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PyAirbyte - what it is and what it’s not

· 2 min read
Adrian Brudaru


Here at dltHub, we work on the python library for data ingestion. So when I heard from Airbyte that they are building a library, I was intrigued and decided to investigate.

What is PyAirbyte?

PyAirbyte is an interesting Airbyte’s initiative - similar to the one that Meltano had undertook 3 years ago. It provides a convenient way to download and install Airbyte sources and run them locally storing the data in a cache dataset. Users are allowed to then read the data from this cache.

A Python wrapper on the Airbyte source is quite nice and has a feeling close to Alto. The whole process of cloning/pip installing the repository, spawning a separate process to run Airbyte connector and read the data via UNIX pipe is hidden behind Pythonic interface.

Note that this library is not an Airbyte replacement - the loaders of Airbyte and the library are very different. The library loader uses pandas.to_sql and sql alchemy and is not a replacement for Airbyte destinations that are available in Open Source Airbyte

Questions I had, answered

  • Can I run Airbyte sources with PyAirbyte? A subset of them.
  • Can I use PyAirbyte to run a demo pipeline in a colab notebook? Yes.
  • Would my colab demo have a compatible schema with Airbyte? No.
  • Is PyAirbyte a replacement for Airbyte? No.
  • Can I use PyAirbyte to develop or test during development Airbyte sources? No.
  • Can I develop pipelines with PyAirbyte? no

In conclusion

In wrapping up, it's clear that PyAirbyte is a neat little addition to the toolkit for those of us who enjoy tinkering with data in more casual or exploratory settings. I think this is an interesting initiative from Airbyte that will enable new usage patterns.

Want to discuss?

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This demo works on codespaces. Codespaces is a development environment available for free to anyone with a Github account. You'll be asked to fork the demo repository and from there the README guides you with further steps.
The demo uses the Continue VSCode extension.

Off to codespaces!


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