Getting Started

In this section we will run through the processes of building an application with pyApp.

Application Layout

We’ll start with a simple application that accepts input from the command line and combines it with a value from configuration.

The default pyApp configuration makes a number of assumptions as to how your application is laid out, with each module within your application package fulfilling a specific purpose. The easiest way to setup a basic app is to use the pyApp Cookiecutter to generate an application.

Install cookie-cutter from pip and use the template to start your initial project:

> pip install cookiecutter
> cookiecutter gh:pyapp-org/pyapp.cookiecutter

Project Structure

The basic structure of a pyApp application package consists of the following:

📁 myapp
 ├📄          Python package initialisation
 ├📄          Python main entry point
 ├📄               The CLI (referenced from __main__)
 ├📄  Definition of default runtime configuration
 └📄            Application specific checks

The presence of an file in a folder makes Python use the folder as a package and contains initialisation code for the package. pyApp also uses this file to find information for the application.


The version number of the application, it is recommended that this be a semantic version. pyApp also provides tools for this to be fetched from the installed package list.

The main entry point for a Python application when referring to a package using python -m myapp. The default cookiecutter application triggers the main function in the cli module.


This is where the pyApp CliApplication instance is defined. The CliApplication class handles initialisation of application services before handing over execution to the command handler of the command requested by the CLI.

Setting up the CLI

Adding a CLI consists of two steps, defining a CliApplication instance and using the CliApplication.command decorator to functions to add commands to your application.

First create a CliApplication instance:

from import CliApplication

# Define our application instance
app = CliApplication(
    description="My Application"

# Define our main entry point
main = app.dispatch

CliApplication has many options to customise how it works, these are all provided with defaults but can be customised to change the behaviour, see the API documentation for more information on other options.

Next CLI commands are created by applying the CliApplication.command argument to a python function.

def greeting(name: str, *, greeting: str = "Hello"):
    Provide a greeting
    print(f"{greeting} {name}")

This example adds the greeting command to the CLI that requires a name and allows for an optional greeting to be provided. It can be called using:

> my_app greeting Guido --greeting Hallo
Hallo Guido

Application Settings

All of your applications settings are defined in the file that is located in your applications main package. These settings are loaded by the CliApplication on startup and combine with settings from pyApp extensions as well as runtime settings.

The default settings file is a normal python module allows for complex behaviours to be defined. Any variable that consists of all upper-case characters (including _) is considered a setting and is imported into the settings container.

Once an application has been initialised the final set of runtime settings is available from the settings container pyapp.conf.settings:

from pyapp.conf import settings


Runtime Checks

These are functions that are called by the checks report to perform a check against the current settings to assert that the current runtime environment is correct. This can include:

  • Checking settings are valid

  • Confirming connectivity/access to a database

  • Checking free space on the filesystem

These checks can help to diagnose issues, perform basic validation of the runtime environment and provide application monitoring.

A check is defined by:

from pyapp import checks

def debug_is_enabled(settings, **_):
    if settings.DEBUG:
        return checks.Warning("Debug mode is enabled")

In this example a check returns a warning if DEBUG is True in settings.