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etlhelper is a Python ETL library to simplify data transfer into and out of databases.

Note: There are a number of breaking changes planned for etlhelper version 1.0. Please pin the version number in your dependency list to avoid disruption and watch the project on GitHub for notification of new releases (in Custom section).


etlhelper makes it easy to run a SQL query via Python and return the results. It is built upon the DBAPI2 specification and takes care of importing drivers, formatting connection strings and cursor management. This reduces the amount of boilerplate code required to query a relational database with Python.


  • setup_oracle_client script installs Oracle Instant Client on Linux systems
  • DbParams objects provide consistent way to connect to different database types (currently Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQLite and MS SQL Server)
  • get_rows, iter_rows, fetchone and other functions for querying database
  • execute, executemany, and load functions to insert data
  • copy_rows and copy_table_rows to transfer data from one database to another
  • on_error function to process rows that fail to insert
  • Support for parameterised queries and in-flight transformation of data
  • Output results as namedtuple or dictionary
  • Timestamped log messages for tracking long-running data transfers
  • Helpful error messages display the failed query SQL

These tools can create easy-to-understand, lightweight, versionable and testable Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) workflows. etlhelper is not a tool for coordinating ETL jobs (use Apache Airflow), for converting GIS data formats (use ogr2ogr or fiona), for translating between SQL dialects or providing Object Relation Mapping (use SQLAlchemy). However, it can be used in conjunction with each of these.


The documentation below explains how the main features are used. See the individual function docstrings for full details of parameters and options.

For a high level introduction to etlhelper, see the FOSS4GUK 2019 presentation Open Source Spatial ETL with Python and Apache Airflow: video (20 mins), slides.



Python packages

pip install etlhelper

Database driver packages are not included by default and should be specified in square brackets. Options are oracle (installs cx_Oracle), mssql (installs pyodbc) and postgres (installs psycopg2). Multiple values can be separated by commas.

pip install etlhelper[oracle,postgres]

The sqlite3 driver is included within Python's Standard Library.

Database driver dependencies

Some database drivers have additional dependencies. On Linux, these can be installed via the system package manager.

cx_Oracle (for Oracle):

  • sudo apt install libaio1 (Debian/Ubuntu) or sudo dnf install libaio (CentOS, RHEL, Fedora)

pyodbc (for MS SQL Server):

Oracle Instant Client

Oracle Instant Client libraries are required to connect to Oracle databases. On Linux, etlhelper provides a script to download and unzip them from the Oracle website. Once the drivers are installed, their location must be added to LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable before they can be used. setup_oracle_client writes a file that can then be "sourced" to do this for the current shell. These two steps can be executed in a single command as:

source $(setup_oracle_client)

This command must be run in each new shell session. See setup_oracle_client --help for further command line flags, including specifying an alternative URL or filesystem path for the zipfile location.

Connect to databases


Database connection details are defined by DbParams objects. Connections are made via their connect functions (see below). DbParams objects are created as follows or from environment variables using the from_environment() function. The class initialisation function checks that the correct attributes have been provided for a given dbtype.

from etlhelper import DbParams

ORACLEDB = DbParams(dbtype='ORACLE', host="localhost", port=1521,
                    dbname="mydata", user="oracle_user")

POSTGRESDB = DbParams(dbtype='PG', host="localhost", port=5432,
                      dbname="mydata", user="postgres_user")

SQLITEDB = DbParams(dbtype='SQLITE', filename='/path/to/file.db')

MSSQLDB = DbParams(dbtype='MSSQL', host="localhost", port=1433,
                   dbname="mydata", user="mssql_user",
                   odbc_driver="ODBC Driver 17 for SQL Server")

DbParams objects have a function to check if a given database can be reached over the network. This does not require a username or password.

if not ORACLEDB.is_reachable():
    raise ETLHelperError("Network problems")

Other methods/properties are get_connection_string, get_sqlalchemy_connection_string, paramstyle and copy. See function docstrings for details.

connect function

The DbParams.connect() function returns a DBAPI2 connection as provided by the underlying driver. Using context-manager syntax as below ensures that the connection is closed after use.

