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Cookiecutter template for flask restful, including blueprints, application factory, and more

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This cookie cutter is a very simple boilerplate for starting a REST api using Flask, flask-restful, marshmallow, SQLAlchemy and jwt. It comes with basic project structure and configuration, including blueprints, application factory and basics unit tests.


  • Simple flask application using application factory, blueprints
  • Flask command line interface integration
  • Simple cli implementation with basics commands (init, run, etc.)
  • Flask Migrate included in entry point
  • Authentication using Flask-JWT-Extended including access token and refresh token management
  • Simple pagination utils
  • Unit tests using pytest and factoryboy
  • Configuration using environment variables
  • OpenAPI json file and swagger UI

Used packages :



Install cookiecutter

Make sure you have cookiecutter installed in your local machine.

You can install it using this command : pip install cookiecutter

Create your project

Starting a new project is as easy as running this command at the command line. No need to create a directory first, the cookiecutter will do it for you.

To create a project run the following command and follow the prompt


Install project requirements

Let's say you named your app myapi and your project myproject

You can install it using pip :

cd myproject
pip install -r requirements.txt
pip install -e .

You have now access to cli commands and you can init your project

flask db upgrade
flask myapi init

To list all commands

flask --help
flask myapi --help


Configuration is handled by environment variables, for development purpose you just need to update / add entries in .flaskenv file.

It's filled by default with following content:

CELERY_BROKER_URL=amqp://guest:[email protected]/  # only present when celery is enabled
CELERY_RESULT_BACKEND_URL=amqp://guest:[email protected]/  # only present when celery is enabled

Avaible configuration keys:

  • FLASK_ENV: flask configuration key, enables DEBUG if set to development
  • SECREY_KEY: your application secret key
  • DATABASE_URI: SQLAlchemy connection string
  • CELERY_BROKER_URL: URL to use for celery broker, only when you enabled celery
  • CELERY_RESULT_BACKEND_URL: URL to use for celery result backend (e.g: redis://localhost)


To access protected resources, you will need an access token. You can generate an access and a refresh token using /auth/login endpoint, example using curl

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"username": "admin", "password": "admin"}' http://localhost:5000/auth/login

This will return something like this

  "access_token": "eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJ0eXBlIjoiYWNjZXNzIiwiaWRlbnRpdHkiOjEsImlhdCI6MTUxMDAwMDQ0MSwiZnJlc2giOmZhbHNlLCJqdGkiOiI2OTg0MjZiYi00ZjJjLTQ5MWItYjE5YS0zZTEzYjU3MzFhMTYiLCJuYmYiOjE1MTAwMDA0NDEsImV4cCI6MTUxMDAwMTM0MX0.P-USaEIs35CSVKyEow5UeXWzTQTrrPS_YjVsltqi7N4", 
  "refresh_token": "eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpZGVudGl0eSI6MSwiaWF0IjoxNTEwMDAwNDQxLCJ0eXBlIjoicmVmcmVzaCIsImp0aSI6IjRmMjgxOTQxLTlmMWYtNGNiNi05YmI1LWI1ZjZhMjRjMmU0ZSIsIm5iZiI6MTUxMDAwMDQ0MSwiZXhwIjoxNTEyNTkyNDQxfQ.SJPsFPgWpZqZpHTc4L5lG_4aEKXVVpLLSW1LO7g4iU0"

You can use access_token to access protected endpoints :

curl -X GET -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "Authorization: Bearer eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJ0eXBlIjoiYWNjZXNzIiwiaWRlbnRpdHkiOjEsImlhdCI6MTUxMDAwMDQ0MSwiZnJlc2giOmZhbHNlLCJqdGkiOiI2OTg0MjZiYi00ZjJjLTQ5MWItYjE5YS0zZTEzYjU3MzFhMTYiLCJuYmYiOjE1MTAwMDA0NDEsImV4cCI6MTUxMDAwMTM0MX0.P-USaEIs35CSVKyEow5UeXWzTQTrrPS_YjVsltqi7N4"

You can use refresh token to retreive a new access_token using the endpoint /auth/refresh

