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A quick-start project template for a RESTful Flask-based application feature SQLAlchemy database integration, object marshalling, JWT authentication and pytest unit-tests.



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Flask Application Quick Start Template

This repo provides a quick-start template for creating a stand-alone web application using the Flask micro-framework for Python 3.8+. You can use this template as a basis for an app that will serve HTML and other content or as a starting point for an API-only service that will be paired with an SPA (React, Angular, etc.) or some other type of client.


  • Flask 2.x and blueprints
  • Jinja2 HTML templates
  • SQLAlchemy database models
  • Marshmallow for object marshalling
  • JSON Web Token (JWT) authentication
  • PyTest unit-tests
  • Serve in production with waitress
  • Pylint and Black

See RESTful Flask application quick-start for more info.

Getting Started

You will need Python 3.8 or later. Use the appropriate installation method for your system to install Python and make sure it is in your path. The template currently targets Python 3.10 (recommended).

This project also uses pipenv to manage dependencies and its virtual environment. You will need to install it if you do not already have it.

Using the template

To use the template, click the Use this template button in the Github repository to create a new project using this code as a basis. Alternatively, you can clone the repository locally.

Install dependencies

The template currently expects Python 3.10, if you need to use an older version, you will need to modify the Pipfile.

Use pipenv to create a virtual environment and install the dependencies:

pipenv install --dev

The --dev option will also install the optional development dependencies such as pylint and pytest.


Create the database

Before running the app for the first time, you must initialize the database with:


export FLASK_APP=sample; pipenv run flask initdb

Windows Powershell

$env:FLASK_APP = "sample"; pipenv run flask initdb

Running in Development

To start the development server with automatic reloading, run:


export FLASK_APP=sample; pipenv run flask run --debugger --reload --with-threads

Windows Powershell

$env:FLASK_APP = "sample"; pipenv run flask run --debugger --reload --with-threads

The app will be available with http://localhost:5000. Log in with the test user name user1 and password 1234: screenshot

Click the Contacts link to list and create sample data.


Edit a contact:

edit contact

Running in Production

To serve the app with waitress for production use, run:

pipenv run python -m sample

Hit Ctrl-C to abort.

This is just a starting point for production deployment - see the waitress docs for more info.


Run the pytest unit tests with:

pipenv run pytest

You should see something like:

======================================================= test session starts ========================================================
platform darwin -- Python 3.5.2, pytest-3.0.3, py-1.4.31, pluggy-0.4.0
rootdir: /Users/kmilligan/workspace/flask-quickstart, inifile: 
collected 11 items 

tests/ ......
tests/ .....

==================================================== 11 passed in 2.90 seconds =====================================================


Use an HTTP client such as PostMan or the VSCode Thunder Client extension to experiment with the REST API endpoints:


Before you can access secured endpoints, you must obtain a JWT access token. Send a POST request to with the username/password to login and get an access token and a refresh token:


Copy the access token to the clipboard - you will need it for subsequent requests. Also, save the refresh token somewhere, we'll use it later.

To verify that you have a valid access token, create a new GET request to and set the "Authorization" type to "Bearer Token" and paste the access token into the Token field and send the request (alternatively, set the Authorization header to "Bearer <access token>").

Verify Authentication

Refresh Access Token

If the access token has expired or is about to expire, you can obtain a new one by using the api/refresh endpoint:

Refresh Access Token

Use Sample Data Endpoints

Now you can use the sample contacts endpoints to list, create, update and delete entries:

Get Contacts

Next Steps

Delete the stuff you don't need

For example, if you don't need to serve HTML, you can remove the templates directory and the page-oriented views from the blueprints. Alternatively, if you don't need to serve RESTful resources, you can delete the API endpoints.

Add a real authentication backend

A real application will likely use some external service to lookup users, validate passwords, control access, etc. Enhance the module with your own authentication/authorization logic.


A quick-start project template for a RESTful Flask-based application feature SQLAlchemy database integration, object marshalling, JWT authentication and pytest unit-tests.








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