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Flask GAE Skeleton

Build Status

I often find myself starting new projects all the time with Python/Flask for Google App Engine, and wanted a skeleton project from which I could get started quickly.

A work in progress

I'll be tweaking this over time. It's not perfect and there's still a lot I want to add, such as Javascript testing.

Google SDK Requirements

You'll need to install the Google Cloud SDK and the app-engine-python component:

# Install the Google Cloud SDK
curl | bash

# Install the Python App Engine component
gcloud components install app-engine-python


I recommend installing an actual virtualenv for your project, but App Engine will also need your external packages installed in the /lib/ folder here. Remember that App Engine can only support 100% Python packages. Anything that compiles a C/C++ library cannot be used on GAE.

virtualenv myproject

# linux/mac:

# windows:

# install all requirements into your virtualenv
pip install -r requirements.txt

# install all requirements into your /lib/ folder as well, but only the packages
# this is necessary because packages need to be sent to App Engine as well
pip install -r requirements.txt -t lib


You'll need to register a project at Google App Engine and there you'll choose a unique project name which will be a prefixed subdomain to, something like "". In this example, I'd use "myproject" in the place of "your-unique-project-name-here" at the top of app.yaml

You should change the values in such as SECRET_KEY to something long and unique. I usually string several UUID strings together. I've got code in right now that should alert you via Email when an error occurs on the site but this is untested at the moment. I recommend using SendGrid, though you'll want to use their web API instead of SMTP access, as App Engine gives you several hundred thousand web API calls to third party services per day as part of their quota, but their low-level socket connections may be more limited. SendGrid is a Google Cloud Platform partner, and also my former employer.

You should also change the Google Analytics ID configuration setting if you want to gather data about who visits your site and generate reports, etc..

You could inherit the AppConfig class and override certain settings for default (development), testing, and production modes.


Please consider developing your project using TDD principles, it will make your life so much easier.

I've already got you started with a test-driven setup under /tests/ which will test that Flask starts up properly, and also tests static pages such as the 404 page. I've also added integration tests using Splinter.

You can easily run the tests within PyCharm (my editor of choice), or you can run them from the command line:


The tests require access to the Google App Engine SDK. You can specify the location of your installed SDK with an environment variable:

Linux / MacOS:

export GOOGLE_APP_ENGINE_SDK=${HOME}/google-cloud-sdk


set GOOGLE_APP_ENGINE_SDK=C:\Program Files\Google\App Engine

What are the .haml files and .scss? Do I really need them?

I use HAML as a shortcut to writing properly-formatted HTML. You're welcome to remove them, but once you understand the simplicity of HAML, I'm guessing you'll keep HAML around. While it's not very Pythonic, to get HAML working, you'll need Ruby installed on your system and a simple "gem install haml" (possibly with sudo) should be all you need.

Likewise with the .scss files, they allow for writing nested CSS which them compiles down into semantically-correct CSS files. You'll need to "gem install sass" (possibly with sudo)

I use PyCharm as my preferred Python editor, and the professional edition will detect the HAML and SCSS files and prompt you to add "watchers" which will run the HAML/SCSS compilers for you whenever your files get saved. Any manual changes you make to the .html or .css files will be lost when the compilers run.

The .haml and .scss files are ignored via the app.yaml file so they won't end up on App Engine as part of your deploy.

How do I deploy to App Engine?

gcloud app deploy app.yaml --promote

What about Continuous Integration?

The .travis.yml file contains a standard TravisCI configuration that includes installing all prerequisites, running the unit tests via, and deploying to GAE.

You will need a Service Account for your App Engine project to do auto deployments like this. The account will require the "App Engine Deployer", "App Engine Service Admin" and "Storage Object Admin" roles.

You can add a TravisCI Status Indicator to your with the following markdown replacing <my-github-username> and <my-travis-project-name> with appropriate values:

[![Build Status](<my-github-username>/<my-travis-project-name>.svg?branch=master)](<my-github-username>/<my-travis-project-name>)


Skeleton project for my Flask-based Google App Engine projects







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