A Python app can make an asynchronous request to the URL Fetch service to fetch a URL in the background, while the application code does other things.
This API is provided by the
Making Asynchronous Requests
To use the URL Fetch service, your application needs to first call the
create_rpc() function to create an RPC
object that represents the asynchronous call. It then calls the
make_fetch_call() function, passing
the RPC object as an argument, to initiate the fetch. The app calls methods on
the RPC object to wait for the call to complete and retrieve the results.
initiates the URL fetch then returns immediately, allowing the app to do other
things while the service fetches the URL. When the app is ready for the
results, it calls the
of the RPC object. If the service has not completed the fetch when the app
get_result(), the method waits
until the request is complete (or has reached the deadline, or an error occurs).
The method returns the result object, or raises an exception if an error
occurred during the fetch.
from google.appengine.api import urlfetch rpc = urlfetch.create_rpc() urlfetch.make_fetch_call(rpc, "http://www.google.com/") # ... do other things ... try: result = rpc.get_result() if result.status_code == 200: text = result.content # ... except urlfetch.DownloadError: # Request timed out or failed. # ...
You can set a maximum amount of time the service will wait for the remote
host to respond when you create the RPC object. The timer starts when
make_fetch_call() is called.
The RPC object can be created with an optional callback function. This
function is called when the application calls a method on the RPC object that
causes it to wait for the request to complete. The callback does not occur in
the background; the application must call a method
get_result()) to invoke the callback
function. You can assign the callback function to the RPC object after the
object has been created, so the callback can refer to the RPC and call
def handle_result(rpc): result = rpc.get_result() # ... Do something with result... # Use a helper function to define the scope of the callback. def create_callback(rpc): return lambda: handle_result(rpc) rpcs =  for url in urls: rpc = urlfetch.create_rpc() rpc.callback = create_callback(rpc) urlfetch.make_fetch_call(rpc, url) rpcs.append(rpc) # ... # Finish all RPCs, and let callbacks process the results. for rpc in rpcs: rpc.wait()
Due to how RPC waiting is implemented, if you have multiple simultaneous
asynchronous requests with callbacks, calling the
wait() method of
one RPC object may cause the callbacks of other RPC objects to trigger if they
complete while the app is waiting. Calling
wait() on an RPC whose
callback has already been called will not trigger the callback again.
An RPC object can only represent one URL fetch call in its lifetime. To make multiple asynchronous calls, you must create an RPC object for each call.
The development server does not make asynchronous URL fetch calls in the
background. Instead, it performs the URL fetch synchronously when the RPC
wait() method is called. Asynchronous URL fetch calls
will have different performance characteristics on App Engine than on the
development server. Such calls may complete out of order on App Engine, but
will always complete in order on the development server.