Google Developers Academy

A Deeper Look at the Python Search API

Learning objectives


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Amy Unruh, Oct 2012
Google Developer Relations

In Getting Started with the Python Search API, you learned the basics of using full-text search in your application. Now it's time to take the next step. In this class, you'll learn how to construct more complex search queries and sort the query results in different ways.

The Search API lets your application perform Google-like full-text searches over structured data, and supports Geolocation-based queries. It can be useful in any application domain that benefits from full-text search, such as:

  • Product searches in an online store. The example application used in this course implements a simple version of such an application.
  • Location of nearby stores or events
  • User review search
  • Searching over blog posts and comments
  • Document discovery
  • Helpdesk answer retrieval
  • Résumé search and recruiting

The Search API provides a straightforward model for indexing and searching data and for displaying the results of the search. Search can query any data, so long as that data is described by a search document. You structure data in documents using fields to describe the different types of data the document contains, and then index the document.

Once documents are indexed, you can search an index via the Search API’s comprehensive query language. When you query, you can specify sort orders on the results, control the presentation and content of search results, and use result cursors and offsets.

Sample App

This class uses as a running example an application demonstrating the use of the Search API in a product search domain. Besides serving as a source of concrete code examples, the application will allow you to experiment with the Search API and the syntax of its query language. We will also use it to demonstrate various query configuration options. In addition, the process of installing and running the application will flush out any configuration or deployment issues you might have.

The example application can be found here. See this lesson: Getting Started: Installing an Example Search API Application.


The course uses the following technologies:

If you’ve worked through the Introduction to Google App Engine course, you should already have done the necessary installation.


The course consists of the following lessons:

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