Python Async With Statement — Simplifying Asynchronous Code

5/5 - (2 votes)

To speed up my code, I just decided to (finally) dive into Python’s async with statement. ๐Ÿš€ In this article, you’ll find some of my learnings – let’s go! ๐Ÿ‘‡

What Is Python Async With?

Python’s async with statement is a way to work with asynchronous context managers, which can be really useful when dealing with I/O-bound tasks, such as reading or writing files, making HTTP requests, or interacting with databases. These tasks normally block your program’s execution, involving waiting for external resources. But using async with, you can perform multiple tasks concurrently! ๐ŸŽ‰

Let’s see some code. Picture this scenario: you’re using asyncio and aiohttp to fetch some content over HTTP. If you were to use a regular with statement, your code would look like this:

import aiohttp
import asyncio

async def fetch(url):
    with aiohttp.ClientSession() as session:
        response = await session.get(url)
        content = await


But see the problem? This would block the event loop, making your app slower ๐Ÿ˜’.

The solution is using async with alongside a context manager that supports it:

import aiohttp
import asyncio

async def fetch(url):
    async with aiohttp.ClientSession() as session:
        response = await session.get(url)
        content = await


Thanks to async with, your code won’t block the event loop while working with context managers, making your program more efficient and responsive! ๐ŸŒŸ

No worries if you didn’t quite get it yet. Keep reading! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

Python Async With Examples

The async with statement is used when you want to run a certain operation concurrently and need to manage resources effectively, such as when dealing with I/O-bound tasks like fetching a web page ๐ŸŒ.

Let’s jump into an example using an asyncio-based library called aiohttp.

Here’s how you can make an HTTP GET request using an async with statement and aiohttp’s ClientSession class:

import aiohttp
import asyncio

async def fetch_page(session, url):
    async with session.get(url) as response:
        return await response.text()

async def main():
    async with aiohttp.ClientSession() as session:
        content = await fetch_page(session, '')

loop = asyncio.get_event_loop()

In the example above๐Ÿ‘†, you use an async with statement in the fetch_page function to ensure that the response is properly acquired and released. You can see a similar pattern in the main function, where the aiohttp.ClientSession is managed using an async with statement. This ensures that resources such as network connections are handled properlyโœ….

Now, let’s discuss some key entities in this example:

  • session: An instance of the aiohttp.ClientSession class, used to manage HTTP requests๐Ÿ“จ.
  • url: A variable representing the URL of the web page you want to fetch๐ŸŒ.
  • response: The HTTP response object returned by the server๐Ÿ”–.
  • clientsession: A class provided by the aiohttp library to manage HTTP requests and responses๐ŸŒ‰.
  • text(): A method provided by the aiohttp library to read the response body as text๐Ÿ“ƒ.
  • async with statement: A special construct to manage resources within an asynchronous context๐Ÿ”„.

Async With Await

In Python, the await keyword is used with asynchronous functions, which are defined using the async def syntax. Asynchronous functions, or coroutines, enable non-blocking execution and allow you to run multiple tasks concurrently without the need for threading or multiprocessing.

In the context of the async with statement, await is used to wait for the asynchronous context manager to complete its tasks. The async with statement is used in conjunction with an asynchronous context manager, which is an object that defines __aenter__() and __aexit__() asynchronous methods. These methods are used to set up and tear down a context for a block of code that will be executed asynchronously.

Here’s an example of how async with and await are used together:

import aiohttp
import asyncio

async def fetch(url):
    async with aiohttp.ClientSession() as session:
        async with session.get(url) as response:
            return await response.text()

async def main():
    url = ''
    html = await fetch(url)

loop = asyncio.get_event_loop()

In this example, the fetch function is an asynchronous function that retrieves the content of a given URL using the aiohttp library.

The async with statement is used to create an asynchronous context manager for the aiohttp.ClientSession() and session.get(url) objects.

The await keyword is then used to wait for the response from the session.get() call to be available, and to retrieve the text content of the response.

Async With Open

By using “async with open“, you can open files in your asynchronous code without blocking the execution of other coroutines.

When working with async code, it’s crucial to avoid blocking operations. To tackle this, some libraries provide asynchronous equivalents of “open“, allowing you to seamlessly read and write files in your asynchronous code.

For example:

import aiofiles

async def read_file(file_path):
    async with, 'r') as file:
        contents = await
    return contents

Here, we use the aiofiles library, which provides an asynchronous file I/O implementation. With “async with“, you can open the file, perform the desired operations (like reading or writing), and the file will automatically close when it’s no longer needed – all without blocking your other async tasks. Neat, huh? ๐Ÿค“

Remember, it’s essential to use an asynchronous file I/O library, like aiofiles, when working with async with open. This ensures that your file operations won’t block the rest of your coroutines and keep your async code running smoothly. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

Async With Yield

When working with Python’s async functions, you might wonder how to use the yield keyword within an async with statement. In this section, you’ll learn how to effectively combine these concepts for efficient and readable code.๐Ÿ˜Š

