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Flask Web Development: Developing Web Applications with Python

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Take full creative control of your web applications with Flask, the Python-based microframework. With this hands-on book, you’ll learn Flask from the ground up by developing a complete social blogging application step-by-step. Author Miguel Grinberg walks you through the framework’s core functionality, and shows you how to extend applications with advanced web techniques such as database migration and web service communication.

Rather than impose development guidelines as other frameworks do, Flask leaves the business of extensions up to you. If you have Python experience, this book shows you how to take advantage of that creative freedom.

- Learn Flask’s basic application structure and write an example app
- Work with must-have components—templates, databases, web forms, and email support
- Use packages and modules to structure a large application that scales
- Implement user authentication, roles, and profiles
- Build a blogging feature by reusing templates, paginating item lists, and working with rich text
- Use a Flask-based RESTful API to expose app functionality to smartphones, tablets, and other third-party clients
- Learn how to run unit tests and enhance application performance
- Explore options for deploying your web app to a production server

225 pages, Paperback

First published April 28, 2014

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About the author

Miguel Grinberg

9 books24 followers
Miguel Grinberg has over 25 years of experience as a software engineer and currently leads a team of engineers that develop software for the video broadcast industry. He is the author of the O'Reilly book "Flask Web Development", and blogs about a variety of topics including web development, robotics, photography, and the occasional movie review at http://blog.miguelgrinberg.com. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, four kids, two dogs, and a cat.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews
Profile Image for Ignas.
114 reviews13 followers
August 30, 2016
I liked it. I'm not a newbie and knew how to develop Flask apps, so this book most of the time was too basic or just told about the things I know, but there were places where I added bookmarks and will come back soon when I will touch the code, places where I can use those tips or new things I read about. Generally it is well written book and if you are looking for a resource to start learning Flask framework (which is really awesome framework to work with) - grab it, run it through and make sure you try out the things while you see them in the book. Later on you will find your own way to develop apps with Flask (as it gives a lot of freedom), but the book gives a great overview not only about Flask itself, but also most common and popular extensions to be used. No regrets that I spent some money on this book.
Profile Image for Arthur.
79 reviews3 followers
June 23, 2014
I remember Miguel at one of the O’Reilly educational webcasts greeting the audience in three or four languages. Energetic, full of wisdom, creativity and warmth. How happy I was when I saw his forthcoming book available for review as part of the Reader Reviewer Program? Immensely! And my expectations were met: both Miguel and Flask ROCK!

Written in a very professional manner, concise and at the same time with a feeling that the author is your friend, advocate and teacher.

So Flask itself, seems relatively a newcomer to the Web 2.0 stage looks complete and mature with an active, long list of committers. My questions (including to the author) were answered in no time. A very good support. Cannot be happier about the product, both book and Flask.

So more on the book: it will guide you through the bricks and mortar of Flask and how would you use it to build a fully working, yet modern Web 2.0 App.

I used Ubuntu 14 without any difficulty. The book is extremely well organized, it feels like I attend a Web App craft shop of a kind. Gradually climbing the ropes of a powerful giant Flask.

Python as a language is very welcoming, yet powerful at the same time, I hardly concentrated on its internals so no solid prior knowledge of any Python is really necessary.

Again, Miguel is a skillful teacher, even the part of the book where there was database involvement was written so I felt completely detached from what exactly is my persistence layer, even toward the end when you are ready to deploy you do not feel overwhelmed by specifics, Miguel remains neutral and unbiased to 3rd party tools, I do not know how Miguel managed to convey such material this way.

I am sure Flask is Web 3.0 compliant as well as armed and ready for any purpose. Very inspiring!

I give this book 5 starts, 100 out of 100 wholeheartedly. Grab it even if you hesitate.
Profile Image for David.
79 reviews3 followers
December 9, 2015
This book was terribly disappointing.

The presentation sequence is inconsistent---is it explanation then code, or code then explanation.

The expected reader knowledge is all over the place. In one moment, it's explaining tremendously fundamental concepts of Relational databases. In the next, it's presuming you are familiar with complex software engineering concepts.

