Wave Apps

A Wave app is the primary mechanism to publish interactive web content in Wave.

A Wave app can publish content and handle user interactions, unlike a Wave script, which can publish content but not handle user interactions.


Here is the skeleton of a Wave app:

from h2o_wave import main, app, Q, ui
async def serve(q: Q):
# Modify the page
q.page['qux'] = ui.some_card()
# Save the page
await q.page.save()

An app typically imports four symbols from h2o_wave:

  • main: An ASGI-compatible function. See Deployment.
  • app: A decorator for your query handler (or request handler).
  • Q: A class that represents the query sent to your query handler.
  • ui: The module containing the API for drawing UI elements.

@app() has one required argument - the route your app is interested in (in this case /foo). Whenever a user performs any action at /foo - access the page, reload it, click a button, access a menu, enter text, and so on - the query handler serve() is called. The details about what action was performed, and who performed the action, are available in the argument passed to serve(), the query context q (of type Q).

Wave apps are run using the wave run command, which accepts the name of the Python module in which main is imported from h2o_wave.

If your app is contained in app.py, run it like this:

wave run app


wave run app.py

If your app is contained in path/to/app.py, run it like this:

wave run path.to.app


wave run path/to/app.py

When run, the app starts an event loop listening for user interaction events, and announces itself to the Wave server. The Wave server then starts routing any user actions happening at /foo to your app.

Runtime context

The query context q carries the following attributes:

  • route: The route at which the action was performed (in this case, /foo).
  • page: A reference to the current page (in this case, the page hosted at /foo).
  • site: A reference to the page's parent site, from which you can grab references to other pages.
  • args: The event arguments, a dictionary-like object containing information about the user action.
  • app, user, client: Dictionary-like objects holding server-side state, at the app-level, the user-level and the client-level, respectively. Here, 'client' refers to the browser tab.
  • username: The username of the user who performed the action.
  • mode: The app's realtime mode, one of unicast, multicast, or broadcast.


To perform actions at application startup and shutdown, pass on_startup and on_shutdown functions to @app, like this:

from h2o_wave import main, app, Q, ui
def on_startup():
print('App started!')
def on_shutdown():
print('App stopped!')
@app('/foo', on_startup=on_startup, on_shutdown=on_shutdown)
async def serve(q: Q):

The on_startup and on_shutdown functions can also be async.