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Basic Message Queue with Redis

Posted by Armin Ronacher on 2011-09-24 @ 19:49 and filed in Utilities

For all your queuing needs there is Flask-Celery but if you just want a very basic queue functionality to get started you can build yourself something on top of redis very easily.

Connecting to Redis

from redis import Redis
redis = Redis()

The Configuration

For all this to work you need to define the redis key that should be used for queuing in your app config:

app.config['REDIS_QUEUE_KEY'] = 'my_queue'

The Decorator

from flask import current_app
from pickle import loads, dumps

class DelayedResult(object):
    def __init__(self, key):
        self.key = key
        self._rv = None

    def return_value(self):
        if self._rv is None:
            rv = redis.get(self.key)
            if rv is not None:
                self._rv = loads(rv)
        return self._rv

def queuefunc(f):
    def delay(*args, **kwargs):
        qkey = current_app.config['REDIS_QUEUE_KEY']
        key = '%s:result:%s' % (qkey, str(uuid4()))
        s = dumps((f, key, args, kwargs))
        redis.rpush(current_app.config['REDIS_QUEUE_KEY'], s)
        return DelayedResult(key)
    f.delay = delay
    return f

The Queue Runner

The queue runner is a simple function that runs in a while loop and processes entries from a list key in redis. Whenever something is added on there it will pop one item off the list, deserialize it, run the function and put the result into redis for a few seconds (by default 500). If the return value is None we don't store anything because in that case the assumption is that the return value is not interesting.

def queue_daemon(app, rv_ttl=500):
    while 1:
        msg = redis.blpop(app.config['REDIS_QUEUE_KEY'])
        func, key, args, kwargs = loads(msg[1])
            rv = func(*args, **kwargs)
        except Exception, e:
            rv = e
        if rv is not None:
            redis.set(key, dumps(rv))
            redis.expire(key, rv_ttl)

To run the daemon you can write a simple script like this:

#!/usr/bin/env python
from yourapp import app
from that_queue_module import queue_daemon

Running Functions through the Queue

To define a function to be run through the queue you need to use the @queuefunc decorator:

def add(a, b):
    return a + b

When you call it normally it will be executed synchronously and in the same process. If you however call add.delay(a, b) it will send off the request to call this function to the queue and return you a QueueResult object. This also will need an active request context. Here an example from a python shell:

>>> from yourapp import app, add
>>> ctx = app.test_request_context()
>>> ctx.push()
>>> rv = add.delay(1, 2)
>>> rv.return_value

rv.return_value will be None until the key is available. Usually you will want to poll for a result over HTTP or not at all, so the return_value attribute is only really useful for testing.

If you want to poll this result the rv object has a key attribute which is the redis key corresponding to the result:

>>> rv.key

Here is how you could poll for this via HTTP:

from flask import session, abort, jsonify

def add_numbers():
    a = request.args.get('a', type=int)
    b = request.args.get('b', type=int)
    if a is None or b is None:
    rv = add.delay(a, b)
    session['add_result_key'] = rv.key
    return 'Waiting for result...'

def add_numbers_result():
    key = session.get('add_result_key')
    if key is None:
        return jsonify(ready=False)
    rv = DelayedResult(key)
    if rv.return_value is None:
        return jsonify(ready=False)
    del session['add_result_key']
    return jsonify(ready=True, result=rv.return_value)

First you let the user access /add to do something, then you can use JavaScript to poll /add-result. Note that once successfully polled the result is deleted from the redis server.

This snippet by Armin Ronacher can be used freely for anything you like. Consider it public domain.