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Integrating Databricks with Dagster Pipes#

In this guide, we’ll show you how to use Dagster Pipes with Dagster’s Databricks integration to launch Databricks jobs.

Pipes allows your Databricks jobs to stream logs (including stdout and stderr of the driver process) and events back to Dagster. This does not require a full Dagster environment on Databricks; instead:

  1. The Databricks environment needs to include dagster-pipes, a single-file Python package with no dependencies that can be installed from PyPI or easily vendored, and
  2. Databricks jobs must be launched from Dagster


To use Dagster Pipes with Databricks:

  • In the orchestration environment, you'll need to install the following packages:

    pip install dagster dagster-webserver dagster-databricks

    Refer to the Dagster installation guide for more info.

  • In Databricks, you'll need:

    • A Databricks workspace. If you don’t have this, follow the Databricks quickstart to set one up.

    • The following information about your Databricks workspace:

      • host - The host URL of your Databricks workspace, ex:
      • token - A personal access token for the Databricks workspace. Refer to the Databricks API authentication documentation for more info about retrieving these values.

      You should set and export the Databricks host and token environment variables in your shell session:

      export DATABRICKS_HOST=<your-host-url>
      export DATABRICKS_TOKEN<your-personal-access-token>

Step 1: Create an asset computed in Databricks#

In this step, you’ll create a Dagster asset that, when materialized, opens a Dagster pipes session and launches a Databricks job.

Step 1.1: Define the Dagster asset#

In your Dagster project, create a file named and paste in the following code:


import os
import sys

from dagster_databricks import PipesDatabricksClient

from dagster import AssetExecutionContext, Definitions, EnvVar, asset
from databricks.sdk import WorkspaceClient
from databricks.sdk.service import jobs

def databricks_asset(
    context: AssetExecutionContext, pipes_databricks: PipesDatabricksClient
    task = jobs.SubmitTask.from_dict(
            # The cluster settings below are somewhat arbitrary. Dagster Pipes is
            # not dependent on a specific spark version, node type, or number of
            # workers.
            "new_cluster": {
                "spark_version": "12.2.x-scala2.12",
                "node_type_id": "i3.xlarge",
                "num_workers": 0,
                "cluster_log_conf": {
                    "dbfs": {"destination": "dbfs:/cluster-logs-dir-noexist"},
            "libraries": [
                # Include the latest published version of dagster-pipes on PyPI
                # in the task environment
                {"pypi": {"package": "dagster-pipes"}},
            "task_key": "some-key",
            "spark_python_task": {
                "python_file": "dbfs:/",  # location of target code file
                "source": jobs.Source.WORKSPACE,

    print("This will be forwarded back to Dagster stdout")
    print("This will be forwarded back to Dagster stderr", file=sys.stderr)

    extras = {"some_parameter": 100}


Let's review what's happening in this code:

  • Includes a number of imports from Dagster and the Databricks SDK. There are a few that aren't used in this code block, but will be later in this guide.

  • Creates an asset named databricks_asset. We also:

    • Provided AssetExecutionContext as the context argument to the asset. This object provides access to system APIs such as resources, config, and logging. We’ll come back to this a bit later in this section.
    • Specified a PipesDatabricksClient resource for the asset to use. We’ll also come back to this later.
  • Defines a Databricks SubmitTask object in the asset body. Coverage of all the fields on this object is beyond the scope of this guide, but you can find further information in the Databricks SDK API docs and source code for the SubmitTask object.

    The submitted task must:

    • Specify dagster-pipes as a PyPI dependency. You can include a version pin (e.g. dagster-pipes==1.5.4) if desired.
    • Use new_cluster as opposed to an existing cluster. This is because environment variables are injected into the specification used to create the cluster.
    • Use a spark_python_task.
    • Optionally include new_cluster.cluster_log_conf.dbfs. If set, the PipesDatabricksClient will automatically set up PipesDbfsLogReader objects for stdout and stderr of the driver node. These will periodically forward the stdout and stderr logs written by Databricks back to Dagster. Note: Because Databricks only updates these log files every five minutes, that is the maximum frequency at which Dagster can forward the logs.
  • Defines an extras dictionary containing some arbitrary data (some_parameter). This is where you can put various data, e.g. from the Dagster run config, that you want to be available in Databricks. Anything added here must be JSON-serializable.

  • Passes the SubmitTask object, AssetExecutionContext, and extras dictionary to the run method of PipesDatabricksClient. This method synchronously executes the Databricks job specified by the SubmitTask object. It slightly modifies the object by injecting some environment variables under new_cluster.spark_env_vars before submitting the object to the Databricks API.

  • Returns a MaterializeResult object representing the result of execution. This is obtained by calling get_materialize_result on the PipesClientCompletedInvocation object returned by run after the Databricks job has finished. Note: Execution can take several minutes even for trivial scripts due to Databricks cluster provisioning times.

Step 1.2: Define the Databricks Pipes client and definitions#

The dagster-databricks library provides a PipesDatabricksClient, which is a pre-built Dagster resource that allows you to quickly get Pipes working with your Databricks workspace.

