Getting Started With botocore

The botocore package provides a low-level interface to Amazon services. It is responsible for:

  • Providing access to all available services
  • Providing access to all operations within a service
  • Marshaling all parameters for a particular operation in the correct format
  • Signing the request with the correct authentication signature
  • Receiving the response and returning the data in native Python data structures

botocore does not provide higher-level abstractions on top of these services, operations and responses. That is left to the application layer. The goal of botocore is to handle all of the low-level details of making requests and getting results from a service.

The botocore package is mainly data-driven. Each service has a JSON description which specifies all of the operations the service supports, all of the parameters the operation accepts, all of the documentation related to the service, information about supported regions and endpoints, etc. Because this data can be updated quickly based on the canonical description of these services, it's much easier to keep botocore current.

Using Botocore

The first step in using botocore is to create a Session object. Session objects then allow you to create individual clients:

import botocore.session
session = botocore.session.get_session()
client = session.create_client('ec2', region_name='us-west-2')

Once you have that client created, each operation provided by the service is mapped to a method. Each method takes **kwargs that maps to the parameter names exposed by the service. For example, using the client object created above:

for reservation in client.describe_instances()['Reservations']:
    for instance in reservation['Instances']:
        print instance['InstanceId']

# All instances that are in a state of pending.
reservations = client.describe_instances(
    Filters=[{"Name": "instance-state-name", "Values": ["pending"]}])