with SQLITEDB.connect() as conn1:
    with POSTGRESDB.connect('PGPASSWORD') as conn2:

A standalone connect function provides backwards-compatibility with previous releases of etlhelper:

from etlhelper import connect
conn3 = connect(ORACLEDB, 'ORACLE_PASSWORD')

Both versions accept additional keyword arguments that are passed to the connect function of the underlying driver. For example, the following sets the character encoding used by cx_Oracle to ensure that values are returned as UTF-8:

conn4 = connect(ORACLEDB, 'ORACLE_PASSWORD', encoding="UTF-8", nencoding="UTF8")

The above is a solution when special characters are scrambled in the returned data.

Disabling fast_executemany for SQL Server and other pyODBC connections

By default an etlhelper pyODBC connection uses a cursor with its fast_executemany attribute set to True. This setting improves the performance of the executemany when performing bulk inserts to a SQL Server database. However, this overides the default behaviour of pyODBC and there are some limitations in doing this. Importantly, it is only recommended for applications that use Microsoft's ODBC Driver for SQL Server. See pyODBC fast_executemany.

Using fast_executemany may raise a MemoryError if query involves columns of types TEXT and NTEXT, which are now deprecated. Under these circumstances, etlhelper falls back on fast_executemany being set to False and produces a warning output. See Inserting into SQL server with fast_executemany results in MemoryError.

If required, the fast_executemany attribute can be set to False via the connect function:

conn5 = connect(MSSQLDB, 'MSSQL_PASSWORD', fast_executemany=False)

This keyword argument is used by etlhelper, any further keyword arguments are passed to the connect function of the underlying driver.


Database passwords must be specified via an environment variable. This reduces the temptation to store them within scripts. This can be done on the command line via:

  • export ORACLE_PASSWORD=some-secret-password on Linux
  • set ORACLE_PASSWORD=some-secret-password on Windows

Or in a Python terminal via:

import os
os.environ['ORACLE_PASSWORD'] = 'some-secret-password'

No password is required for SQLite databases.

Transfer data

Get rows

The get_rows function returns a list of named tuples containing data as native Python objects.

from my_databases import ORACLEDB
from etlhelper import get_rows

sql = "SELECT * FROM src"

with ORACLEDB.connect("ORA_PASSWORD") as conn:
    get_rows(sql, conn)


[Row(id=1, value=1.234, simple_text='text', utf8_text='Öæ°\nz',, 12, 7),
     date_time=datetime.datetime(2018, 12, 7, 13, 1, 59)),
 Row(id=2, value=2.234, simple_text='text', utf8_text='Öæ°\nz',, 12, 8),
     date_time=datetime.datetime(2018, 12, 8, 13, 1, 59)),
 Row(id=3, value=2.234, simple_text='text', utf8_text='Öæ°\nz',, 12, 9),
     date_time=datetime.datetime(2018, 12, 9, 13, 1, 59))]

Data are accessible via index (row[4]) or name (

Other functions are provided to select data. fetchone, fetchmany and fetchall are equivalent to the cursor methods specified in the DBAPI v2.0. dump_rows passes each row to a function (default is print).


It is recommended to use iter_rows for looping over large result sets. It is a generator function that only yields data as requested. This ensures that the data are not all loaded into memory at once.

with ORACLEDB.connect("ORA_PASSWORD") as conn:
    for row in iter_rows(sql, conn):


Variables can be inserted into queries by passing them as parameters. These "bind variables" are sanitised by the underlying drivers to prevent SQL injection attacks. The required paramstyle can be checked with MY_DB.paramstyle. A tuple is used for positional placeholders, or a dictionary for named placeholders.

select_sql = "SELECT * FROM src WHERE id = :id"

with ORACLEDB.connect("ORA_PASSWORD") as conn:
    get_rows(sql, conn, parameters={'id': 1})

Row factories

Row factories control the output format of returned rows.

