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* SG-21729 Update docs for entity fields.

* Update docs/cookbook/usage_tips.rst

Co-authored-by: Shayna Duguid <>


Co-authored-by: Shayna Duguid <>

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VFX Platform Python 2.7 3.7 Reference Documentation Build Status Coverage Status

ShotGrid Python API

ShotGrid provides a simple Python-based API for accessing ShotGrid and integrating with other tools. This is the official API that is maintained by ShotGrid Software (

The latest version can always be found at

Minimum Requirements

  • Python v3.7


Tutorials and detailed documentation about the Python API are available at

Some useful direct links:


You can see the full history of the Python API on the documentation site.

Updating HTTPLib2

The API comes with a copy of the httplib2 inside the shotgun_api3/lib folder. To update the copy to a more recent version of the API, you can run the script at the root of this repository like this:

python vX.Y.Z

where vX.Y.Z is a release found on httplib2's release page.

Maintaining Python 2 and 3 compatibility

python-api should remain compatible with both Python 2, and 3. To make this easier, we use six. When adding code that works with types that have changed between Python 2 and 3, notably strings and files, it's advisable to use the six types for casting and comparisons. Be sure to follow Python 2 and 3 compatible conventions in code, especially when raising or capturing exceptions and printing. While we don't use future, this page contains a fairly comprehensive list of Python 2/3 compatibility sticking points to look out for.

Additionally, the python-modernize tool can be helpful when updating Python 2 code for Python 3 compatibility.


Comparisons against changed types:

Python 2:

if isinstance(my_variable, str):

Python 2/3:

if isinstance(my_variable, six.string_types):

Catching exceptions

Python 2:

except SomeExceptionType, e:
    print "I like to swallow exceptions!"

Python 2/3:

from __future__ import print_function
except SomeExceptionType as e:
    print("I like to swallow exceptions!")

Print statements

Python 2:

print "My spoon is too big!"

Python 2/3:

from __future__ import print_function
print("My spoon is too big!")

Additionally, when testing locally, tests should be run for both python 2 and python 3 to ensure changes won't break cross-compatibility.


Integration and unit tests are provided.

  • All tests require:
  • A tests/config file (you can copy an example from tests/example_config).
  • Tests can be run individually like this: nosetests --config="nose.cfg" tests/
    • Make sure to not forget the --config="nose.cfg" option. This option tells nose to use our config file. This will exclude python 2- and 3-specific files in the /lib directory, preventing a failure from being reported by nose for compilation due to incompatible syntax in those files.
  • test_client and tests_unit use mock server interaction and do not require a ShotGrid instance to be available (no modifications to tests/config are necessary).
  • test_api and test_api_long do require a ShotGrid instance, with a script key available for the tests. The server and script user values must be supplied in the tests/config file. The tests will add test data to your server based on information in your config. This data will be manipulated by the tests, and should not be used for other purposes.
  • To run all of the tests, use the shell script run-tests.

Release process

Packaging up new release

  1. Update the Changelog in the HISTORY.rst file
    • Add bullet points for any changes that have happened since the previous release. This may include changes you did not make so look at the commit history and make sure we don't miss anything. If you notice something was done that wasn't added to the changelog, hunt down that engineer and make them feel guilty for not doing so. This is a required step in making changes to the API.
    • Try and match the language of previous change log messages. We want to keep a consistent voice.
    • Make sure the date of the release matches today. We try and keep this TBD until we're ready to do a release so it's easy to catch that it needs to be updated.
    • Make sure the version number is filled out and correct. We follow semantic versioning.
  2. Ensure any changes or additions to public methods are documented
    • Ensure that doc strings are updated in the code itself to work with Sphinx and are correctly formatted.
    • Examples are always good especially if this a new feature or method.
    • Think about a new user to the API trying to figure out how to use the features you're documenting.
  3. Update the version value in python-api/ to match the version you are packaging. This controls what version users will get when installing via pip.
  4. Update the __version__ value in shotgun_api3/ to the version you're releasing. This identified the current version within the API itself.
  5. Commit these changes in master with a commit message like packaging for the vx.x.x release.
  6. Create a tag based off of the master branch called vx.x.x to match the version number you're releasing.
  7. Push master and your tag to Github.
  8. Update the Releases page with your new release.
    • The release should already be there from your tag but if not, create a new one.
    • Add more detailed information regarding the changes in this release. This is a great place to add examples, and reasons for the change!

Letting the world know

Post a message in the Pipeline Community channel.

Prepare for the Next Dev Cycle

  1. Update the __version__ value in shotgun_api3/ to the next version number with .dev appended to it. For example,
  2. Add a new section to the Changelog in the HISTORY.rst file with the next version number and a TBD date
    **v3.0.24 - TBD**
       + TBD
  1. Commit the changes to master with a commit message like Bump version to
  2. Push master to Github