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "Authorization: Bearer eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpZGVudGl0eSI6MSwiaWF0IjoxNTEwMDAwNDQxLCJ0eXBlIjoicmVmcmVzaCIsImp0aSI6IjRmMjgxOTQxLTlmMWYtNGNiNi05YmI1LWI1ZjZhMjRjMmU0ZSIsIm5iZiI6MTUxMDAwMDQ0MSwiZXhwIjoxNTEyNTkyNDQxfQ.SJPsFPgWpZqZpHTc4L5lG_4aEKXVVpLLSW1LO7g4iU0"

this will only return a new access token

  "access_token": "eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJ0eXBlIjoiYWNjZXNzIiwiaWRlbnRpdHkiOjEsImlhdCI6MTUxMDAwMDYxOCwiZnJlc2giOmZhbHNlLCJqdGkiOiIzODcxMzg4Ni0zNGJjLTRhOWQtYmFlYS04MmZiNmQwZjEyNjAiLCJuYmYiOjE1MTAwMDA2MTgsImV4cCI6MTUxMDAwMTUxOH0.cHuNf-GxVFJnUZ_k9ycoMMb-zvZ10Y4qbrW8WkXdlpw"

Running tests

Using tox

Simplest way to run tests is to use tox, it will create a virtualenv for tests, install all dependencies and run pytest


If you just want to run pytest and avoid linters you can use

tox -e test

Using pytest directly

If you want to run pytest manually without using tox you'll need to install some dependencies before

pip install pytest pytest-runner pytest-flask pytest-factoryboy pytest-celery factory_boy

Then you can invoke pytest


Note that tox is setting environment variables for you when testing, but when using pytest directly that's not the case. To avoid setting up env variables each time you run pytest, this cookiecutter provide a .testenv file that contains default configuration for testing. Don't forget to update it if your local env doesn't match those defaults.

Using docker

Testing with docker is another great option, since it take cares of everything and spawn required services for you. To run tests within docker containers, you can use the provided Makefile:

Build images:

make build

Running tox with flake8, black and pytest:

make tox

Running tox with pytest only:

make tests

Testing Celery

Testing celery require at least a rabbitMQ (or any other compatible broker) running. By default, when you use tox or the .testenv file, celery broker and result backend are configured as follow:

CELERY_BROKER_URL=amqp://guest:[email protected]/
CELERY_RESULT_BACKEND_URL=amqp://guest:[email protected]/

Meaning that it will try to connect to a local rabbitMQ server using guest user. Don't forget to update those settings if your configuration doesn't match.

If you can't / don't want to install a local rabbitMQ server or any other available celery broker, you have 2 options:

  1. Use docker

You can use docker-compose to run tests, as it will spawn a rabbitMQ and a redis servera and set correct env variables for configuration. All tests commands are available inside the Makefile to simplify this process.

  1. Update the tests to use eager mode

NOTE this is not recommanded by celery:

Alternatively, if you don't have a local broker and can't use docker, you can update unit tests to run them using the task_always_eager celery setting. This will actually run all tasks locally by blocking until tasks return (see for more details).

Example of file that use task_always_eager

import pytest

from import init_celery
from myapi.tasks.example import dummy_task

def celery_session_app(celery_session_app, app):
    celery = init_celery(app)

    celery_session_app.conf = celery.conf
    celery_session_app.conf.task_always_eager = True
    celery_session_app.Task = celery_session_app.Task

    yield celery_session_app

def test_example(celery_session_app):
    """Simply test our dummy task using celery"""
    res = dummy_task.delay()
    assert res.get() == "OK"

Installing a wsgi server

Running with gunicorn

This project provide a simple wsgi entry point to run gunicorn or uwsgi for example.

For gunicorn you only need to run the following commands

pip install gunicorn
gunicorn myapi.wsgi:app

And that's it ! Gunicorn is running on port 8000

If you chose gunicorn as your wsgi server, the proper commands should be in your docker-compose file.

Running with uwsgi

Pretty much the same as gunicorn here

pip install uwsgi
uwsgi --http --module myapi.wsgi:app

And that's it ! Uwsgi is running on port 5000

If you chose uwsgi as your wsgi server, the proper commands should be in your docker-compose file.