For example return each row as a dictionary, use the following:

from etlhelper import get_rows
from etlhelper.row_factories import dict_row_factory

sql = "SELECT * FROM my_table"

with ORACLEDB.connect('ORACLE_PASSWORD') as conn:
    for row in get_rows(sql, conn, row_factory=dict_row_factory):

The dict_row_factory is useful when data are to be serialised to JSON/YAML, as those formats use dictionaries as input.

Four different row_factories are included, based in built-in Python types:

Row Factory Attribute access Mutable Parameter placeholder
namedtuple_row_factory (default) or row[0] No Positional
dict_row_factory row["id"] Yes Named
tuple_row_factory row[0] No Positional
list_row_factory row[0] Yes Positional

The choice of row factory depends on the use case. In general named tuples and dictionaries are best for readable code, while using tuples or lists can give a slight increase in performance. Mutable rows are convenient when used with transform functions because they can be modified without need to create a whole new output row.

When using copy_rows, it is necessary to use approriate parameter placeholder style for the chosen row factory in the INSERT query. Using the dict_row_factory requires a switch from named to positional parameter placeholders (e.g. %(id)s instead of %s for PostgreSQL, :id instead of :1 for Oracle). The pyodbc driver for MSSQL only supports positional placeholders.

When using the load function in conjuction with iter_chunks data must be either named tuples or dictionaries.


The transform parameter allows passing of a function to transform the data before returning it. The function must take a list of rows and return a list of modified rows. See copy_rows for more details.

Chunk size

All data extraction functions use iter_chunks behind the scenes. This reads rows from the database in chunks to prevent them all being loaded into memory at once. The default chunk_size is 5000 and this can be set via keyword argument.

Insert rows

execute can be used to insert a single row or to execute other single statements e.g. "CREATE TABLE ...". The executemany function is used to insert multiple rows of data. Large datasets are broken into chunks and inserted in batches to reduce the number of queries. A tuple with counts of rows processed and failed is returned.

from etlhelper import executemany

rows = [(1, 'value'), (2, 'another value')]
insert_sql = "INSERT INTO some_table (col1, col2) VALUES (%s, %s)"

with POSTGRESDB.connect('PGPASSWORD') as conn:
    processed, failed = executemany(insert_sql, conn, rows, chunk_size=1000)

The chunk_size default is 5,000 and it can be set with a keyword argument. The commit_chunks flag defaults to True. This ensures that an error during a large data transfer doesn't require all the records to be sent again. Some work may be required to determine which records remain to be sent. Setting commit_chunks to False will roll back the entire transfer in case of an error.

Some database engines can return autogenerated values (e.g. primary key IDs) after INSERT statements. To capture these values, use the fetchone method to execute the SQL command instead.

insert_sql = "INSERT INTO my_table (message) VALUES ('hello') RETURNING id"

with POSTGRESDB.connect('PGPASSWORD') as conn:
    result = fetchone(insert_sql, conn)


The load function is similar to executemany except that it autogenerates an insert query based on the data provided. It uses generate_insert_query to remove the need to explicitly write the query for simple cases. By calling this function manually, users can create a base insert query that can be extended with clauses such as ON CONFLICT DO NOTHING.

As generate_insert_query creates SQL statements from user-provided input, it checks the table and column names to ensure that they only contain valid characters.

Handling insert errors

The default behaviour of etlhelper is to raise an exception on the first error and abort the transfer. Sometimes it is desirable to ignore the errors and to do something else with the failed rows. The on_error parameter allows a function to be passed that is applied to the failed rows of each chunk. The input is a list of (row, exception) tuples.

Different examples are given here. The simplest approach is to collect all the errors into a list to process at the end.

errors = []
executemany(sql, conn, rows, on_error=errors.extend)

if errors:

Errors can be logged to the etlhelper logger.

from etlhelper import logger

def log_errors(failed_rows):
    for row, exception in failed_rows:

executemany(sql, conn, rows, on_error=log_errors)

The IDs of failed rows can be written to a file.

def write_bad_ids(failed_rows):
    with open('bad_ids.txt', 'at') as out_file:
        for row, exception in failed_rows:

executemany(sql, conn, rows, on_error=write_bad_ids)

executemany, load, copy_rows and copy_table_rows can all take an on_error parameter. They each return a tuple containing the number of rows processed and the number of rows that failed.

