Google Developers Academy

Getting Started with the Python Search API

Learning objectives

  • Learn the basics of using the App Engine Search API.


You should:

  • have installed Python 2.7 and the Google App Engine SDK for Python
  • have some familiarity with Python
  • know the basic structure of Python App Engine applications
  • know how to run an application locally using the Development Web Server, and how to deploy an application on


Amy Unruh, Oct 2012
Google Developer Relations

This class provides an introduction to the Python Search API for Google App Engine. This class and its follow-on will familiarize you with the basics of the features and capabilities of the Search API, so that you can implement full-text search in your App Engine applications.

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. We’ll cover its installation in this class.


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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