Python is an extremely popular programming language for building RESTful APIs. Choosing the right framework to create your APIs with is a crucial factor in the initial build phases. In this post, we will explore 5 of the most popular REST API frameworks for building web APIs with Python. These frameworks all leverage Python but have varying levels of complexity and customization. First, let’s dig into some key factors in deciding which framework to begin building with.
How to Pick an API Framework
The first factor in choosing an API framework is usually deciding which language you want to work in. Since you’re reading this post, you’ve likely already decided on building a Python project. Next, you will have to sort through the framework choices that are available to you. At this point, you will need what types of functionality you require from your APIs and ensure the framework chosen can support these needs. Some frameworks will have plugins and dependencies that allow for easy integration with other platforms, some may support your use case more precisely, and others may be limited in functionality that you require, automatically disqualifying them. Making sure that your use case and functionalities are supported by the framework is critical.
Last but not least, you should also consider the learning curve and educational materials and docs available. As a python developer, the availability of good documentation and examples are massive factors in how quickly you and your team can scale up your APIs. Before deciding on a framework, browse the documentation, and do a quick search to ensure that you can find examples that can guide you and inform you on how much effort is needed to build APIs in the framework of your choosing. Now that we have a few factors to consider, let’s take a look at some popular Python framework options.
Pyramid is a full-stack Python web framework that lets you start by building on just Pyramid. As you grow, Pyramid also grows alongside you, scaling as necessary and adding new features to take care of the various aspects of your web application’s development. The Pyramid framework is a versatile, ever-evolving python web development framework. It includes plenty of standard features from the most popular frameworks, including MVC pattern, routing, templating, security, session, and databases. There’s even a web server called preserve for production deployments.
- Use of Ajax requests
- Flexible and easy to configure
- Good for SQL- based projects
- Lack of ease in setting up configurations for adding templates
- Lack of Documentation
- No built-in database management functionality
Web2py is a Python-based framework that can work as the backend of any database-driven web application. Web2py has many useful features, including HTTP handling and URL management. Additionally, it has a built-in scheduler for background tasks that run separately from the web server thread, Finally, web2py has a database abstraction layer with which Python objects are mapped to database objects, such as tables, queries, and records. The database abstraction layer interacts with one or more drivers to back various databases, including Sq Lite, Oracle, etc.
Web2py is a Python-based web framework for database-driven web applications. The core is all about handling HTTP and URLs, but it also has a scheduler for running background tasks and a database abstraction layer for mapping Python objects to database objects. It also comes with MVC support, form validation, security, and access control.
- Extensive Documentation
- Adaptable to the needs of the team
- Good for large-scale projects
- Not supported by Python 3
- Inflexible plug-in system
- Inability to load data models
FastAPI is a new Python API Framework created by Sebastián Ramírez that’s based on the Python 3.6 async feature. It’s seen rapid popularity in Silicon Valley and ships Starlettle and Pydantic to make its development fast, simple, and scalable. FastAPI has customers around the world including Uber, Netflix, and Microsoft.
- Quick to Code
- High Performance
- Easily create plugins
- Community Support
- Uses Pydamtic for request validation which is sometimes difficult to understand and requires you to write your own custom validator.
Django is the most popular Python framework, and it’s heavily used for web development. Developers and designers love the batteries-included approach, in which Django REST framework provides all you need to build an application. This means a Django developer doesn’t have to rely on separate libraries for functionality. Django rest framework includes many features for different kinds of applications, so it can work for any kind of website.
- Machine learning capability
- Fast processing
- CDN connectivity and Content Management
- Not good for smaller projects
- Learning Curve
Flask is a popular web framework for Python projects. Over the years, Flask has added many new features, plus its own on par with other full-stack frameworks like Django and Ruby on Rails. It also has a minimalistic approach to building web applications.
- High maintenance and implementation costs
- Complex tech stack
- Security risks
Adding in API Analytics and Monetization
Building an API is only the start. Once your API endpoint is built, you’ll want to make sure that you are monitoring and analyzing incoming traffic. By doing this, you can identify potential issues and security flaws, and determine how your API is being used. These can all be crucial aspects in growing and supporting your APIs.
As your API platform grows, you may be focused on API products. This is making the shift from simply building APIs into the domain of using the API as a business tool. Much like a more formal product, an API product needs to be managed and likely will be monetized. Building revenue from your APIs can be a great way to expand your business’s bottom line.
With Moesif, you can achieve all of the above. Moesif can easily integrate through either an SDK or plugin and be up and running in minutes. Once Moesif is integrated with your APIs, you’ll be able to explore charting and reporting to look at:
- Live API traffic
- Time-series reports inspecting usage
- Conversion funnels
- Retention reports
- And much more…
Moesif also enables API monetization by allowing you to track usage and sync it to a billing provider like Stripe, Recurly, or Chargebee. Within minutes, integrate your APIs and begin billing customers for usage. Moesif allows you to fine-tune exactly what you want to bill upon and is highly customizable to suit your exact needs.
In this article, we covered 5 of the most popular frameworks for developing RESTful APIs with Python programming. We looked at a high-level overview of each and listed out some points for consideration. We also discussed some key factors in how to decide on which API framework to use. Lastly, we looked at how Moesif can help you take your API development to the next level by implementing analytics and monetization.
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