It's in such a rush to present all of the components of a complex application, that it doesn't do justice to key ones (such as the ORM/SQLAlchemy, WTForms, etc.)

It might be useful as a recipe cookbook, later.

For now, I've moved on to the free (and better) https://exploreflask.com/

And after that, I'll just read the official documentation.
Profile Image for Seburath.
132 reviews11 followers
November 1, 2021
A well explained and complete introduction, from the couple lines that start the webserver to testing and dockerizating the app.

The context given on every function is superior to any tutorial I could read online.
May 8, 2022
Great read, with good code examples and backed up online with full examples. Reads like a highly detailed tutorial and a great read for beginners or people familiar with Django and curious about Flask
Profile Image for Paul Newman.
6 reviews8 followers
January 3, 2020
This book is a must read for eevryone who works with software development. Definitely amazing!
Profile Image for Louis.
219 reviews26 followers
October 11, 2014
I'm not a web developer, but Flask has always had an appeal of potentially being a potential front end to a database based application. But I've never gotten very far as tutorials generally look at only the main application, and I'm pretty sure I need some extensions but I have not been able to assess the quality of the many plugins available. Flask Web Development is that tutorial that shows Flask and selects quality extensions to introduce.

Flask Web Development is written as a tutorial, not a reference. As such Grinberg can decide on what is important. It starts like many other Flask tutorials in looking at the basic application structure, templates and web forms. But then it looks at databases along with a set of extensions for database management built around SQLAlchemy: Flask-SQLAlchemy, Flask-migrate. (and email, which I don't do)

He brings it all together with walking you through a blogging application. What gives the tutorial an over-the-shoulder feel to it is an innovative use of the github repository that goes with the book. Instead of having source files in the repository, the repository uses tags to incrementally build source files, so it is really like working alongside someone who knows what they are doing as they build the application. One tag will have a basic working version of functionality, and checking out subsequent tags builds out more features.

Flask Web Development covers many aspects of web programming, well beyond what most Flask tutorials will cover. I appreciate the deep dives into database management with SQLAlchemy, and the sections on testing and profiling which have applications beyond web development.

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of Flask Web Development as part of the Oreilly Blogger programming.

I review for the O'Reilly Reader Review Program
Profile Image for Risto Hinno.
87 reviews2 followers
February 17, 2018
I liked this book. Gives basic overview how to make web applications in Flask. Explaines most important aspects (security, databases, UI etc.). As books approaches subject by making one application, it is a very practical way to learn. Of course it gives only basic overview and if you want to dig deeper, book might not be sufficient (and it is not it's goal). But for refreshing and starting web application development in python it is a great book. Usually reading books which contains some code is tricky as code tends to be changing. This book didn't have much problem with that (well, it is great opportunity to learn how to fix bugs). Miguel looks like to be huge Flask fan and a great teacher
Profile Image for Anton Antonov.
197 reviews50 followers
November 25, 2015
Flask Web Development is a superset of the great Flask Mega Tutorial.

The tutorial made me appreciate Flask and Python web development for their simplicity and the ability to 'build a framework' with the ever extendable Flask.

So if you want to start with web development, this book will definitely help you do so while coding a very sweat blog project :)
Profile Image for Amin Alaee.
35 reviews3 followers
July 26, 2015
I'm starting to love Flask !!
I browsed through the book and read some selected chapters and generally it was great.
1 review
June 8, 2021
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Profile Image for Eric Mesa.
667 reviews17 followers
October 11, 2022
I read the second edition of the book

I've read lots of books covering web frameworks or GUI programming (both involve UI design and a different workflow where you're often waiting for user input), but this one is one of the best I've ever read. While it's traditional for a book to culminate in a blog or social media app (and this one does it too) there's something about the way Grinberg writes that makes it so much more approachable. Also, something only more modern books can do, he has a github repo with all the code with commits that match different sections of the book.

