding the cookiecutter-django setup, see the cookiecutter-django documentation.

Installation on an Existing Site

Instructions for setting up projectroles and SODAR Core on an existing Django site or a fresh site generated with cookiecutter-django are detailed in this chapter.


In order to successfully set up projectroles, you are expected to follow all the instructions here in the order they are presented. Please note that leaving out steps may result in a non-working Django site! Attempting to run the site before following all of the steps may (and probably will) result in errors.


The rest of this section was originally written for the 1.11 release of cookiecutter-django. Some details such as directory structures and settings variables may differ.

First, add the django-sodar-core dependency into your requirements/base.txt file. Make sure you are pointing to the desired release tag or commit ID.


Install the requirements for development:

$ pip install -r requirements/local.txt

If any version conflicts arise between django-sodar-core and your existing site, you will have to resolve them before continuing.


You can always refer to either the sodar-django-site repository or example_site in the SODAR Core repository for a working example of a Cookiecutter-based Django site integrating SODAR Core. However, note that some aspects of the site configuration may vary depending on the cookiecutter-django version used on your site.

Django Settings

Next you need to modify your default Django settings file, usually located in config/settings/ For sites created with an older cookiecutter-django version the file name may also be Naturally, you should make sure no settings in other configuration files conflict with ones set here.

For values retrieved from environment variables, make sure to configure your env accordingly. For development and testing, using READ_DOT_ENV_FILE is recommended.

Required and optional Django settings are described in the Projectroles Django Settings document.

User Configuration

In order for SODAR Core apps to work on your Django site, you need to extend the default user model.

Extending the User Model

In a cookiecutter-django based project, an extended user model should already exist in {SITE_NAME}/users/ The abstract model provided by the projectroles app provides the same model with critical additions, most notably the sodar_uuid field used as an unique identifier for SODAR objects including users.

If you have not added any of your own modifications to the model, you can simply replace the existing model extension with the following code:

from projectroles.models import SODARUser

class User(SODARUser):

If you need to include your own extra fields or functions (or have existing ones already), you can add them in this model.

After updating the user model, create and run database migrations.

$ ./ makemigrations
$ ./ migrate


You probably will need to edit the default unit tests under {SITE_NAME}/users/tests/ for them to work after making these changes. See example_site.users.tests in this repository for an example.

Populating UUIDs for Existing Users

When integrating projectroles into an existing site with existing users, the sodar_uuid field needs to be populated. See instructions in Django documentation on how to create the required migrations.

Synchronizing User Groups for Existing Users

To set up user groups for existing users, run the syncgroups management command.

$ ./ syncgroups

User Profile Site App

The userprofile site app is installed with SODAR Core. It adds a user profile page in the user dropdown. Use of the app is not mandatory but recommended, unless you are already using some other user profile app. See the userprofile app documentation for instructions.

Add Login Template

You should add a login template to {SITE_NAME}/templates/users/login.html. If you’re OK with using the projectroles login template, the file can consist of the following line:

{% extends 'projectroles/login.html' %}

If you intend to use projectroles templates for user management, you can delete other existing files within the directory.

URL Configuration

In the Django URL configuration file, usually found in config/, add the following lines under urlpatterns to include projectroles URLs in your site.

urlpatterns = [
    # ...
    url(r'api/auth/', include('knox.urls')),
    url(r'^project/', include('projectroles.urls')),

If you intend to use projectroles views and templates as the basis of your site layout and navigation (which is recommended), also make sure to set the site’s home view accordingly:

from projectroles.views import HomeView

urlpatterns = [
    # ...
    url(r'^$', HomeView.as_view(), name='home'),

Finally, make sure your login and logout links are correctly linked. You can remove any default allauth URLs if you’re not using it.

from django.contrib.auth import views as auth_views

urlpatterns = [
    # ...
    url(r'^login/$', auth_views.LoginView.as_view(
        template_name='users/login.html'), name='login'),
    url(r'^logout/$', auth_views.logout_then_login, name='logout'),

Base Template for Your Django Site

In order to make use of Projectroles views and templates, you should set the base template of your site accordingly in {SITE_NAME}/templates/base.html.

For a supported example, see projectroles/base_site.html. It is strongly recommended to use this as the base template for your site, either by extending it or copying the content into {SITE_NAME}/templates/base.html and modifying it to suit your needs.

If you do not need to make any modifications, the most simple way is to replace the content of the {SITE_NAME}/templates/base.html file with the following line:

{% extends 'projectroles/base_site.html' %}


CSS and Javascript includes in site_base.html are mandatory for Projectroles-based views and functionalities.


The container structure defined in the example base.html, along with including the {STATIC}/projectroles/css/projectroles.css are mandatory for Projectroles-based views to work without modifications.

Site Error Templates

The projectroles app contains default error templates to use on your site. These are located in the projectroles/error/ template directory. You can use them by entering {% extends 'projectroles/error/*.html %} in the corresponding files found in the {SITE_NAME}/templates/ directory. You have the options of extending or replacing content on the templates, or simply implementing your own.

Site Icons

SODAR Core uses Iconify to include icons on the site. SODAR Core apps use the Material Design Icons icon collection, however other collections can be added to your site.

To enable the icons on your site, run the following management commands:

$ ./ geticons
$ ./ collectstatic

If you want to use additional icon collections, you can add them using the -c argument as displayed in the following example:

$ ./ geticons -c carbon clarity

You can view the supported icon collections here.

The Iconify JSON files are rather large and potentially frequently updated, so it is recommended to ignore them in your Git setup and instead retrieve them dynamically for CI and deployment. Before committing your code, it is recommended to update your .gitignore file with the following lines:


All Done!

After following all the instructions above, you should have a working SODAR Core based Django site with support for projectroles features and SODAR Core apps. To test the site locally execute the supplied make command:

$ make serve

Or, run the standard Django runserver command:

$ ./ runserver

To enable periodic tasks, you need to additionally start a Celery worker. This is done by running the make celery command:

$ make celery

You can now browse your site locally at You are expected to log in to view the site. Use e.g. the superuser account you created when setting up your cookiecutter-django site.

You can now continue on to create apps or modify your existing apps to be compatible with the SODAR Core framework. See the development section for app development guides. Also see the customization documentation for tips for modifying the default appearance of SODAR Core.