Add the following to the bottom of to define the resource and a Definitions object that binds it to the databricks_asset:

pipes_databricks_resource = PipesDatabricksClient(

defs = Definitions(
    assets=[databricks_asset], resources={"pipes_databricks": pipes_databricks_resource}

Step 2: Write a script for execution on Databricks#

The next step is to write the code that will be executed on Databricks. In the Databricks task specification in Step 1.1, we referenced a file dbfs:/ in the spark_python_task:

"spark_python_task": {
   "python_file": "dbfs:/",   # location of target code file
   "source": jobs.Source.WORKSPACE,

We'll create this script from scratch and upload it to DBFS. You can use the Databricks UI or run a command from a shell to do this. To use the shell method, run:

dbfs cp dbfs:/

Let's look at the script itself:

### dbfs:/

# `dagster_pipes` must be available in the databricks python environment
from dagster_pipes import (

# Sets up communication channels and downloads the context data sent from Dagster.
# Note that while other `context_loader` and `message_writer` settings are
# possible, it is recommended to use `PipesDbfsContextLoader` and
# `PipesDbfsMessageWriter` for Databricks.
with open_dagster_pipes(
) as pipes:
    # Access the `extras` dict passed when launching the job from Dagster.
    some_parameter_value = pipes.get_extra("some_parameter")

    # Stream log message back to Dagster"Using some_parameter value: {some_parameter_value}")

    # ... your code that computes and persists the asset

    # Stream asset materialization metadata and data version back to Dagster.
    # This should be called after you've computed and stored the asset value. We
    # omit the asset key here because there is only one asset in scope, but for
    # multi-assets you can pass an `asset_key` parameter.
            "some_metric": {"raw_value": some_parameter_value + 1, "type": "int"}

Before we go any futher, let's review what this script does:

At this point you can execute the rest of your Databricks code as normal, invoking various PipesContext APIs as needed.

Existing codebases#

For illustrative purposes, we've created a Python script from scratch. However, you may want to apply Pipes to an existing codebase.

One approach that can be useful is to wrap the open_dagster_pipes context manager around an existing main function or entry point. You can either pass the PipesContext down through your business logic, or simply report an asset materialization after your business logic is done:

from dagster_pipes import (

# ... existing code

if __name__ == "__main__":
    with open_dagster_pipes(
    ) as pipes:
        # ... existing logic
            metadata={"some_key": "some_value"},

Step 3: Run the Databricks job from the Dagster UI#

In this step, you’ll run the Databricks job you created in Step 1.2 from the Dagster UI.

  1. In a new command line session, run the following to start the UI:

    dagster dev -f
  2. Navigate to localhost:3000, where you should see the UI:

    Databricks asset
  3. Click Materialize near the top right corner of the page, then click View on the Launched Run popup. Wait for the run to complete, and the event log should look like this:

    Event log for Databricks run

Advanced: Customization using open_pipes_session#

The PipesDatabricksClient is a high-level API that doesn't cover all use cases. If you have existing code to launch/poll the job you do not want to change, you want to stream back materializations as they occur, or you just want more control than is permitted by PipesDatabricksClient, you can use open_pipes_session instead of PipesDatabricksClient.

To use open_pipes_session:

  1. Your Databricks job be launched within the scope of the open_pipes_session context manager; and
  2. Your job is launched on a cluster containing the environment variables available on the yielded pipes_session

While your Databricks code is running, any calls to report_asset_materialization in the external script are streamed back to Dagster, causing a MaterializationResult object to be buffered on the pipes_session. You can either:

  • Leave these objects buffered until execution is complete (Option 1 in below example code), or
  • Stream them to Dagster machinery during execution by calling yield pipes_session.get_results() (Option 2)

With either option, once the open_pipes_session block closes, you must call yield pipes_session.get_results() to yield any remaining buffered results, since we cannot guarantee that all communications from Databricks have been processed until the open_pipes_session block closes.

import os
import sys

from dagster_databricks import PipesDbfsContextInjector, PipesDbfsMessageReader
from dagster_databricks.pipes import PipesDbfsLogReader

from dagster import AssetExecutionContext, asset, open_pipes_session
from databricks.sdk import WorkspaceClient

def databricks_asset(context: AssetExecutionContext):
    client = WorkspaceClient(

    # Arbitrary json-serializable data you want access to from the `PipesContext`
    # in the Databricks runtime. Assume `sample_rate` is a parameter used by
    # the target job's business logic.
    extras = {"sample_rate": 1.0}

    # Sets up Pipes communications channels
    with open_pipes_session(
            # These log readers are optional. If you provide them, then you must set the
            # `new_cluster.cluster_log_conf.dbfs.destination` field in the job you submit to a valid
            # DBFS path. This will configure Databricks to write stdout/stderr to the specified
            # location every 5 minutes. Dagster will poll this location and forward the
            # stdout/stderr logs every time they are updated to the orchestration process
            # stdout/stderr.
                    client=client, remote_log_name="stdout", target_stream=sys.stdout
                    client=client, remote_log_name="stderr", target_stream=sys.stderr
    ) as pipes_session:
        ##### Option (1)
        # NON-STREAMING. Just pass the necessary environment variables down.
        # During execution, all reported materializations are buffered on the
        # `pipes_session`. Yield them all after Databricks execution is finished.

        # Dict[str, str] with environment variables containing Pipes comms info.
        env_vars = pipes_session.get_bootstrap_env_vars()

        # Some function that handles launching/monitoring of the Databricks job.
        # It must ensure that the `env_vars` are set on the executing cluster.

        ##### Option (2)
        # STREAMING. Pass `pipes_session` down. During execution, you can yield any
        # asset materializations that have been reported by calling `
        # pipes_session.get_results()` as often as you like. `get_results` returns
        # an iterator that your custom code can `yield from` to forward the
        # results back to the materialize function. Note you will need to extract
        # the env vars by calling `pipes_session.get_pipes_bootstrap_env_vars()`,
        # and launch the Databricks job in the same way as with (1).

        # The function should return an `Iterator[MaterializeResult]`.
        yield from custom_databricks_launch_code(pipes_session)

    # With either option (1) or (2), this is required to yield any remaining
    # buffered results.
    yield from pipes_session.get_results()