Simple Flask API Server

Open-source API server that might help beginners to understand better the API concept

A simple API server powered by Flask.
A simple API server powered by Flask

Hello! This article presents a simple API starter that might help beginners to understand better the API concept. The codebase can be downloaded from Github and used for eLearning activities or production. The framework that powers the API is Flask, a leading software library actively supported and versioned by many open-source enthusiasts. Thanks for reading!

✨ Starter Features

  • 👉 Simple API over a minimal Datas table
  • 👉 SQLite Persistence managed by an elegant ORM (SqlAlchemy)
  • 👉 Powerful API core provided by Flask-RestX
  • 👉 Strong Input validation

API Definition
Route Verb Info Status
/datas GET return all items ✔️
POST create a new item ✔️
/datas:id GET return one item ✔️
PUT update item ✔️
DELETE delete item ✔️

✨ API Coding & Implementation Rules

  • Simple Interface
  • Consistent, intuitive actions
  • Strong Input Validation

Codebase Structure

All relevant files are listed below. Other files like docker-compose.yml, README, LICENSE are omitted.

├── api
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   └──
├── requirements.txt
Flask API Server - Codebase

API Models

The information managed by the API is saved using a simple table defined with three fields: id, data, date_created. Here is the source code:

# Contents of "api/" (truncated)
class Datas(db.Model):

    id           = db.Column(db.Integer()   , primary_key=True)
    data         = db.Column(db.String(256) , nullable=False)
    date_created = db.Column(db.DateTime()  , default=datetime.utcnow)
Flask API Server - Models

The source code provides a few helpers that make our life, as a developer, easier:

  • update_data - update the data field
  • save - save & commit the updates of the current object
  • toJSON - returns the JSON representation


Each method is kept as simple as possible but at the same time, provides robust validation and elegant SQL access.

For instance, the route that manages the update operation for an item:

# Contents of "api/" (truncated)
class ItemManager(Resource):
       Update Item
    @rest_api.expect(update_model, validate=True)
    def put(self, id):

        item = Datas.get_by_id(id)

        # Read ALL input from body  
        req_data = request.get_json()

        # Get the information    
        item_data = req_data.get("data")

        if not item:
            return {"success": False,
                    "msg": "Item not found."}, 400


        return {"success" : True,
                "msg"     : "Item [" +str(id)+ "] successfully updated",
                "data"    :  item.toJSON()}, 200 
Flask API Server - Update Item Route

Let's iterate over the relevant lines:

@rest_api.route('/api/datas/<int:id>') defines the route

Flask will route the request to this section when users access /api/datas/1 for instance.

@rest_api.expect(update_model, validate=True)

This decorator triggers a validation previously defined as bellow:

update_model = rest_api.model('UpdateModel', {"data": fields.String(required=True, min_length=1, max_length=255)})
Flask-RestX - Validation

If the data field has a size over 255, the request is rejected. For us, as developers, the coding effort is minimal.

✨ Where to go from here

This simple API will be extended with more features soon:

  • Add more fields to Datas model
  • Implement authentication
  • restrict update actions to authenticated users.

For more resources, feel free to access: