21 Nov 2018

Getting started with Algolia and Python


Install the Python client using pip:

pip install --upgrade algoliasearch

Quick Start

In 30 seconds, this quick start tutorial will show you how to index and search objects.

Initialize the client

To begin, you will need to initialize the client. In order to do this you will need your Application ID and API Key. You can find both on your Algolia account.

from algoliasearch import algoliasearch

client = algoliasearch.Client("YourApplicationID", 'YourAPIKey')
index = client.init_index('your_index_name')

If you use this API Client with Google AppEngine (thanks @apassant), it will use urlfetch instead of using the request module. Please be aware of the limits of urlfetch, and note that SSL certificates aren’t verified for calls to domains other than algolia.net due to the lack of SNI support in urlfetch. To run unit tests on the AppEngine stub, please define an APPENGINE_RUNTIME enviroment variable.

The api key that is displayed here is your ADMIN API Key. To maintain security, never use your ADMIN API Key on your frontend or share it with anyone. In your frontend, use the SEARCH ONLY API Key or any other key that has search only rights.

Push data

Without any prior configuration, you can start indexing 500 contacts in the contacts index using the following code:

index = client.init_index("contacts")
batch = json.load(open('contacts.json'))


Settings can be customized to fine tune the search behavior. For example, you can add a custom sort by number of followers to further enhance the built-in relevance:

index.set_settings({"customRanking": ["desc(followers)"]})

You can also configure the list of attributes you want to index by order of importance (most important first).

The Algolia engine is designed to suggest results as you type, which means you’ll generally search by prefix. In this case, the order of attributes is very important to decide which hit is the best:

index.set_settings({"searchableAttributes": ["lastname", "firstname", "company",
                                         "email", "city", "address"]})

You can now search for contacts using firstname, lastname, company, etc. (even with typos):

# Search for a first name
print index.search("jimmie")
# Search for a first name with typo
print index.search("jimie")
# Search for a company
print index.search("california paint")
# Search for a first name and a company
print index.search("jimmie paint")

Search UI

If you are building a web application, you may be more interested in using one of our frontend search UI libraries

The following example shows how to build a front-end search quickly using InstantSearch.js


<!doctype html>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/instantsearch.js@2.3/dist/instantsearch.min.css">
  <!-- Always use `2.x` versions in production rather than `2` to mitigate any side effects on your website,
  Find the latest version on InstantSearch.js website: https://community.algolia.com/instantsearch.js/v2/guides/usage.html -->
       <input id="search-input" placeholder="Search for products">
       <!-- We use a specific placeholder in the input to guides users in their search. -->
      <div id="hits"></div>
      <div id="pagination"></div>

  <script type="text/html" id="hit-template">
    <div class="hit">
      <p class="hit-name">{{{_highlightResult.firstname.value}}} {{{_highlightResult.lastname.value}}}</p>

  <script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/instantsearch.js@2.3/dist/instantsearch.min.js"></script>
  <script src="app.js"></script>


var search = instantsearch({
  // Replace with your own values
  appId: 'YourApplicationID',
  apiKey: 'YourSearchOnlyAPIKey', // search only API key, no ADMIN key
  indexName: 'contacts',
  routing: true,
  searchParameters: {
    hitsPerPage: 10

    container: '#search-input'

    container: '#hits',
    templates: {
      item: document.getElementById('hit-template').innerHTML,
      empty: "We didn't find any results for the search <em>\"{{query}}\"</em>"


What’s next

Continue building your Algolia knowledge with these tutorials:

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