Created: 2011-07-18 21:34
Updated: 2018-05-15 06:41
License: bsd-3-clause

Python API Module

A base class and submodule used for creating Python API wrappers.


This repository is designed to be used as a git submodule for all Python API wrappers going forward. With this in mind, let's look at how we'd set up a new Python API wrapper.

Start by creating your API directory.

$ mkdir my_python_api && cd my_python_api
$ touch

Next, let's git init our new API.

$ git init

Now we can add our git submodule.

$ git submodule add git:// api

This repository should now be in our new api directory. Let's update the xml2dict submodule that's stored in it.

$ cd api
$ git submodule init && git submodule update

We can now start on our new Python API wrapper -- let's add the following code to the file

#!/usr/bin/env python

"""My new Python API wrapper."""

from api import API

class Wrapper(API):

    def __init__(self):
        super(Wrapper, self).__init__()
        self.base_url = ""
        self.output_format = 'json'
        self.required_params = {'foo': 'bar'}

    def hello_world(self, **kwargs):
        """Call the `hello_world` URL path for my API."""
        self.call_api('hello_world', **kwargs)

Now, let's use our new Python API wrapper from the interactive Python console.

    >>> from my_python_wrapper import Wrapper
    >>> wrap = Wrapper()
    >>> wrap.hello_world()

While the hello_world won't return that URL -- it will actually try to open it with Python's urlopen function -- you should take a look at the URL called. By adding the self.required_params to your API, those parameters will now be used on every URL called.

Want to see something else cool? We can pass in arbitrary keywords to our hello_world method, and they too will be added as URL parameters.

    >>> wrap.hello_world(api_key='my_api_key')

Again, while the hello_world method won't actually return this URL string -- it will actually try to call it -- it's definitely useful to see how the api_key keyword argument was added as a URL parameter.

So, what happens if instead of converting the data we're getting back from these method calls, we really just want the intended output -- such as json or xml?

We can do this by adding the output_format=None keyword argument to our method call.

    >>> data = wrap.hello_world()
    >>> json_data = wrap.hello_world(output_format=None)

Notice how XML output is also coerced to dictionary format with the xml2dict module.

    >>> wrap.output_format = 'xml'
    >>> data = wrap.hello_world()
    >>> xml_data = wrap.hello_world(output_format=None)

Third Party Libraries

Current third-party libraries we're using include:

  • mock -- Create test stubs and mocks.

    >>> from mock import Mock
    >>> from api import api
    >>> api.urlopen = Mock()
  • coverage -- Check test code coverage.

    $ coverage run
    Ran 17 tests in 0.010s

    $ coverage report -m
    Name                          Stmts   Miss  Cover   Missing
    test                            113      0   100%   
    api/__init__                      2      0   100%   
    api/api                          42      0   100%   
    api/api_key                       2      0   100%   
    TOTAL                           159      0   100%   
  • pep8 -- Check Python files are following the PEP 8 Style Guide.

    $ pep8 E302 expected 2 blank lines, found 1


Copyright (c) 2011 Code for America Laboratories.

See LICENSE for details.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies Learn more