Spawn a Flask microservice app from an OpenAPI definition and endpoint implementations
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PyMacaron Core

A python framework that takes a Swagger/OpenAPI specification of a json REST api and spawns a Flask server and/or a client library implementing it.

'pymacaron-core' is an underlying layer for the [pymacaron]( framework. If your intent is to code REST apis based on Flask and Swagger, [pymacaron]( offers a lot of extra goodies compared to 'pymacaron-core'.

Purpose: easy micro-services

A typical Python micro-service will expose a REST api where each api endpoint is implemented by a Python method. This method will in turn call other micro-services and process their reply.

PyMacaron Core aims at greatly simplifying the scaffholding needed to code and run a micro-service in Python:

  1. Write a set of Swagger specifications describing each api, and defining the data formats received and returned by each endpoint. Each specification should have extra markup binding api endpoints to method names used to call, respectively implement, the endpoint.
  2. Implement Python methods for each of the micro-service's endpoints, as described in the service's swagger specification.
  3. PyMacaron Core generates client libraries for all apis, allowing to call api endpoints as normal Python methods. Call results are automatically unmarshalled from json into Python objects. The methods implementing our micro-service's api can now easily call other apis.
  4. Tell PyMacaron Core which api to serve: it then populates a Flask app with each api route bound to its corresponding Python method. Incoming json objects are transparently validated and unmarshalled into Python objects, passed to the method, and the method's result marshalled back into json.

PyMacaron Core relies on bravado-core for marshaling/unmarshaling and format validation.


PyMacaron Core is actively used in production, but still under active development. Its API is subject to change. It has been tested on python 2.7 and 3.4.

Asynchronous support based on grequests was dropped after version 0.0.92


First, load the Swagger specifications of all the services your server will use:

from pymacaron_core.swagger import ApiPool

ApiPool.add('public', yaml_path='public.yaml')
ApiPool.add('login', yaml_path='login.yaml')
ApiPool.add('user', yaml_path='user.yaml', timeout=20)

Generating Server

In the Swagger spec describing the server side, each endpoint that you want to have auto-generated into the Flask app should have the 'x-bind-server' attribute set to the path of a python method that will take as argument an object modelled on the endpoint's argument, and return an object matching that of the endpoint's reponses (See bravado-core for details):

Let's implement a login endpoint as an example:

    summary: Login a user.
      - application/json
    x-bind-server: myserver.handlers.do_login
      - in: body
        name: body
        description: User login credentials.
        required: true
          $ref: "#/definitions/Credentials"
        description: API version
          $ref: '#/definitions/Welcome'
        description: Error
          $ref: '#/definitions/Error'

Populate a Flask app with server endpoints for the 'login' api:

from flask import Flask
from pymacaron_core.swagger import ApiPool

app = Flask(__name__)
ApiPool.add('login', yaml_path='login.yaml')

To implement the 'do_login' endpoint, the file 'myserver/handlers' should contain:

from flask import jsonify
from pymacaron_core.swagger import ApiPool
from pymacaron_core.exceptions import PyMacaronCoreException

def do_login(credentials):
    if authenticate_user(credentials):
        # Get the class representing bravado-core Welcome objects
        Welcome = ApiPool.login.model.Welcome
        # Instantiate Welcome and return it
        return Welcome(message="Welcome!")
        # Rise an error in the API's error format, directly as
        # a Flask response object
        r = jsonify({'error': 'INVALID_CREDENTIALS'})
        r.status_code = 401
        return r

Decorating server methods:

You can tell PyMacaron Core to apply a decorator to all server methods, which comes in handy for gathering analytics or crash data. To do that in the example above, modify the server code to be like:

from flask import Flask
from pymacaron_core.swagger import ApiPool

app = Flask(__name__)
ApiPool.add('login', yaml_path='login.yaml')

# Optionaly: wrap all server endpoints with a decorator
def analytics_wrapper(f):

ApiPool.login.spawn_api(app, decorator=analytics_wrapper)

Generating Client

In the Swagger spec describing the server you want to call, each endpoint that you want to have auto-generated into the client library should have the 'x-bind-client' attribute set to the path of a python method that will take as argument an object modelled on the endpoint's argument, and return an object matching that of the endpoint's reponses (See bravado-core for details):

    summary: Return the API''s version.
      - application/json
    x-bind-client: version
        description: API version
          $ref: '#/definitions/Version'