Copy table rows

copy_table_rows provides a simple way to copy all the data from one table to another. It can take a transform function in case some modification of the data, e.g. change of case of column names, is required.

from my_databases import POSTGRESDB, ORACLEDB
from etlhelper import copy_table_rows

with ORACLEDB.connect("ORA_PASSWORD") as src_conn:
    with POSTGRESDB.connect("PG_PASSWORD") as dest_conn:
	copy_table_rows('my_table', src_conn, dest_conn)

The chunk_size, commit_chunks and on_error parameters can all be set. A tuple with counts of rows processed and failed is returned.

Combining iter_rows with load

For extra control selecting the data to be transferred, iter_rows can be combined with load.

from my_databases import POSTGRESDB, ORACLEDB
from etlhelper import iter_rows, load

select_sql = """
    SELECT id, name, value FROM my_table
    WHERE value > :min_value

with ORACLEDB.connect("ORA_PASSWORD") as src_conn:
    with POSTGRESDB.connect("PG_PASSWORD") as dest_conn:
        rows = iter_rows(select_sql, src_conn, parameters={'min_value': 99})
	load('my_table', dest_conn, rows)

Copy rows

Customising both queries gives the greatest control on data selection and loading. copy_rows takes the results from a SELECT query and applies them as parameters to an INSERT query. The source and destination tables must already exist. For example, here we use GROUP BY and WHERE in the SELECT query and insert extra auto-generated values via the INSERT query.

from my_databases import POSTGRESDB, ORACLEDB
from etlhelper import copy_rows

select_sql = """
      SUM (amount) AS total_amount
    FROM payment
    WHERE id > 1000
    GROUP BY customer_id
insert_sql = """
    INSERT INTO dest (customer_id, total_amount, loaded_by, load_time)
    VALUES (%s, %s, current_user, now())

with ORACLEDB.connect("ORA_PASSWORD") as src_conn:
    with POSTGRESDB.connect("PG_PASSWORD") as dest_conn:
        copy_rows(select_sql, src_conn, insert_sql, dest_conn)

parameters can be passed to the SELECT query as before and the commit_chunks, chunk_size and on_error options can be set.

A tuple of rows processed and failed is returned.


Data can be transformed in-flight by applying a transform function. This is any Python callable (e.g. function) that takes an iterator (e.g. list) and returns another iterator. Transform functions are applied to data as they are read from the database and can be used with get_rows-type methods and with copy_rows.

The following code demonstrates that the returned chunk can have a different number of rows, and be of different length, to the input. When used with copy_rows, the INSERT query must contain the correct placeholders for the transform result. Extra data can result from a calculation, a call to a webservice or another database.

import random

def my_transform(chunk):
    # Append random integer (1-10), filter if <5.

    new_chunk = []
    for row in chunk:  # each row is a namedtuple
        extra_value = random.randrange(10)
        if extra_value >= 5:
            new_chunk.append((*row, extra_value))

    return new_chunk

copy_rows(select_sql, src_conn, insert_sql, dest_conn,

It can be easier to modify individual columns when using the dict_row_factory (see above).

from etlhelper.row_factories import dict_row_factory

def my_transform(chunk):
    # Add prefix to id, remove newlines, set lower case email addresses

    new_chunk = []
    for row in chunk:  # each row is a dictionary
        row['id'] += 1000
        row['description'] = row['description'].replace('\n', ' ')
        row['email'] = row['email'].lower()

    return new_chunk

get_rows(select_sql, src_conn, row_factory=dict_row_factory,

The iter_chunks and iter_rows functions that are used internally return generators. Each chunk or row of data is only accessed when it is required. The transform function can also be written to return a generator instead of a list. Data transformation can then be performed via memory-efficient iterator-chains.

