# Step 2: Application Setup Code¶

Now that the schema is in place, you can create the application module, flaskr.py. This file should be placed inside of the flaskr/flaskr folder. The first several lines of code in the application module are the needed import statements. After that there will be a few lines of configuration code. For small applications like flaskr, it is possible to drop the configuration directly into the module. However, a cleaner solution is to create a separate .ini or .py file, load that, and import the values from there.

Here are the import statements (in flaskr.py):

# all the imports
import os
import sqlite3
render_template, flash


The next couple lines will create the actual application instance and initialize it with the config from the same file in flaskr.py:

app = Flask(__name__) # create the application instance :)

# Load default config and override config from an environment variable
app.config.update(dict(
SECRET_KEY='development key',
))


The Config object works similarly to a dictionary, so it can be updated with new values.

Database Path

Operating systems know the concept of a current working directory for each process. Unfortunately, you cannot depend on this in web applications because you might have more than one application in the same process.

For this reason the app.root_path attribute can be used to get the path to the application. Together with the os.path module, files can then easily be found. In this example, we place the database right next to it.

For a real-world application, it’s recommended to use 1.6   Instance Folders instead.

Usually, it is a good idea to load a separate, environment-specific configuration file. Flask allows you to import multiple configurations and it will use the setting defined in the last import. This enables robust configuration setups. from_envvar() can help achieve this.

app.config.from_envvar('FLASKR_SETTINGS', silent=True)


Simply define the environment variable FLASKR_SETTINGS that points to a config file to be loaded. The silent switch just tells Flask to not complain if no such environment key is set.

In addition to that, you can use the from_object() method on the config object and provide it with an import name of a module. Flask will then initialize the variable from that module. Note that in all cases, only variable names that are uppercase are considered.

The SECRET_KEY is needed to keep the client-side sessions secure. Choose that key wisely and as hard to guess and complex as possible.

Lastly, you will add a method that allows for easy connections to the specified database. This can be used to open a connection on request and also from the interactive Python shell or a script. This will come in handy later. You can create a simple database connection through SQLite and then tell it to use the sqlite3.Row object to represent rows. This allows the rows to be treated as if they were dictionaries instead of tuples.

def connect_db():
"""Connects to the specific database."""
rv = sqlite3.connect(app.config['DATABASE'])
rv.row_factory = sqlite3.Row
return rv


In the next section you will see how to run the application.

Continue with Step 3: Installing flaskr with setuptools.