What is Flask?
Who uses Flask?
Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Flask in their tech stack.
One of our top priorities at Pinterest is fostering a safe and trustworthy experience for all Pinners. As Pinterest’s user base and ads business grow, the review volume has been increasing exponentially, and more content types require moderation support. To solve greater engineering and operational challenges at scale, we needed a highly-reliable and performant system to detect, report, evaluate, and act on abusive content and users and so we created Pinqueue.
Pinqueue-3.0 serves as a generic platform for content moderation and human labeling. Under the hood, Pinqueue3.0 is a Flask + React app powered by Pinterest’s very own Gestalt UI framework. On the backend, Pinqueue3.0 heavily relies on PinLater, a Pinterest-built reliable asynchronous job execution system, to handle the requests for enqueueing and action-taking. Using PinLater has significantly strengthened Pinqueue3.0’s overall infra with its capability of processing a massive load of events with configurable retry policies.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world use Pinterest to discover and do what they love, and our job is to protect them from abusive and harmful content. We’re committed to providing an inspirational yet safe experience to all Pinners. Solving trust & safety problems is a joint effort requiring expertise across multiple domains. Pinqueue3.0 not only plays a critical role in responsively taking down unsafe content, it also has become an enabler for future ML/automation initiatives by providing high-quality human labels. Going forward, we will continue to improve the review experience, measure review quality and collaborate with our machine learning teams to solve content moderation beyond manual reviews at an even larger scale.
At FundsCorner, we are on a mission to enable fast accessible credit to India’s Kirana Stores. We are an early stage startup with an ultra small Engineering team. All the tech decisions we have made until now are based on our core philosophy: "Build usable products fast".
Based on the above fundamentals, we chose Python as our base language for all our APIs and micro-services. It is ultra easy to start with, yet provides great libraries even for the most complex of use cases. Our entire backend stack runs on Python and we cannot be more happy with it! If you are looking to deploy your API as server-less, Python provides one of the least cold start times.
We build our APIs with Flask. For backend database, our natural choice was MongoDB. It frees up our time from complex database specifications - we instead use our time in doing sensible data modelling & once we finalize the data model, we integrate it into Flask using Swagger UI. Mongo supports complex queries to cull out difficult data through aggregation framework & we have even built an internal framework called "Poetry", for aggregation queries.
Our web apps are built on Vue.js , Vuetify and vuex. Initially we debated a lot around choosing Vue.js or React , but finally settled with Vue.js, mainly because of the ease of use, fast development cycles & awesome set of libraries and utilities backing Vue.
You simply cannot go wrong with Vue.js . Great documentation, the library is ultra compact & is blazing fast. Choosing Vue.js was one of the critical decisions made, which enabled us to launch our web app in under a month (which otherwise would have taken 3 months easily). For those folks who are looking for big names, Adobe, and Alibaba and Gitlab are using Vue.
By choosing Vuetify, we saved thousands of person hours in designing the CSS files. Vuetify contains all key material components for designing a smooth User experience & it just works! It's an awesome framework. All of us at FundsCorner are now lifelong fanboys of Vue.js and Vuetify.
On the infrastructure side, all our API services and backend services are deployed as server less micro-services through Zappa. Zappa makes your life super easy by packaging everything that is required to deploy your code as AWS Lambda. We are now addicted to the single - click deploys / updates through Zappa. Try it out & you will convert!
Also, if you are using Zappa, you can greatly simplify your CI / CD pipelines. Do try it! It's just awesome! and... you will be astonished by the savings you have made on AWS bills at end of the month.
Our CI / CD pipelines are built using GitLab CI. The documentation is very good & it enables you to go from from concept to production in minimal time frame.
We use Sentry for all crash reporting and resolution. Pro tip, they do have handlers for AWS Lambda , which made our integration super easy.
All our micro-services including APIs are event-driven. Our background micro-services are message oriented & we use Amazon SQS as our message pipe. We have our own in-house workflow manager to orchestrate across micro - services.
We host our static websites on Netlify. One of the cool things about Netlify is the automated CI / CD on git push. You just do a git push to deploy! Again, it is super simple to use and it just works. We were dogmatic about going server less even on static web sites & you can go server less on Netlify in a few minutes. It's just a few clicks away.
We use Google Compute Engine, especially Google Vision for our AI experiments.
For Ops automation, we use Slack. Slack provides a super-rich API (through Slack App) through which you can weave magical automation on boring ops tasks.
We are in the process of building a modern content platform to deliver our content through various channels. We decided to go with Microservices architecture as we wanted scale. Microservice architecture style is an approach to developing an application as a suite of small independently deployable services built around specific business capabilities. You can gain modularity, extensive parallelism and cost-effective scaling by deploying services across many distributed servers. Microservices modularity facilitates independent updates/deployments, and helps to avoid single point of failure, which can help prevent large-scale outages. We also decided to use Event Driven Architecture pattern which is a popular distributed asynchronous architecture pattern used to produce highly scalable applications. The event-driven architecture is made up of highly decoupled, single-purpose event processing components that asynchronously receive and process events.
To build our #Backend capabilities we decided to use the following: 1. #Microservices - Java with Spring Boot , Node.js with ExpressJS and Python with Flask 2. #Eventsourcingframework - Amazon Kinesis , Amazon Kinesis Firehose , Amazon SNS , Amazon SQS, AWS Lambda 3. #Data - Amazon RDS , Amazon DynamoDB , Amazon S3 , MongoDB Atlas
To build #Webapps we decided to use Angular 2 with RxJS
#Devops - GitHub , Travis CI , Terraform , Docker , Serverless
We initially though we would use Django because it seemed to have a lot of the things we needed out of the box. After a bit of research we realized that using Flask would be a better option since it is more flexible and would be lighter for our purposes. Having set up our REST api using Flask we believe that we did make the right decision. We found that the flexibility of Flask along with the many extensions available for it to be very appealing. We were able to add the functionality we needed without much difficulty thanks to the quality of the extensions and their documentation.
Unlike our frontend, we chose Flask, a microframework, for our backend. We use it with Python 3 and Gunicorn.
One of the reasons was that I have significant experience with this framework. However, it also was a rather straightforward choice given that our backend almost only serves REST APIs, and that most of the work is talking to the database with SQLAlchemy .
We could have gone with something like Hug but it is kind of early. We might revisit that decision for new services later on.