tl;dr: use pass_context_arg_name and api.subapp

Nowadays microservice architecture seem to be the default way distributed applications are build. Also, people started to treat APIs as a first-class citizen. Hence, it's no surprise that projects like Swagger/OpenAPI are gaining popularity on a daily basis.

One of Python OpenAPI implementations that I discovered recently is Connexion. Advantages of using OpenAPI are obvious: e.g. you can decouple endpoints schema from app logic and have only single place where whole API is described. Even the fact that there's Swagger UI for API users can be quite beneficial.

In the past I've been looking at different frameworks like django-rest, but nothing seemed as simple as Connexion. I decided to play it with right after discovering that the guys from Zalando added support for aiohttp (asynchronous HTTP server) - the framework we use extensively in our projects.

So what's the problem? What this post is about? Although Connexion is great, it is undocumented (or my DuckDuckGo-foo sucks and this is in fact just not well-documented) how to glue it with how global variables are handled in aiohttp - using app as an container for globals. Consider following snippet:

async def handler(request):
  # this is how aiohttp creators recommend to access global variables
  # e.g. database handle['redis_con'].incr('visits')
  return web.Response(body=b'hello')

Nothing much more than ordinary aiohttp handler that uses redis_con global. Unfortunately using globals with Connexion is not that straightforward. Example how Connexion handlers look like (following comes from Connextion docs):

def example(name: str) -> str:
  return 'Hello {name}'.format(name=name)

There's no request parameter! It took me some time to find out how to let Connexion pass request (aiohttp context) to handlers. I had to dig into source code to figure out following:

def start(redis_con):
    app = connexion.AioHttpApp(__name__, specification_dir='swagger/')
    api = app.add_api('api.yml', pass_context_arg_name='request')
    api.subapp['redis_con'] = redis_con

We're passing pass_context_arg_name parameter and it turns out that for aiohttp the context is the request. The unintuive thing is that subapp part. We need to use it in order to set global. This part I have found in aiohttp_jinja2.setup function. Now, we can use it in handlers like following.

async def handler(*args, **kwargs):
  return web.Response(body=b'hello')

That's all. Seems like easy thing, but nowhere online could I find it.