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SDK Codegen

This Looker Open Source repository is released under the MIT license. By using this repository, you agree to the terms of that license, and acknowledge that you are doing so at your own risk.

While Looker has developed and tested this code internally, we cannot guarantee that the open-source tools used by the scripts in this repository have not been modified with malicious code.

Important - If you are using the Looker TypeScript SDK, please see this note on explaining changes to dependencies and packaging.


The TypeScript and Python SDKs are officially supported by Looker/Google. Issues can be logged here in the GitHub Issues page, but can also be logged with Looker Support. The other language SDKs are community supported. Issues for these should be logged only in the GitHub Issues page. Details of Looker API and SDK support can be found at


This repository contains:

The parts of the Looker SDK

We hope to help people who want to use Looker as a platform get up and running quickly, largely by providing pre-built client SDKs in the most popular languages, and implementing consistency across all languages and platforms.

The Looker SDK has several parts:

  • The Looker API, described by an OpenAPI specification (e.g., the Swagger 2.x representation found at https://<your-looker-domain>:19999/api/4.0/swagger.json). The 4.0 API is our current & stable API. As of October 2023, 3.x has been removed.

  • The Looker API Explorer, an interactive reference, accessible either stand-alone at, or installable into your Looker instance as an extension from the Looker Marketplace.

  • Language SDKs, "smarter" client language classes and methods to improve the experience of calling the Looker API in various popular coding languages. Some SDKs are Looker-supported whereas others are community-supported.

SDK Versions

The 4.0 version of the API is the current and stable version of the API. The 3.x API has now been removed.

For self-hosted instances on older versions of Looker, please use the corresponding release of `sdk-codegen`` to use API 3.x.

Note: API credentials have not been changed between API 3.x and API 4 and may continue to be referred to as "API3" credentials in the Looker UI, docs, or elsewhere.

Automatic URL encoding for input values

TL;DR: don't URL encode your inputs because the SDKs will automatically handle it.

All SDKs URL encode (also known as percent encoding) input values for passing to the API endpoints automatically. Furthermore, except for Swift, which has problematic URL decoding support, the other SDKs will avoid double-encoding inputs that may already be encoded.

Using existing, pre-generated SDKs

When a specific language SDK has been developed, Looker makes that SDK available using the standard package manager for that platform. Currently, the Python SDK and the TypeScript SDK can be installed from their respective package managers by following the instructions in their readmes.

For the other SDKs in this repository, you can copy and paste the source code into a module for your own project. Every SDK will eventually have a deployed package version.

If you want to use the generation options for an SDK, read on.

Generating an API language binding

There are three steps for generating an SDK with this project:

  • configure a looker.ini file so the Looker API specification can be retrieved from your Looker server.

    • Note: previous versions of the looker.ini file had an api_version entry. This is no longer required. The code generator project will read an api_versions value if that is found, but the SDKs ignore this value. If api_versions is not found in the ini file, it defaults to "4.0" for the generator to produce the definitions for the supported API versions.
  • install the code generator project dependencies by running:

yarn install
yarn build

The resources required to run the code generator are in package.json.

Note: If yarn is not installed, use these instructions to install it.

  • run the SDK generator with yarn gen [language]

  • Note: Generating Client SDKs for the Looker API describes the legacy, manual steps for generating an API language binding. This project replaces these manual steps, and uses an improved code generator.

Configuring looker.ini or .env

The code generator and other scripts and tests read a configuration file called looker.ini to fetch the API specification from a server. This configuration file needs to be in the root folder of the code generator.

To create looker.ini, copy looker-sample.ini to looker.ini and fill in the required values. The values for client_id and client_secret can be retrieved by navigating to https://<your_looker_endpoint>/admin/users, editing your user, editing API keys, and clicking the "reveal" button to view your client_id and client_secret. If there are currently no API credentials, they can be generated by clicking “New API Key.”

For your own source code repositories, be sure to configure your version control system to ignore the SDK configuration .ini file so it doesn't accidentally get published somewhere unauthorized people can see it.

Unlike some other OpenAPI code generators, the Looker SDK code generator never writes access information into SDK source code. All SDKs provided by Looker are designed to receive the credentials required to call API methods via a readConfig() method that returns a key/value collection, where client_id and client_secret are retrieved, and used only for the time it takes to complete a login for authentication token retrieval, then they are immediately discarded from memory.

Note: If a .env file is found, this will override values from looker.ini. To use a .env file for configuration instead, copy env-sample to .env and provide the correct values for the environment variables.

Invoke the SDK code generator with the command:

yarn gen

To always use the latest Looker API specification for SDK generation, use:

yarn wipe && yarn gen

The code generator will:

  • read the Looker API configuration(s) from the looker.ini file.

