Turn any Jupyter notebook into a RESTful Api

May 7, 2017

Jupyter Notebooks are pretty awesome. They allow you to prototype and experiment with ease. But did you know that you can also use them as a backend ?

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a simple api that converts radians to degrees. We should end up with something like this:

$ curl "http://serverIp:8888/convert?angle=180"
#{"convertedAngle": 3.141592653589793}


Assuming that jupyter notebook is already installed, first install the kernel_gateway:

pip install jupyter_kernel_gateway
jupyter kernelgateway --generate-config

If you want your api to be accessible from other computers, edit the ~/.jupyter/jupyter_kernel_gateway_config.py file. Replace

# c.KernelGatewayApp.ip = ''


c.KernelGatewayApp.ip = '*'

Creating the API

Create a notebook with 2 cells. The first one:

import math
import json

This cell will only be run once, when the notebook is loaded. You can perform any initialization you want here.

And the second one:

# GET /convert
req = json.loads(REQUEST)
args = req['args']

if 'angle' not in args:
  print(json.dumps({'convertedAngle': None}))
  # Note the [0] when retrieving the argument.
  # This is because you could potentially pass multiple angles.
  angle = int(args['angle'][0])
  converted = math.radians(angle)
  print(json.dumps({'convertedAngle': converted}))

The first line is to indicate to the kernel gateway that we want to listen to the /convert route. This cell will be run on each call.

Finally, run your notebook:

$ jupyter kernelgateway --KernelGatewayApp.api='kernel_gateway.notebook_http' --KernelGatewayApp.seed_uri='/home/username/Notebook.ipynb'
#[KernelGatewayApp] Kernel started: 72515fd8-6314-4d65-9f48-8214756850d7
#[KernelGatewayApp] Registering resource: /convert, methods: (['GET'])
#[KernelGatewayApp] Registering resource: /_api/spec/swagger.json, methods: (GET)
#[KernelGatewayApp] Jupyter Kernel Gateway at http://*:8888

And there you go, you have your api ! This can of course be used to serve predictions from a deep learning model.