Fixing Web Development with Python

The business problem

Being able to quickly create web apps is key to organizations of all sizes – but is currently too hard and complex. Developing and deploying web apps currently requires the ability to program in five different languages, (JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python and SQL), as well as knowledge of five or more complex server- or client-side frameworks.

This complexity slows web development, shuts out many programmers and causes bottlenecks for organizations, particularly when they are trying to react quickly to opportunities. Web apps take longer to be built and deployed, undermining agility and business competitiveness.

How Anvil solves the issue

Cambridge-based Anvil’s web-based development environment, the Anvil Editor, provides the full functionality required for developers to design, build and ship web apps in minutes. They only need to know one language – Python – to create powerful, fully-functional apps. Over 8 million people can program in Python, opening up web development to a wider range of people, such as data scientists, bioinformaticians, electrical engineers and back end developers – and making it faster and simpler.

Anvil’s development environment combines coding simplicity with the power of Python, allowing the creation of full stack web apps in minutes – bringing the spirit of classic RAD tools like Visual Basic to the modern web. Tests show it is up to seven times faster than traditional tools. Unlike no code/low code environments, there are no limits on the scope of the apps created – the ability to code in Python delivers industrial-strength flexibility and scalability, and a vast ecosystem of Python libraries and tools.

Watch this 1 minute video to learn more.

Anvil’s technology – how it works

The Anvil Editor is a web-based integrated development environment, enabling web apps to be created within your web browser. It includes everything required to build apps, from a database, task scheduler, secure user authentication and web APIs to integration with email, and external services from Google, Microsoft, Facebook – as well as anything with a Python SDK. Developers create the user interface using drag and drop, and write all their code in Python - whether it runs on the server or in the web browser.

Anvil’s timeline and people

Anvil is the brainchild of Meredydd Luff and Ian Davies, who met at the University of Cambridge, where they completed PhDs at the prestigious Computer Laboratory. Meredydd is now CEO, with Ian as COO, leading a team working from its Cambridge offices.

Click here to learn more about the team behind Anvil.

The first working prototype of Anvil’s development environment was launched in 2017, and the company has now grown to have customers and users across the globe.

Business model and key customers

Anvil is available in a range of options and pricing plans, from a free version for light users/hobbyists to a full enterprise solution designed to integrate with corporate apps and enabling on-site deployments of the Anvil development environment.

Anvil is already trusted by Python developers at organizations of all sizes across the globe. They range from data scientists, programmers and product developers to researchers and educators. Users span a wide range of industries, including:

  • Startups: FairShake, Ruchomi, Lightning AI
  • Manufacturing: Universe Corporation
  • Finance: Baker Tilly, Hokodo, Crux Informatics, and major financial institutions
  • Science: MDU Public Health Laboratory
  • TV broadcasters: RiksTV


“We were able to skip pre-seed funding by building a functional product. Six months later, we were profitable. Anvil literally changed the course of our business,”

Colette Nataf, Founder, Lightning AI

“We needed to build a user interface on top of our data. Anvil provided basically everything I needed, straight out of the box. It turned me, a somewhat nervous wannabe Python developer, into a full stack developer, which is pretty impressive.”

Anders Kalland, Platform Manager, RiksTV

“When the CARES Act was passed, we needed to help our clients access relief - fast. Using Anvil, we were able to deploy an all-new, secure web-based process for coordinating applicants and lenders incredibly quickly. We opened it to clients on the 2nd of April: that’s less than six days after the law was signed, and just four business days after we started development. Deploying applications with Anvil is as fast as any alternative we have tried.”

– Todd Bernhardt, Partner, Baker Tilly.

“At MDU, we are committed to bringing genomic-scale data analysis to the decision-makers in public health. To us, that means moving away from the command line and taking advantage of all the great things that the web has to offer. As Python is our primary development language, Anvil fits perfectly into our workflow. Anvil allows us to quickly prototype, deploy and obtain feedback from our primary users. In the past couple of months, it has enabled us to put together essential tools to help in our COVID-19 response. As our priorities change, Anvil will be a critical component of our continued surveillance efforts.”

– Anders Gonçalves da Silva, Senior Bioinformatician, the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory, Melbourne