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A universal Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) provider.

Project description


  • XML-RPC Based, works with any client in any language

  • Native Python API with Django and Pylons support

  • Scalable, fast and easy to distribute behind a proxy

  • Based on Twisted

  • Multi-application and dual environment support

  • Simplified feedback interface

pyapns is an APNS provider that you install on your server and access through XML-RPC. To install you will need Python, Twisted and pyOpenSSL. It’s also recommended to install python-epoll for best performance (if epoll is not available, like on Mac OS X, you may want to use another library, like py-kqueue. If you like easy_install try (it should take care of the dependancies for you):

$ sudo easy_install pyapns

pyapns is a service that runs persistently on your machine. To start it:

$ twistd -r epoll web --class=pyapns.server.APNSServer --port=7077

To get started right away, use the included client:

$ python
>>> from pyapns import configure, provision, notify
>>> configure({'HOST': 'http://localhost:7077/'})
>>> provision('myapp', open('cert.pem').read(), 'sandbox')
>>> notify('myapp', 'hexlified_token_str', {'aps':{'alert': 'Hello!'}})

The Multi-Application Model

pyapns supports multiple applications. Before pyapns can send notifications, you must first provision the application with an Application ID, the environment (either ‘sandbox’ or ‘production’) and the certificate file. The provision method takes 4 arguments, app_id, path_to_cert_or_cert, environment and timeout. A connection is kept alive for each application provisioned for the fastest service possible. The application ID is an arbitrary identifier and is not used in communication with the APNS servers.

When a connection can not be made within the specified timeout a timeout error will be thrown by the server. This usually indicates that the wrong [type of] certification file is being used, a blocked port or the wrong environment.

Sending Notifications

Calling notify will send the message immediately if a connection is already established. The first notification may be delayed a second while the server connects. notify takes app_id, token_or_token_list and notification_or_notification_list. Multiple notifications can be batched for better performance by using paired arrays of token/notifications. When performing batched notifications, the token and notification arrays must be exactly the same length.

The full notification dictionary must be included as the notification:

{'aps': {
    'sound': 'flynn.caf',
    'badge': 0,
    'message': 'Hello from pyapns :)'
} # etc...

Retrieving Inactive Tokens

Call feedback with the app_id. A list of tuples will be retrieved from the APNS server that it deems inactive. These are returned as a list of 2-element lists with a Datetime object and the token string.

XML-RPC Methods


    app_id        String            the application id for the provided
    cert          String            a path to a .pem file or the a
                                    string with the entie file
    environment   String            the APNS server to use - either
                                    'production' or 'sandbox'
    timeout       Integer           timeout for connection attempts to
                                    the APS servers


    app_id        String            the application id to send the
                                    message to
    tokens        String or Array   an Array of tokens or a single
                                    token string
    notifications String or Array   an Array of notification
                                    dictionaries or a single
                                    notification dictionary



    app_id        String            the application id to retrieve
                                    retrieve feedback for

    Array(Array(Datetime(time_expired), String(token)), ...)

The Python API

pyapns also provides a Python API that makes the use of pyapns even simpler. The Python API must be configured before use but configuration files make it easier. The pyapns client module currently supports configuration from Django settings and Pylons config. To configure using Django, the following must be present in your settings file:

  'HOST': 'http://localhost:8077/',
  'TIMEOUT': 15,                    # OPTIONAL, host timeout in seconds
  'INITIAL': [                      # OPTIONAL, see below
    ('craigsfish', '/home/samsutch/craigsfish/apscert.pem', 'sandbox'),

Optionally, with Django settings, you can skip manual provisioning by including a list of (name, path, environment) tuples that are guaranteed to be provisioned by the time you call notify or feedback.

Configuring for pylons is just as simple, but automatic provisioning isn’t possible, in your configuration file include:

pyapns_host = http://localhost:8077/
pyapns_timeout = 15

For explanations of the configuration variables see the docs for pyapns.client.configure.

Each of these functions can be called synchronously and asynchronously. To make them perform asynchronously simply supply a callback. The request will then be made in another thread and callback with the results. When calling asynchronously no value will be returned:

def got_feedback(tuples):
feedback('myapp', callback=got_feedback)


Takes a dictionary of options and configures the client.
Currently configurable options are 'HOST', 'TIMEOUT' and 'INITIAL' the latter
of which is only read once.

Config Options:
    HOST        - A full host name with port, ending with a forward slash
    TIMEOUT     - An integer specifying how many seconds to timeout a
                  connection to the pyapns server (prevents deadlocking
                  the parent thread).
    INITIAL     - A List of tuples to be supplied to provision when
                  the first configuration happens.

pyapns.client.provision(app_id, path_to_cert_or_cert, environment, timeout=15, callback=None)

Provisions the app_id and initializes a connection to the APNS server.
Multiple calls to this function will be ignored by the pyapns daemon
but are still sent so pick a good place to provision your apps, optimally

    app_id                 the app_id to provision for APNS
    path_to_cert_or_cert   absolute path to the APNS SSL cert or a
                           string containing the .pem file
    environment            either 'sandbox' or 'production'
    timeout                number of seconds to timeout connection
                           attempts to the APPLE APS SERVER
    callback               a callback to be executed when done

pyapns.client.notify(app_id, tokens, notifications, callback=None)

Sends push notifications to the APNS server. Multiple
notifications can be sent by sending pairing the token/notification
arguments in lists [token1, token2], [notification1, notification2].

    app_id                 provisioned app_id to send to
    tokens                 token to send the notification or a
                           list of tokens
    notifications          notification dicts or a list of notifications
    callback               a callback to be executed when done
      None, callback=None)

Retrieves a list of inactive tokens from the APNS server and the times
it thinks they went inactive.

    app_id                 the app_id to query
    Feedback tuples like [(datetime_expired, token_str), ...]

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