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Step 4: Request Database Connections

Now we know how we can open database connections and use them for scripts, but how can we elegantly do that for requests? We will need the database connection in all our functions so it makes sense to initialize them before each request and shut them down afterwards.

Flask allows us to do that with the :meth:`~flask.Flask.before_request` and :meth:`~flask.Flask.after_request` decorators:

@app.before_request
def before_request():
    g.db = connect_db()

@app.after_request
def after_request(response):
    g.db.close()
    return response

Functions marked with :meth:`~flask.Flask.before_request` are called before a request and passed no arguments, functions marked with :meth:`~flask.Flask.after_request` are called after a request and passed the response that will be sent to the client. They have to return that response object or a different one. In this case we just return it unchanged.

We store our current database connection on the special :data:`~flask.g` object that flask provides for us. This object stores information for one request only and is available from within each function. Never store such things on other objects because this would not work with threaded environments. That special :data:`~flask.g` object does some magic behind the scenes to ensure it does the right thing.

Continue to :ref:`tutorial-views`.

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