Calling that server now looks like (assuming the server api is called 'public'):

from pymacaron_core.swagger import ApiPool

# Call the /version endpoint on the host:port specified in the Swagger
# spec, and return a Version object:
version = ApiPool.public.client.version()

The client method passes path and query parameters as kwarg arguments. The POST request body is passed as an instance of an ApiPool model. For example, to pass a request body:

# To call
# 'POST v1/item' with the body {name: 'foo', surname: 'bar'}
# where the endpoint was defined with:
# /v1/user:
#   post:
#     parameters:
#       - in: body
#         name: body
#         schema:
#           $ref: "#/definitions/NameSurname"
#   x-bind-client: create_user

res = ApiPool.example.client.create_user(

For example, to pass query and path arguments:

# Assuming the endpoint:
# /v1/user/<id>:
#   get:
#     parameters:
#       - in: path
#         name: id
#         type: string
#       - in: query
#         name: uppercase
#         type: boolean
#   x-bind-client: get_user

user = ApiPool.example.client.get_user(

All client methods support the following extra kwarg parameters:

  • max_attempts: how many times the client should try calling the server endpoint upon failure. Defaults to 3, with an increasing delay of .5 seconds, 1.5, then 2.5, etc.
  • read_timeout: the read timeout in seconds, passed to the requests module.
  • connect_timeout: the connect timeout in seconds, passed to the requests module.
  • request_headers: a dictionary of extra headers to add to the HTTP request (The request already contains 'Content-Type'='application/json' by default).

As in:

results =
        'Authorization': 'Bearer %s' % token,


TODO: describe the 'x-decorate-request' and 'x-decorate-server' attributes of the swagger spec + give example of using them to add-on authentication support.

Handling Errors

PyMacaron Core may raise exceptions, for example if the server stub gets an invalid request according to the swagger specification.

However PyMacaron Core does not know how to format internal errors into an object model fitting that of the loaded swagger specification. Instead, you should provide the apipool with a callback to format exceptions into whatever object you wish your api to return. Something like:

from pymacaron_core.swagger import ApiPool

def my_error_formatter(e):
    """Take an exception and return a proper swagger Error object"""
    return ApiPool.public.model.Error(

ApiPool.add('public', yaml_path='public.yaml', error_callback=my_error_formatter)

Internal errors raised by PyMacaron Core are instances of pymacaron_core.exceptions.PyMacaronCoreException

Model persistence

You can plug-in object persistence into chosen models by way of the swagger file.

Specify the 'x-persist' attributes in the swagger definition of models to make persistent, with as a value the package path to a custom class, like this:

    type: object
    description: a foo
    x-persist: pym.test.PersistentFoo
        type: string
        format: foo
        description: bar

The persistence class must implement the static methods 'load_from_db' and 'save_to_db', like in:

class PersistentFoo():

    def load_from_db(*args, **kwargs):
        # Load object(s) from storage. Return a tupple

    def save_to_db(object, *args, **kwargs):
        # Put object into storage

PyMacaron Core will inject the methods 'save_to_db' and 'load_from_db' into the corresponding model class and instances, so you can write:

# Retrieve instance Foo with id 12345 from storage
f = api.model.Foo.load_from_db(id='12345')

# Put this instance of Foo into storage

The details of how to store the objects, as well as which arguments to pass the methods and what they return, is all up to you.

Call ID and Call Path

If you have multiple micro-services passing objects among them, it is convenient to mark all responses initiated by a given call to your public facing API by a common unique call ID.

PyMacaron does this automagically for you, by way of generating and passing around a custom HTTP header named 'PymCallerID'.

In the same spirit, every subsequent call initiated by a call to the public facing API registers a path via the 'PymCallerPath' header, hence telling each server the list of servers that have been called between the public facing API and the current server.

Those are highly usefull when mapping the tree of internal API calls initiated by a given public API call, for analytic purposes.

To access the call ID and call path:

    from flask import _app_ctx_stack as stack
except ImportError:
    from flask import _request_ctx_stack as stack

if hasattr(, 'call_id'):
    call_id =
    # call_id is a uuid.uuid4 string

if hasattr(, 'call_path'):
    call_path =
    # call_path is a '.'-separated list of api names
    # For example 'public.user.login' indicates we are in server 'login',
    # by way of servers 'user' then 'public'.


pip install pymacaron-core