Using Flask CLI

This cookiecutter is fully compatible with default flask CLI and use a .flaskenv file to set correct env variables to bind the application factory. Note that we also set FLASK_ENV to development to enable debugger.

Using Celery

This cookiecutter has an optional Celery integration that let you choose if you want to use it or not in your project. If you choose to use Celery, additionnal code and files will be generated to get started with it.

This code will include a dummy task located in yourproject/yourapp/tasks/ that only return "OK" and a celery_app file used to your celery workers.

Running celery workers

In your project path, once dependencies are installed, you can just run

celery -A myapi.celery_app:app worker --loglevel=info

If you have updated your configuration for broker / result backend your workers should start and you should see the example task avaible

  . myapi.tasks.example.dummy_task

Running a task

To run a task you can either import it and call it

>>> from myapi.tasks.example import dummy_task
>>> result = dummy_task.delay()
>>> result.get()

Or use the celery extension

>>> from myapi.extensions import celery
>>> celery.send_task('myapi.tasks.example.dummy_task').get()

Using docker

WARNING both Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml are NOT suited for production, use them for development only or as a starting point.

This template offer simple docker support to help you get started and it comes with both Dockerfile and a docker-compose.yml. Please note that docker-compose is mostly useful when using celery since it takes care of running rabbitmq, redis, your web API and celery workers at the same time, but it also work if you don't use celery at all.

Dockerfile has intentionally no entrypoint to allow you to run any command from it (server, shell, init, celery, ...)

Note that you still need to init your app on first start, even when using compose.

docker build -t myapp .
docker run --env-file=.flaskenv myapp myapi init
docker run --env-file=.flaskenv -p 5000:5000 myapp myapi run -h
 * Serving Flask app "" (lazy loading)
 * Environment: development
 * Debug mode: on
 * Running on (Press CTRL+C to quit)
 * Restarting with stat
 * Debugger is active!
 * Debugger PIN: 214-619-010

With compose

docker-compose up
docker exec -it <container_id> flask myapi init

With docker-compose and the Makefile

make init

Makefile usage

Initizalize the environment

make init

Build the containers

make build

Run the containers

make run

Create new database migration

make db-migrate

Apply database migrations

make db-upgrade

Run tests inside containers

make test

Using APISpec and Swagger

This boilerplate comes with pre-configured APISpec and swagger endpoints. Using default configuration you have two endpoints avaible:

  • /swagger.json: return OpenAPI specification file in json format
  • /swagger-ui: swagger UI configured to hit OpenAPI json file

This come with a very simple extension that allow you to override basic settings of APISpec using your file:

  • APISPEC_TITLE: title for your spec, default to {{cookiecutter.project_name}}
  • APISPEC_VERSION: version of your API, default to 1.0.0
  • OPENAPI_VERSION: OpenAPI version of your spec, default to 3.0.2
  • SWAGGER_JSON_URL: Url for your JSON specifications, default to /swagger.json
  • SWAGGER_UI_URL: Url for swagger-ui, default to /swagger-ui
  • SWAGGER_URL_PREFIX: URL prefix to use for swagger blueprint, default to None



  • Updated README for tests and celery
  • Added a .testenv file to avoid needing to set env variables when running pytest manually
  • Updated celery fixtures to use session fixtures (for worker and app)
  • Replaced prefork in celery_worker_pool by solo (#41)


  • Added python 3.8 support
  • Upgraded to marshmallow 3
  • Added lint and tests envs to tox
  • Added black support
  • Improved travis tests
  • Updated Makefile to handle tests with celery
  • Updated tox to handle env variables for celery when runing tests
  • Added initial db migration instead of relying on db.create_all()
  • Added new step to create database in README
  • Various cleanup


  • Added apispec dependencies
  • Registered users endpoints into swagger
  • New apispec extension
  • Added two new routes /swagger.json and /swagger-ui (configurable urls)
  • Added swagger html template
  • Add travis file


  • Added docker and docker-compose support


  • Update configuration to only use env variables, .flaskenv has been updated too
  • Add unit tests for celery
  • Add flake8 to tox
  • Configuration file cannot be overridden by MYAPP CONFIG env variable anymore
  • various cleanups (unused imports, removed file, flake8 errors)

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