I feel incredibly confident that I'll be able to write and debug flask applications after having read this book. Highly recommend if you're a web programmer who is doing to work with the flask web framework.
Profile Image for Alex.
523 reviews28 followers
June 27, 2020
A bit of a difficult reference to review - my proximate need for going through this one was information relevant to building a REST API server using Flask, which was minimally covered here (I found Lauret's "The Design of Web APIs" much more useful in this regard, despite it never addressing Flask as a technology specifically). Beyond this, the content here is broad but quite shallow; it feels primarily like an index for referencing a further set of techniques and technologies which would actually require more in-depth treatment to build anything beyond the provided example blogging application. For someone whose background was in JS web app development, the value here may be higher, but a bit difficult to say.
Profile Image for James Lawlor.
9 reviews7 followers
October 26, 2017
Excellent In-Depth Quick Start

I have yet to put this book's advice into practice, but after a first reading I feel like it will help me get started much faster using Flask and a number of it's essential plugins like WTForms and Bootstrap. I particularly appreciate the guide on project organization. My primary complaint so far is the very brief section on traditional deployment; there was a good section on getting started with Heroku, but personally I would have gotten more use out of a brief but broad overview on how Flask fit into a DIY deployment. Other than that, I've found this a great resource.
Profile Image for Reinis Bekeris.
29 reviews
November 24, 2020
Good starter for Flask Dev as well as a refference on the go.
The first half if book required taking heavy notes and drawing out many things that the author describes in words. (My personal bias maybe, but system routes are better conveyed trough diagrams, not plain text)
Has very little reference on WSGI which is crucial to deploy the app in production.
Overall - another book I will keep in arms reach!
Profile Image for Vignesh Balasubramanian.
3 reviews1 follower
October 26, 2019
Great book to transition from basic programming to web development.
The author has placed git tags for each chapter. That's an amazing, thoughtful idea for a programming book. I was able to read the book 5x faster because i dint have to type or set the environment every few pages.
Highly recommended!
12 reviews
August 2, 2019
The best introduction to the most popular Python web-framework. The author - Miguel Grinberg - also has a great blog with a lot of examples. He also authored a number of Flask plugins. Author chapter by chapter builds a simple blogging platform, covering a lot of topics in web development.

11 reviews
December 21, 2019
A good book to introduce the Flask web development framework as well as a number of other useful add-ins. Suitable for somewhat experienced web developers coming into Python/Flask from other languages or frameworks.
7 reviews
October 6, 2020
This book is a good introduction on how to develop a typically web app in Flask. The example project covered most of practical usecases: Template & forms, ORM & data migration, web socket, REST API...
Highly recommended for Flask beginners!
Profile Image for Gene Ishchuk.
165 reviews61 followers
October 18, 2020
it might be good as an intro book but you won't learn a lot as there is no practical part.
you can go through changes while skimming git checkouts but well, it never really stays.
I guess Miguel's book is quite handy as a knowledge base for another course/book
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
3 reviews
November 16, 2020
O livro é excelente, traz uma bagagem técnica muito boa além de alinhar os conceitos teóricos aos práticos.
O livro traz como parte prática a construção de uma aplicação de rede social que aborda desde o início de sua construção até técnicas para o deploy da aplicação.
1 review
January 22, 2023
I learned Flask through documents and StackOverflow, and I want to learn it properly after years without touching it. It turns out I still know most of the stuff, but there are many tips I find fresh. Recommend for beginners.
Profile Image for Andrey.
162 reviews1 follower
September 6, 2017
Good book for starters. Much better than reading the docs or public tutorials
Profile Image for Vincent.
14 reviews3 followers
March 6, 2018
Best Flask book out there.
Even better, the author's website.
Profile Image for P Michael N.
211 reviews8 followers
April 5, 2018
Great read on the best practices in Flask development from an author who is actively involved in Flask core and module development.
Profile Image for Arquero.
254 reviews1 follower
March 5, 2020
A comprehensive walkthrough of a functioning Flask app + nice cloud deployment hints
Profile Image for Bilal.
108 reviews5 followers
December 17, 2020
(This review is for the 2nd edition)
Hands-on learning along with sufficient explanation of employed programmatic methods, add-ons, and helper/deployment tools and processes.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews

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