Flask API

Browsable Web APIs for Flask


Overview

Flask API is an implementation of the same web browsable APIs that Django REST framework provides.

It gives you properly content negotiated responses and smart request parsing.

It is currently a work in progress, but the fundamentals are in place and you can already start building kick-ass browsable Web APIs with it. If you want to start using Flask API right now go ahead and do so, but be sure to follow the release notes of new versions carefully.

Screenshot

Roadmap

Future work on getting Flask API to a 1.0 release will include:

It is also possible that the core of Flask API could be refactored into an external dependancy, in order to make browsable APIs easily available to any Python web framework.

Installation

Requirements:

Install using pip.

pip install Flask-API

Import and initialize your application.

from flask.ext.api import FlaskAPI

app = FlaskAPI(__main__)

Responses

Return any valid response object as normal, or return a list or dict.

@app.route('/example/')
def example():
    return {'hello': 'world'}

A renderer for the response data will be selected using content negotation based on the client 'Accept' header. If you're making the API request from a regular client, this will default to a JSON response. If you're viewing the API in a browser it'll default to the browsable API HTML.

Requests

Access the parsed request data using request.data. This will handle JSON or form data by default.

@app.route('/example/')
def example():
    return {'request data': request.data}

Example

The following example demonstates a simple API for creating, listing, updating and deleting notes.

from flask import request, url_for
from flask.ext.api import FlaskAPI, status, exceptions

app = FlaskAPI(__name__)


notes = {
    0: 'do the shopping',
    1: 'build the codez',
    2: 'paint the door',
}

def note_repr(key):
    return {
        'url': request.host_url.rstrip('/') + url_for('notes_detail', key=key),
        'text': notes[key]
    }


@app.route("/", methods=['GET', 'POST'])
def notes_list():
    """
    List or create notes.
    """
    if request.method == 'POST':
        note = str(request.data.get('text', ''))
        idx = max(notes.keys()) + 1
        notes[idx] = note
        return note_repr(idx), status.HTTP_201_CREATED

    # request.method == 'GET'
    return [note_repr(idx) for idx in sorted(notes.keys())]


@app.route("/<int:key>/", methods=['GET', 'PUT', 'DELETE'])
def notes_detail(key):
    """
    Retrieve, update or delete note instances.
    """
    if request.method == 'PUT':
        note = str(request.data.get('text', ''))
        notes[key] = note
        return note_repr(key)

    elif request.method == 'DELETE':
        notes.pop(key, None)
        return '', status.HTTP_204_NO_CONTENT

    # request.method == 'GET'
    if key not in notes:
        raise exceptions.NotFound()
    return note_repr(key)


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(debug=True)

Now run the webapp:

$ python ./example.py
 * Running on http://127.0.0.1:5000/
 * Restarting with reloader

You can now open a new tab and interact with the API from the command line:

$ curl -X GET http://127.0.0.1:5000/
[{"url": "http://127.0.0.1:5000/0/", "text": "do the shopping"}, {"url": "http://127.0.0.1:5000/1/", "text": "build the codez"}, {"url": "http://127.0.0.1:5000/2/", "text": "paint the door"}]
$ curl -X GET http://127.0.0.1:5000/1/
{"url": "http://127.0.0.1:5000/1/", "text": "build the codez"}
$ curl -X PUT http://127.0.0.1:5000/1/ -d text="flask api is teh awesomez"
{"url": "http://127.0.0.1:5000/1/", "text": "flask api is teh awesomez"}

You can also work on the API directly in your browser, by opening http://127.0.0.1:5000/. You can then navigate between notes, and make GET, PUT, POST and DELETE API requests.

Credits

To stay up to date with progress on Flask API, follow Tom Christie on twitter, here.

Many thanks to Nicolas Clairon for making the flask_api PyPI package available.