๐Ÿ’ก Recommended: Understanding Python’s yield Keyword

First, it’s essential to understand that you cannot use the standard yield with async functions. Instead, you need to work with asynchronous generators, introduced in Python 3.6 and PEP 525. Asynchronous generators allow you to yield values concurrently using the async def keyword and help you avoid blocking operations.๐Ÿš€

To create an asynchronous generator, you can define a function with the async def keyword and use the yield statement inside it, like this:

import asyncio

async def asyncgen():
    yield 1
    yield 2

To consume the generator, use async for like this:

async def main():
    async for i in asyncgen():

This code will create a generator that yields values asynchronously and print them using an async context manager. This approach allows you to wrapp an asynchronous generator in a friendly and readable manner.๐ŸŽ‰

Now you know how to use the yield keyword within an async with statement in Python. It’s time to leverage the power of asynchronous generators in your code!๐Ÿš€

Async With Return

The async with statement is used to simplify your interactions with asynchronous context managers in your code, and yes, it can return a value as well! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

When working with async with, the value returned by the __enter__() method of an asynchronous context manager gets bound to a target variable. This helps you manage resources effectively in your async code.

For instance:

async def fetch_data(url):
    async with aiohttp.ClientSession() as session:
        async with session.get(url) as response:
            data = await response.json()
            return data

In this example, the response object is the value returned by the context manager’s .__enter__() method. Once the async with block is executed, the response.json() method is awaited to deserialize the JSON data, which is then returned to the caller ๐Ÿ‘Œ.

Here are a few key takeaway points about returning values with async with:

  • async with simplifies handling of resources in asynchronous code.
  • The value returned by the .__enter__() method is automatically bound to a target variable within the async with block.
  • Returning values from your asynchronous context managers easily integrates with your async code.

Advanced Usage of Async With

As you become more familiar with Python’s async with statement, you’ll discover advanced techniques that can greatly enhance your code’s efficiency and readability. This section will cover four techniques:

  • Async With Timeout,
  • Async With Multiple,
  • Async With Lock, and
  • Async With Context Manager

Async With Timeout

When working with concurrency, it’s essential to manage timeouts effectively. In async with statements, you can ensure a block of code doesn’t run forever by implementing an async timeout. This can help you handle scenarios where network requests or other I/O operations take too long to complete.

Here’s an example of how you can define an async with statement with a timeout:

import asyncio
import aiohttp

async def fetch_page(session, url):
    async with aiohttp.Timeout(10):
        async with session.get(url) as response:
            assert response.status == 200
            return await

This code sets a 10-second timeout to fetch a web page using the aiohttp library.

Async With Multiple

You can use multiple async with statements simultaneously to work with different resources, like file access or database connections. Combining multiple async with statements enables better resource management and cleaner code:

async def two_resources(resource_a, resource_b):
    async with aquire_resource_a(resource_a) as a, aquire_resource_b(resource_b) as b:
        await do_something(a, b)

This example acquires both resources asynchronously and then performs an operation using them.

Async With Lock

Concurrency can cause issues when multiple tasks access shared resources. To protect these resources and prevent race conditions, you can use async with along with Python’s asyncio.Lock() class:

import asyncio

lock = asyncio.Lock()

async def my_function():
    async with lock:
        # Section of code that must be executed atomically.

This code snippet ensures that the section within the async with block is executed atomically, protecting shared resources from being accessed concurrently.

Async With Context Manager

Creating your own context managers can make it easier to manage resources in asynchronous code. By defining an async def __aenter__() and an async def __aexit__() method in your class, you can use it within an async with statement:

class AsyncContextManager:

    async def __aenter__(self):
        # Code to initialize resource
        return resource

    async def __aexit__(self, exc_type, exc, tb):
        # Code to release resource

async def demo():
    async with AsyncContextManager() as my_resource:
        # Code using my_resource

This custom context manager initializes and releases a resource within the async with block, simplifying your asynchronous code and making it more Pythonic.โœจ

Error Handling and Exceptions

When working with Python’s Async With Statement, handling errors and exceptions properly is essential to ensure your asynchronous code runs smoothly. ๐Ÿš€ Using try-except blocks and well-structured clauses can help you manage errors effectively.

Be aware of syntax errors, which may occur when using async with statements. To avoid SyntaxError, make sure your Python code is properly formatted and follows PEP 343’s guidelines. If you come across an error while performing an IO operation or dealing with external resources, it’s a good idea to handle it with an except clause. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

In the case of exceptions, you might want to apply cleanup code to handle any necessary actions before your program closes or moves on to the next task. One way to do this is by wrapping your async with statement in a try-except block, and then including a finally clause for the cleanup code.

Here’s an example:

    async with some_resource() as resource:
        # Perform your IO operation or other tasks here
except YourException as e:
    # Handle the specific exception here
    # Add cleanup code here

Remember, you need to handle exceptions explicitly in the parent coroutine if you want to prevent them from canceling the entire task. In the case of multiple exceptions or errors, using asyncio.gather can help manage them effectively. ๐Ÿ’ช

๐Ÿ’ก Recommended: Python Beginner Cheat Sheet: 19 Keywords Every Coder Must Know