EmeraldBox is a boilerplate framework for developing python web applications with database access. The framework is based on Flask, a python microframework based on werkzeug, jinja2 and good intentions.
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readme.md

Description

EmeraldBox is a boilerplate framework for developing python web applications with database access. The underlying web framework is Flask, a python microframework based on werkzeug, jinja2 and good intentions. Flask gives a complete basic package. EmeraldBox gives structure and helper tools to speed up development and app deployment on servers. Several basic packages commonly used in developing web applications are included.

Since EmeraldBox is derived from Flask, it uses a lot of Flask patterns and also implements a structure to Flask applications based on Flask's best practice for large applications.

The structure implemented is mostly based on the following links:

Motivation

Developing web apps should be done in the easiest and most efficient ways. Python offers that. However, most of the available frameworks required a deep learning curve for new users and most users have problems deploying the web app.

After using several python web frameworks as well as using other languages' frameworks like Rails, CodeIgniter and Zend, the author came to a conclusion that python is the easiest and most efficient language.

However, it will require tools that may speed up development. It that sense, Rails has a very good approach and will be implemented for the helper tools. Integration with 3rd party packages should also comes easily without having the need to interfere with the main OS, hence comes virtualenv.

Thus, comes EmeraldBox, an easy-to-use, light-weight, and easy-to-deploy framework. The framework was initially developed to gain speed during hackathon since the author is a hackathon junkie. This framework is the ultimate tool that you can use to develop things fast andready to use.

EmeraldBox comes in a localized environment and includes standard packages that are commonly used in web development. The tool includes framework management tools and is designed to give ease for developers in managing database and migrations. EmeraldBox is build with REST in mind.

We are standing in the shoulder of giants, leveraging the following technologies and knitting them to work hand-in-hand:

  • Twitter Bootstrap
  • Flask
  • SQLAlchemy
  • Tornado
  • Gunicorn
  • Best of Python Packages

Installer package

To run EmeraldBox, you need python 2.5 and above. However, Python 3 is not yet supported. Ideally, use Python 2.7.

EmeraldBox setup will install the following packages for you:

  • Flask
  • Flask-SQLAlchemy
  • SQLAlchemy
  • SQLAlchemy-Migrate
  • Tornado Web Server
  • Gunicorn

You can add your desired python package by running:

./box.py -a <package name>

or on windows:

box/Scripts/python box.py -a <package name>

To add package during the setup process, open config.py and add into the list of ADDITIONAL_PACKAGES, i.e:

ADDITIONAL_PACKAGES = ['PIL','xlrd']

Your additional packages will be installed during setup. If you leave the list blank, setup will only install the 5 packages listed above.

Your basic template now comes with bootstrap to help you worry less about the UX. You can change this to meet your needs.

Setup

You can get EmeraldBox using two ways:

To get started with EmeraldBox, use terminal and go to the EmeraldBox root folder and run:

python setup.py

The setup will then automatically download packages and adjusted your settings.

If you clone from git and want to control your project using git do the followings:

change to directory of <project_name>

cd <project_name>

add replace remote

git remote rm origin
git remote add origin <new_remote like git@github.com:your_name/project_name.git>
git commit -am "initial setup"
git push origin master

Server and Deployment

As all python frameworks, EmeraldBox is dependent on WSGI. Worry not! EmeraldBox comes with the not 1 but 2 WSGI standalone server.

As of version 1.3, EmeraldBox comes with Tornado and Gunicorn.

You EmeraldBox package is a ready to deploy package and your app is ready to be published since instalation.

To run tornado web server on unix/linux:

./box.py -s

Or on windows:

box\Scripts\python box.py -s

To run gunicorn web server on unix/linux:

./box.py -g

Or on windows:

box\Scripts\python box.py -g

For gunicorn, the standard -g option will run gunicorn on the standard port as a daemon utilizing 4 tornado workers. You can add your own gunicorn options after -g but to change the port you have to change the it in the config.py.

The app will run at port 5000. You can change the port in the config.py file to any port you wish for. Just make sure that the port is available and does not conflict with other services.

We also provide a development server with debugging tools inside. Use it during development time to improve your work.

Run the development server on unix/linux using:

 ./box.py -t

Or on windows:

box\Scripts\python box.py -t

For security concerns we urge you not to use the development server for production usage.

Usage

Framework generators and tools available. to see the functions on unix/linux run:

./box.py -h

Or on windows:

box\Scripts\python box.py -h

Automated database creation tool available.

Run the following on unix/linux:

./box.py -n <Model Name> <field name>:<field type>--<field length (optional)>

Or on windows:

box\Scripts\python box.py -n <Model Name> <field name>:<field type>--<field length (optional)>    

This will create an automated data management tool for Create, Read, Update and Delete using REST principles. You can access the tool at < server_root > / < model name in lowercase > You can access the json data by adding the ?json=true at the end of the url. Your database will then be migrated and EmeraldBox will automatically create the tables in the database. This also creates a controller in your controller file for handling the JSON output of your model. Check app/main.py to see the result.

If you have your code and want to deploy it elsewhere, you can get the same database scheme automatically in the new server by running the database creation and migration tool.

On unix/linux simply run:

./box.py -c

Or on windows:

box\Scripts\python box.py -c

And your database will be created. Afterwards, on unix/linux run:

./box.py -m

Or on windows:

box\Scripts\python box.py -m

This will migrate your database to the latest version and making it ready for use with your code.

You can also initiate your own controller in the controller file. On unix/linux simply run the following

./box.py -i <controller name>

Or on windows:

box\Scripts\python box.py -i <controller name>

this controller initiation will also automatically generate a view file in your app/templates/ folder with your controller name as the file name.

Other Notes

Documentation is available at http://emeraldbox.emfeld.com

EmeraldBox is tested on unix/linux systems and on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

for documentation on python see http://www.python.org
for documentation on Flask see http://flask.pocoo.org
for documentation on SQLAlchemy see http://www.sqlalchemy.org

Getting Help

Visit #EmeraldBox on freenode to get help, leave an issue here or email the author directly at erich@emfeld.com

Contributing

If you found any issues please put them in the issue section.

To contribute, simply fork the repo, create a branch and place a pull request.

Ending Note

This framework adds the diversity in python, a language which have more web frameworks than keywords. Thank you for trying it out and all suggestions are welcome.

Also, special thanks to @pebaryan for extra inputs during the Sanitation Hackathon, which I use to test the framework. Thanks also to @iromli for the discussion and inputs in implementing the blueprint pattern.