Aborting running jobs

When running as a script, etlhelper jobs can be stopped by pressing CTRL-C. This option is not available when the job is running as a background process, e.g. in a GUI application. The abort_etlhelper_threads() function is provided to cancel jobs running in a separate thread by raising an ETLHelperAbort exception within the thread.

The state of the data when the job is cancelled (or crashes) depends on the arguments passed to executemany (or the functions that call it e.g. load, copy_rows).

  • If commit_chunks is True (default), all chunks up to the one where the error occured are committed.
  • If commit_chunks is False, everything is rolled back and the database is unchanged.
  • If an on_error function is defined, all rows without errors are committed.


The following utility functions provide useful database metadata.

Table info

The table_info function provides basic metadata for a table. An optional schema can be used. Note that for sqlite the schema value is currently ignored.

from etlhelper.utils import table_info

with ORACLEDB.connect("ORA_PASSWORD") as conn:
    columns = table_info('my_table', conn, schema='my_schema')

The returned value is a list of named tuples of four values. Each tuple represents one column in the table, giving its name, type, if it has a NOT NULL constraint and if is has a DEFAULT value constraint. For example,

    Column(name='ID', type='NUMBER', not_null=1, has_default=0),
    Column(name='VALUE', type='VARCHAR2', not_null=0, has_default=1),

the ID column is of type NUMBER and has a NOT NULL constraint but not a DEFAULT value, while the VALUE column is of type VARCHAR2, can be NULL but does have a DEFAULT value.


The following recipes demonstrate how etlhelper can be used.

Debug SQL and monitor progress with logging

ETL Helper provides a custom logging handler. Time-stamped messages indicating the number of rows processed can be enabled by setting the log level to INFO. Setting the level to DEBUG provides information on the query that was run, example data and the database connection.

import logging
from etlhelper import logger


Output from a call to copy_rows will look like:

2019-10-07 15:06:22,411 iter_chunks: Fetching rows
2019-10-07 15:06:22,413 executemany: 1 rows processed
2019-10-07 15:06:22,416 executemany: 2 rows processed
2019-10-07 15:06:22,419 executemany: 3 rows processed
2019-10-07 15:06:22,420 iter_chunks: 3 rows returned
2019-10-07 15:06:22,420 executemany: 3 rows processed in total

Note: errors on database connections output messages that include login credentials in clear text.

Database to database copy ETL script template

The following is a template for an ETL script. It copies copy all the sensor readings from the previous day from an Oracle source to PostgreSQL destination.


import datetime as dt
from etl_helper import copy_rows
from my_databases import ORACLEDB, POSTGRESDB

CREATE_SQL = dedent("""
    CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS sensordata.readings
      sensor_data_id bigint PRIMARY KEY,
      measure_id bigint,
      time_stamp timestamp without time zone,
      meas_value double precision

DELETE_SQL = dedent("""
    DELETE FROM sensordata.readings
    WHERE time_stamp BETWEEN %(startdate)s AND %(enddate)s

SELECT_SQL = dedent("""
    SELECT id, measure_id, time_stamp, reading
    FROM sensor_data
    WHERE time_stamp BETWEEN :startdate AND :enddate
    ORDER BY time_stamp

INSERT_SQL = dedent("""
    INSERT INTO sensordata.readings (sensor_data_id, measure_id, time_stamp,
    VALUES (%s, %s, %s, %s)

def copy_readings(startdate, enddate):
    params = {'startdate': startdate, 'enddate': enddate}

    with ORACLEDB.connect("ORA_PASSWORD") as src_conn:
        with POSTGRESDB.connect("PG_PASSWORD") as dest_conn:
            execute(CREATE_SQL dest_conn)
            execute(DELETE_SQL, dest_conn, parameters=params)
            copy_rows(SELECT_SQL, src_conn,
                      INSERT_SQL, dest_conn,

if __name__ == "__main__":
    # Copy data from 00:00:00 yesterday to 00:00:00 today
    today = dt.combine(, dt.time.min)
    yesterday = today - dt.timedelta(1)

    copy_readings(yesterday, today)

It is valuable to create idempotent scripts to ensure that they can be rerun without problems. In this example, the "CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS" command can be called repeatedly. The DELETE_SQL command clears existing data prior to insertion to prevent duplicate key errors. SQL syntax such as "INSERT OR UPDATE", "UPSERT" or "INSERT ... ON CONFLICT" may be more efficient, but the the exact commands depend on the target database type.

