Compare Tornado and FastAPI

Tornado is a Python web framework and asynchronous networking library developed at FriendFeed. By using non-blocking network I/O, Tornado can scale to tens of thousands of open connections, making it ideal for long polling, WebSockets, and other applications that require a long-lived connection to each user. It is great for use cases that are I/O intensive (e.g., proxies) but not ideal for compute-intensive use cases.

Fast API is a high-performance web framework for building web applications with Python 3.6+ based on standard Python type hints. It is designed to be high performance and easy to learn.

Let's see how Tornado and FastAPI compare on various factors and features and which to choose when.

Tornado

FastAPI

Overall

Type

Type
Python web framework and asynchronous networking library, which does non-blocking I/O.
Type
Minimalistic framework based on starlette and pydantic for building fast web applications using async IO.

Author

Author

Release Date

Release Date
2009
Release Date
2018

License

License
License

Website

Adoption and Ease of Use

Popularity [?]

Popularity [?]
1 Star
Used by 84,000 projects.
Popularity [?]
New addition to the Python web frameworks family but its popularity is on the rise.

Used by

Used by
FriendFeed, Turntable.fm, Fantamaster.it
Used by
Uber (internal use,) Explosion AI, Microsoft (internal use)

Jobs [?]

Jobs [?]
0.5 Star
20 job openings which list Tornado as a requirement.
Jobs [?]
0.5 Star
5 job openings which list Fast API as a requirement.

Performance [?]

Performance [?]
5 Stars
Excellent performance.
Performance [?]
5 Stars
High performance.

Flexibility

Flexibility
5 Stars
Tornado is simple and flexible.
Flexibility
5 Stars
Fast API is flexible to code and doesn't restrict users to a particular project or code layout.

Ease of Learning

Ease of Learning
4 Stars
Tornado is not difficult to learn if the user is familiar with asynchronous and non-blocking I/O. The online resources, courses, and tutorials are not as plentiful compared to Flask or Django.
Ease of Learning
4.5 Stars
Easy to learn especially for people who are new to web development. However, it doesn't have a large number of online resources, courses and tutorials.
Database Support

RDBMS Support

RDBMS Support
Through Plugins or Extensions
Through Plugins or Extensions
Being an asynchronous framework, Tornado doesn't play well with ORM frameworks. See this stackoverflow answer for more details. It doesn't come with a built-in ORM framework, but 3rd party libraries that can be used. Such as tornado-sqlalchemy, Tornado-MySQL (experimental), etc.
RDBMS Support
Through Plugins or Extensions
Through Plugins or Extensions
FastAPI doesn't come with built in ORM, however is compatible with SQLAlchemy, Pydantic ORM mode.

NoSQL Support

NoSQL Support
No built-in support for NoSQL databases, but 3rd party libraries support asynchronous, non-blocking access. Motor is one such library from the makers of MongoDB. However, a lot of client libraries like DynamoDB appear to have been deprecated or not actively maintained.
NoSQL Support
Fast API supports many NoSQL databases like MongoDb, ElasticSearch, Cassandra, CouchDB and ArangoDB. Read more here.
Web & Core Features

Admin Dashboard

Admin Dashboard
No or Limited Support
No or Limited Support
No built-in admin panel. No well-known 3rd party tools either.
Admin Dashboard
Built-in Support
Built-in
Yes, uses Swagger as an API documentation web user interface.

REST Support

REST Support
No built-in support for REST API, but users can implement REST APIs manually.
REST Support
Yes, allows developers to build REST APIs quickly.

Security

Security
Built-in security mechanisms such as secure cookies, XSRF, DNS Rebinding and etc. Has been used in production for many years so security is generally decent.
Security
FastAPI provides several tools for many security schemes in the fastapi.security module. Not enough data.

Templating Library

Templating Library
Tornado uses custom templating library out of the box.
Templating Library
FastAPI supports Jinja2 for templating and also supports aiofiles for serving static files

Web Forms

Web Forms
No built-in support.
Web Forms
Ships with it's own Forms, with basic features.

Authentication

Authentication
Provides user authentication and also supports 3rd party authentication and authorization systems like Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Authentication
Fast API supports OAuth2, JWT and simple HTTP authentiation.

Testing

Testing
Built-in support using Python's unittest framework.
Testing

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