Customising Oscar

Many parts of Oscar can be adapted to your needs like any other Django application.

  • Many settings control Oscar’s behavior
  • The looks can be controlled by extending or overriding the templates

But as Oscar is built as a highly customisable and extendable framework, it doesn’t stop there. Almost every aspect of it can be altered. Various techniques are employed to achieve that level of adaptability.

To extend the behavior of an Oscar core app, you will at least need to create an app with the same label. Depending on what should be adapted, different steps are necessary beyond that. The steps are detailed below; this overview might help you to figure out what needs to be done.

Goals vs. necessary steps Python module with same label Add as Django app Custom
Override a model class Necessary Necessary Not necessary
Override any other class or view Necessary Necessary Not necessary
Change app URLs or add views Necessary Necessary Necessary

Please also refer to the following how-tos for further instructions and examples.

Python module with same label

All advanced customisation requires creating an a Python module with the same “app label” as the Oscar app you want to extend. E.g., to create a local version of oscar.apps.order, do the following:

$ mkdir yourproject/order
$ touch yourproject/order/


Oscar’s views and URLs use a tree of ‘app’ instances, each of which subclass oscar.core.application.Application and provide urls property. Oscar has a root app instance in oscar/ which should already be wired up in your

from import application

urlpatterns = patterns('',
   ... # Your other URLs
   (r'', include(application.urls)),

Modifying root app

If you want to change URLs or views of the root application above, you need to replace it with your own application instance, that (usually) subclasses Oscar’s. Hence, create yourproject/ with contents:

# yourproject/
from import Shop

class BaseApplication(Shop):

application = BaseApplication()

Now hook this up in your instead:

from import application

urlpatterns = patterns('',
    (r'', include(application.urls)),

Modifying sub-apps

Sub-apps such as the catalogue app are loaded dynamically, just as most other classes in Oscar:

# oscar/
class Shop(Application):
    name = None

    catalogue_app = get_class('', 'application')
    customer_app = get_class('', 'application')

That means you can leave the root app unchanged, and just need to create another application instance. It will usually inherit from Oscar’s version:

# yourproject/promotions/

from import PromotionsApplication as CorePromotionsApplication
from .views import MyExtraView

class PromotionsApplication(CorePromotionsApplication):
    extra_view = MyExtraView

application = PromotionsApplication()

Add as Django app

You will need to let Django know that you intend to replace one of Oscar’s core apps. This means overriding it in INSTALLED_APPS and creating a few hooks back to the replaced Oscar app.


You will need to replace Oscar’s version of the app with yours in INSTALLED_APPS . You can do that by supplying an extra argument to get_core_apps function:


from oscar import get_core_apps
# ...
    # all your non-Oscar apps
] + get_core_apps(['yourproject.order'])

get_core_apps([]) will return a list of Oscar core apps. If you supply a list of additional apps, they will be used to replace the Oscar core apps. In the above example, yourproject.order will be returned instead of oscar.apps.order.

To get your app working, you might also need to create a custom and

If the original Oscar app has a, you’ll need to create a file in your local app. It should import all models from the oscar app being overridden:

# yourproject/order/

# your custom models go here

from oscar.apps.order.models import *

If two models with the same name are declared within an app, Django will only use the first one. That means that if you wish to customise Oscar’s models, you must declare your custom ones before importing Oscar’s models for that app.

If you’re using South, you probably have to copy the migrations directory from oscar/apps/order and put it into your order app. Detailed instructions are available in How to customise models.

When you replace one of Oscar’s apps with a local one, Django admin integration is lost. If you’d like to use it, you need to create an and import the core app’s (which will run the register code):

# yourproject/order/
import oscar.apps.order.admin

This isn’t great but we haven’t found a better way as of yet.