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SDK for the Voxel51 Vision Services Platform
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Voxel51 Platform SDK

An SDK for deploying custom analytics to the Voxel51 Platform.

Available at



To install the library, first clone it:

# Clone the repository
git clone
cd platform-sdk

# Run the install script
bash install.bash

cd ..

Next, if you have not already, go to and create a Platform Account.

If you would like to programmatically upload your analytics and test them via the Platform API, you also need to install the Python client library:

# Clone the repository
git clone
cd api-py

# Install the library
pip install -r requirements.txt
pip install -e .

cd ..

After installing the client library, follow these instructions to download and activiate an API token to enable use of the client library.


See the Quickstart Guide for step-by-step instructions on using this SDK to wrap your custom analytic for deployment to the Voxel51 Platform.

See the Example Analytic directory for an end-to-end example of building and deploying a test analytic to the platform.


The Voxel51 Platform is a scalable compute cluster that allows users to process their video (or other) data through state-of-the-art video understanding algorithms. The platform is generic and can be deployed in the cloud (Google Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure, etc.) or on-premises in a private datacenter.

Algorithms are deployed to the platform as analytics, which are concrete processing modules that take video (or other) data as input and output metadata (e.g., object detections, image classifications, etc.) in a predefined format. In turn, users can create jobs to run analytics on data they have uploaded to the platform. Each analytic is deployed to the platform as a Docker container. When a job is requested on the platform, the Docker image for the corresponding analytic is deployed as a Pod in a Kubernetes cluster and the specified data is processed.

The platform contains many publicly available analytics that are maintained by Voxel51. The Analytics Documentation describes the interface of these analytics in detail. In addition, the platform allows users and third-party applications to deploy custom analytics to the platform for private use by uploading their own Docker images. This repository contains an easy-to-use SDK that allows you to wrap your custom algorithms with a Docker entrypoint that implements the platform's analytic interface. See the Analytic Deployment section below to learn how to deploy your custom analytics to the platform either programmatically via the API or the web-based console.

Regardless of where the platform is deployed, users interact with it via the Platform API, which exposes the interface through which users can upload and manage data resources, run analytics on data, monitor the status of their jobs, download the outputs of jobs, access statements and billing, and more. For more information about the Platform API, refer to the API Documentation.

Analytic interface

All analytics deployed to the platform must be implemented as Docker containers that support the platform's interface as described below.

The platform communicates with analytic Docker images by setting the following environment variables:

  • TASK_DESCRIPTION : the URL from which to download a JSON file that describes the task to be performed

  • JOB_ID : the ID of the job being executed by this task

  • API_TOKEN : the API token that the process can use to communicate with the Platform API

  • API_BASE_URL: the base URL of the Platform API that the SDK will use

The following JSON file shows an example of a task specification provided to the vehicle-sense analytic:

    "analytic": "vehicle-sense",
    "version": "0.1.0",
    "job_id": "2ffe1110-b446-427d-8829-db9ac95d0638",
    "inputs": {
        "video": {
            "signed-url": ""
    "parameters": {},
    "output": {
        "signed-url": ""
    "status": {
        "signed-url": ""
    "logfile": {
        "signed-url": ""

In the above JSON, the analytic key specifies the name of the analytic being run, and the version key specifies the particular version of the analytic. The job_id specifies the ID of the platform job being executed, which is used by the SDK when communicating the status of the task to the platform. The job ID is also provided via environment variable, which is done as a safety measure to support failure reporting in cases when the task JSON cannot be downloaded or parsed. The inputs object specifies where the process should download its input(s), and the parameters object specifies any parameters that were set. Finally the output, status, and logfile objects specify where to upload the task outputs, status file, and logfile, respectively.

The Platform SDK provides a voxel51.platform.task.TaskConfig class that conveniently encapsulates reading and parsing the above specification. In particular, each of the remote file locations are encapsulated by the voxel51.platform.utils.RemotePathConfig class, which abstracts the nature and location of the remote files from your analytic. Thus no changes to your code are required for your analytic to support reading/writing files from different remote storage providers (Google Cloud, AWS Cloud, private datacenters, etc.)

As a task is being executed, the Platform SDK provides a convenient interface for reporting the status of the task to the platform. The following JSON file shows an example of the status of a completed vehicle-sense task that was reported automatically via the Platform SDK:

    "analytic": "vehicle-sense",
    "version": "0.1.0",
    "state": "COMPLETE",
    "start_time": "2019-02-02 07:14:28",
    "complete_time": "2019-02-02 07:32:45",
    "fail_time": null,
    "failure_type": "NONE",
    "messages": [
            "message": "Task started",
            "time": "2019-02-02 07:14:28"
            "message": "Task complete",
            "time": "2019-02-02 07:32:45"
    "inputs": {
        "video": {
            "frame_size": [1920, 1080],
            "frame_rate": 30.0,
            "total_frame_count": 1800,
            "duration": 60.0,
            "size_bytes": 3429628200,
            "encoding_str": "avc1"
    "posted_data": {}

See the Quickstart Guide for more details about the interface provided by the Platform SDK.

Analytic deployment

You can deploy new custom analytics or new versions of your existing analytics at any time via the API or the web console. Deploying a new analytic is a simple two step process:

  • Upload an analytic JSON to the platform that describes the details and interface of the analytic you plan to upload. See the API Documentation for a description of the format of this JSON file.

  • Upload the corresponding Docker image(s) for your analytic. The platform supports analytic execution via either CPU-only or GPU-enabled compute. You must upload a separate Docker image for each execution mode for which you declared support in your analytic JSON.

Once you have uploaded your analytic JSON and Docker images, your analytic is ready for production use!

Deployment via API

New analytics can be published programmatically via the Platform API or any of its client libraries. For example, the following code snippet shows how to publish a GPU-enabled analytic using the Python client library:

from voxel51.users.api import API

analytic_json_path = "/path/to/analytic.json"
analytic_image_path = "/path/to/image.tar.gz"

api = API()

# Upload analytic JSON
analytic = api.upload_analytic(analytic_json_path)
analytic_id = analytic["id"]

# Upload image
api.upload_analytic_image(analytic_id, analytic_image_path, "gpu")

See the API Documentation for more complete instructions for deploying analytics via the API.

Deployment via web console

You can also publish new analytics via the web-based Platform Console. To do so, simply login to your platform account, navigate to the Analytics page, and click Upload.


This project uses Sphinx-Napoleon to generate its documentation from source. To generate the documentation, run:

bash docs/generate_docs.bash

To view the documentation, open the docs/build/html/index.html file in your browser.


Copyright 2017-2019, Voxel51, Inc.

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