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What is Anvil?

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Anvil is a tool for building full-stack web apps with nothing but Python and a drag-and-drop designer. Learn more on our website, or sign up and try it yourself -- it's free!

Anvil aims to make web development simpler and more efficient without compromising on power.

It achieves this by:

  1. Allowing all code to be written in one language. All code is written in Python, including code running in the web browser.
  2. Allowing the UI to be composed with a visual editor. The quickest way to construct something visual, is by doing it visually. But you can also control your UI design using Python code, allowing precision and conditional logic.
  3. Eliminating the overhead of translating data across interfaces. Client code can run code on the server with a simple function call - no need to serialise data as JSON and construct HTTP endpoints.
  4. Allowing you to access the lower abstraction layers if you want to. You can call JavaScript from Python to do that one piece of functionality that’s easier in JavaScript. You can apply CSS to your app’s components to customise the styling with pixel precision. You don’t need to touch the underlying web technologies, but if you want to, Anvil lets you.

Client-side behaviour is specified by writing Python, which is auto-compiled to JavaScript behind the scenes as you create your app. Every object in your UI is represented as a Python object.

Server-side code can be run in two ways.

  1. There is a hosted (serverless) Python environment called Server Modules. This is a full Python instance that we manage for you - all you need to do is write functions and call them from client code. We install any Python package in this environment at your request.
  2. Your app can be connected to Python running anywhere, using a connector we call the Uplink. Connecting is just three lines of code. Then your client code can call Python functions on your laptop, an AWS EC2, a Rasberry Pi… Anything that has an internet connection can be controlled from your Anvil app, just by making function calls.