Calling ETL Helper scripts from Apache Airflow

The following is an Apache Airflow DAG that uses the copy_readings function defined in the script above. The Airflow scheduler will create tasks for each day since 1 August 2019 and call copy_readings with the appropriate start and end times.


import datetime as dt
from airflow import DAG
from airflow.operators.python_operator import PythonOperator
import copy_readings

def copy_readings_with_args(**kwargs):
    # Set arguments for copy_readings from context
    start = kwargs.get('prev_execution_date')
    end = kwargs.get('execution_date')
    copy_readings.copy_readings(start, end)

dag = DAG('readings',
          start_date=dt.datetime(2019, 8, 1),

t1 = PythonOperator(

Spatial ETL

No specific drivers are required for spatial data if they are transferred as Well Known Text.

select_sql_oracle = """
    FROM src

insert_sql_postgis = """
    INSERT INTO dest (id, geom) VALUES (
      ST_Transform(ST_GeomFromText(%s, 4326), 27700)

Other spatial operations e.g. coordinate transforms, intersections and buffering can be carried out in the SQL. Transform functions can manipulate geometries using the Shapely library.

Database to API / NoSQL copy ETL script template

etlhelper can be combined with Python's aiohttp library to create an ETL for posting data from a database into an HTTP API. The API could be a NoSQL document store (e.g. ElasticSearch, Cassandra) or some other web service.

This example transfers data from Oracle to ElasticSearch. It uses iter_chunks to fetch data from the database without loading it all into memory at once. A custom transform function creates a dictionary structure from each row of data. This is "dumped" into JSON and posted to the API via aiohttp.

aiohttp allows the records in each chunk to be posted to the API asynchronously. The API is often the bottleneck in such pipelines and we have seen significant speed increases (e.g. 10x) using asynchronous transfer as opposed to posting records in series.

import asyncio
import datetime as dt
import json
import logging

import aiohttp
from etlhelper import iter_chunks

from db import ORACLE_DB

logger = logging.getLogger("copy_sensors_async")

    WHERE date_updated BETWEEN :startdate AND :enddate
    ORDER BY date_updated
BASE_URL = "http://localhost:9200/"
HEADERS = {'Content-Type': 'application/json'}

def copy_sensors(startdate, enddate):
    """Read sensors from Oracle and post to REST API.""""Copying sensors with timestamps from %s to %s",
                startdate.isoformat(), enddate.isoformat())
    row_count = 0

    with ORACLE_DB.connect('ORACLE_PASSWORD') as conn:
        # chunks is a generator that yields lists of dictionaries
        chunks = iter_chunks(SELECT_SENSORS, conn,
                             parameters={"startdate": startdate,
                                         "enddate": enddate},

        for chunk in chunks:
            result =
            row_count += len(result)
  "%s items transferred", row_count)"Transfer complete")

def transform_sensors(chunk):
    """Transform rows to dictionaries suitable for converting to JSON."""
    new_chunk = []

    for row in chunk:
        new_row = {
            'sample_code': row.CODE,
            'description': row.DESCRIPTION,
            'metadata': {
                'source': 'ORACLE_DB',  # fixed value
                'transferred_at':  # dynamic value

    return new_chunk

async def post_chunk(chunk):
    """Post multiple items to API asynchronously."""
    async with aiohttp.ClientSession() as session:
        # Build list of tasks
        tasks = []
        for item in chunk:
            tasks.append(post_one(item, session))

        # Process tasks in parallel.  An exception in any will be raised.
        result = await asyncio.gather(*tasks)

    return result

async def post_one(item, session):
    """Post a single item to API using existing aiohttp Session."""
    # Post the item
    response = await + 'sensors/_doc', headers=HEADERS,