    • Note: Normally there should only be one (1) entry in looker.ini. This first ini section is what is used for the SDKs by default, and also by the code generator.
  • download (if the API specification file is not already present) the Looker API specification file(s) from the configured Looker server(s)

  • convert (if the converted file is not already present) the downloaded Swagger 2 specification file(s) to OpenAPI 3.x

  • validate the OpenAPI 3.x file(s)

  • by default, call the code generator for each active language

    • To generate one specific language SDK, use yarn gen {language}. The supported languages have a factory declared in the Generators array in codeGenerators.ts

When the generator completes successfully, the output will be similar to:

      (run-time library hand-written files here)
    sdk (automatically generated) (automatically generated)

Note: If you're unable to download the API specification file because you're using an instance of Looker that is self-signed and errors are thrown, you can explicitly turn off SSL verification by putting verify_ssl=false in the looker.ini file configuration section.

Using the Legacy generator

To generate a language currently not supported by Looker's SDK code generator with the OpenAPI generator:

  • configure the desired language in codeGenerators.ts.

  • use yarn legacy to call the OpenAPI generator. This will use the OpenAPI generator to output files to the ./api/* path

Additional scripts


yarn run

to see the list of all scripts that can be run by the code generator.

After generation, the generated code might not conform with the code standards. Changes cannot be committed until they pass the lint tests. This can be checked with the following:

yarn lint

For a faster run, only the modified files can be checked with any of these commands:

yarn lint-changed
yarn lint -q
yarn lint --quick

Fixes can automagically be applied with one of the following:

yarn lint-changed-fix
yarn lint -q -f
yarn lint --quick --fix

SDK Examples

The examples directory contains code snippets and projects written using the Looker language SDKs. You may find useful code in that repository. and are also welcome to contribute additional examples.

API Troubleshooting

See the official documentation for API Troubleshooting suggestions.


In addition to swagger being deprecated, this visual guide shows why OpenAPI 3.x is preferred to Swagger 2.x.

Securing your SDK credentials

Looker improves on the security of the generated code for SDKs by never storing your server location or API credentials in the source code generated by the Looker code generator. The SDKs also provide some customizable support for providing API configuration values like server location and credentials to the SDK. In every Looker SDK, there is an overrideable method called readConfig() that can be customized to retrieve and return SDK configuration values from your preferred secure storage location.

Each Looker SDK has existing readConfig() examples that read from .ini files or environment variables. These are intended to support a quick start when developing with a Looker SDK. If a production environment prohibits secure use of .ini files or environment variables, another method of retrieving API configuration values is required. The API configuration retrieval function readConfig() can be overridden to support alternate storage scenarios.

Typically, client_id and client_secret are the only key values that will need to be dynamically retrieved from the readConfig() override method because the other configuration values are saved in memory by the initialized SDK client. In the near future, there will be additional authentication flows (such as OAuth) supported by Looker SDKs. The dynamic result that is returned by readConfig() can also be useful in those additional scenarios.

A short TypeScript SDK example that customizes readConfig() is available in the SDK Examples repository.

There is also a Kotlin SDK unit test in this repository with a short example:

class MockSettings(contents: String) : ApiSettings(contents) {
    override fun readConfig(): Map<String, String> {
        return mapOf(
                "base_url" to baseUrl,
                "verify_ssl" to verifySSL.toString(),
                "timeout" to timeout.toString(),
                "headers" to headers.toString(),
                "client_id" to mockId,
                "client_secret" to mockSecret

Please consult with the security professionals in your organization to determine the best way to secure your credentials for your own Looker SDK usage.

Warnings for using .ini files to configure the SDK

To streamline getting started with the Looker SDKs, support for reading SDK credentials from an .ini file is included as a simple method for providing access information (server url and API credentials) to the SDK. If the source code to your Looker SDK application is shared in a version control system, the .ini file should be ignored so it never gets inadvertently published.

If the SDK application using an .ini file is available publicly, download or viewing of this .ini file should also be prohibited by the server hosting the application.

Warnings for using Environment variables to configure the SDK

If the host environment for a Looker SDK supports environment variables, the SDK can also read environment variables to retrieve the server url and API credentials. Environment variables could also be visible to intrusive malware that may penetrate your application, so this option for providing credentials should also be used with caution.

Environment variable configuration

Environment variables can be used for any SDK runtime that supports reading environment variables. Environment variables can be used in the:

  • Node version of the TypeScript/JavaScript Looker SDK
  • Python SDK
  • Swift SDK
  • Kotlin SDK
  • Go SDK

The following table describes the environment variables. By default, the SDK "namespace" is "LookerSDK" which is converted to UPPERCASE when used for naming environment variables.

Variable name Description
LOOKERSDK_BASE_URL A URL like No default value.
LOOKERSDK_VERIFY_SSL true, t, yes, y, or 1 (case insensitive) to enable SSL verification. Any other value is treated as false. Defaults to true if not set.
LOOKERSDK_TIMEOUT Request timeout in seconds. Defaults to 120 for most platforms.
LOOKERSDK_CLIENT_ID API credentials client_id. This and client_secret must be provided in some fashion to the Node SDK, or no calls to the API will be authorized. No default value.
LOOKERSDK_CLIENT_SECRET API credentials client_secret. No default value.

Configuration variable precedence

Configuration variables should be processed as follows:

  • if the default configuration .ini file exists, apply the values
  • if an environment variable exists, apply the value
  • if a configuration value is explicitly in code, apply that value
  • if a command-line switch is supported, apply that value