    # Log responses before throwing errors because error info is not included
    # in generated Exceptions and so cannot otherwise be seen for debugging.
    if response.status >= 400:
        response_text = await response.text()
        logger.error('The following item failed: %s\nError message:\n(%s)',
                     item, response_text)
        await response.raise_for_status()

    return response.status

if __name__ == "__main__":
    # Configure logging
    handler = logging.StreamHandler()
    formatter = logging.Formatter('%(asctime)s %(levelname)-8s %(message)s')

    # Copy data from 1 January 2000 to 00:00:00 today
    today = dt.datetime.combine(, dt.time.min)
    copy_sensors(dt.datetime(2000, 1, 1), today)

In this example, failed rows will fail the whole job. Removing the raise_for_status() call will let them just be logged instead.

CSV load script template

The following script is an example of using the load function to import data from a CSV file into a database. It shows how a transform function can perform common parsing tasks such as renaming columns and converting timestamps into datetime objects. The database has a CHECK constraint that rejects any rows with an ID divisible by 1000. An example on_error function prints the IDs of rows that fail to insert.

Script to create database and load observations data from csv file. It also
demonstrates how an `on_error` function can handle failed rows.

Generate observations.csv with:
curl '$,result,phenomenonTime&$top=20000&$resultFormat=csv' -o observations.csv
import csv
import datetime as dt
from typing import Iterable, List, Tuple

from etlhelper import execute, load, DbParams

def load_observations(csv_file, conn):
    """Load observations from csv_file to db_file."""
    # Drop table (helps with repeated test runs!)
    drop_table_sql = """
        DROP TABLE IF EXISTS observations
    execute(drop_table_sql, conn)

    # Create table (reject ids with no remainder when divided by 1000)
    create_table_sql = """
        CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS observations (
          id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY CHECK (id % 1000),
          time TIMESTAMP,
          result FLOAT
    execute(create_table_sql, conn)

    # Load data
    with open(csv_file, 'rt') as f:
        reader = csv.DictReader(f)
        load('observations', conn, transform(reader), on_error=on_error)

# The on_error function is called after each chunk with all the failed rows
def on_error(failed_rows: List[Tuple[dict, Exception]]) -> None:
    """Print the IDs of failed rows"""
    rows, exceptions = zip(*failed_rows)
    failed_ids = [row['id'] for row in rows]
    print(f"Failed IDs: {failed_ids}")

# A transform function that takes an iterable and yields one row at a time
# returns a "generator".  The generator is also iterable, and records are
# processed as they are read so the whole file is never held in memory.
def transform(rows: Iterable[dict]) -> Iterable[dict]:
    """Rename time column and convert to Python datetime."""
    for row in rows:
        row['time'] = row.pop('phenomenonTime')
        row['time'] = dt.datetime.strptime(row['time'], "%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S.%fZ")
        yield row

if __name__ == "__main__":
    import logging
    from etlhelper import logger

    db = DbParams(dbtype="SQLITE", filename="observations.sqlite")
    with db.connect() as conn:
        load_observations('observations.csv', conn)

Export data to CSV

The Pandas library can connect to databases via SQLAlchemy. It has powerful tools for manipulating tabular data. ETL Helper makes it easy to prepare the SQL Alchemy connection.

import pandas as pd
from sqlalchemy import create_engine

from my_databases import ORACLEDB

engine = create_engine(ORACLEDB.get_sqlalchemy_connection_string("ORACLE_PASSWORD"))

sql = "SELECT * FROM my_table"
df = pd.read_sql(sql, engine)
df.to_csv('my_data.csv', header=True, index=False, float_format='%.3f')



ETL Helper was created by and is maintained by British Geological Survey Informatics.

Development status

The code is still under active development and breaking changes are possible. Users should pin the version in their dependency lists and watch the repository for new releases. See for details on how to contribute.


ETL Helper is distributed under the LGPL v3.0 licence. Copyright: © BGS / UKRI 2019



ETL Helper is a Python ETL library to simplify data transfer into and out of databases.



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