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Python Guide: Loading Data from rest_api to duckdb using dlt

About our rest_api verified source

This example demonstrates how to use the rest_api to retrieve data from the GitHub Rest API, but will work with any HTTP Rest API. Please read:

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Welcome to our technical documentation on how to load data from Rest API into DuckDB using dlt, an open-source Python library. The Rest API verified source allows you to fetch data from any HTTP rest API. On the other hand, DuckDB is an efficient in-process analytical database that supports a rich SQL dialect with deep integrations into client APIs. This guide will provide you with comprehensive steps on how to use dlt to facilitate data loading from Rest API to DuckDB. For more details on the Rest API source, please visit

dlt Key Features

  • Automated Maintenance: With schema inference and evolution, as well as alerts, dlt simplifies the maintenance process. Check out the Getting Started Guide for more information.
  • Run Anywhere: dlt can run anywhere Python runs, including on Airflow, serverless functions, and notebooks. It does not require any external APIs, backends, or containers. Learn more in the Tutorial.
  • User-Friendly Interface: dlt provides a declarative interface that is easy to use for beginners while still offering powerful features for advanced users. Read more about it in the How-to Guides.
  • Integration with DuckDB and MotherDuck: dlt supports DuckDB and MotherDuck as destinations for your data. Learn how to set up and use these destinations in the DuckDB Guide and the MotherDuck Guide.
  • Community Support: Join the dlt community on Slack to ask questions, share your experiences, and contribute to the library. You can also contribute to the GitHub Repository.

Getting started with your pipeline locally

0. Prerequisites

dlt requires Python 3.8 or higher. Additionally, you need to have the pip package manager installed, and we recommend using a virtual environment to manage your dependencies. You can learn more about preparing your computer for dlt in our installation reference.

1. Install dlt

First you need to install the dlt library with the correct extras for DuckDB:

pip install "dlt[duckdb]"

The dlt cli has a useful command to get you started with any combination of source and destination. For this example, we want to load data from Rest API to DuckDB. You can run the following commands to create a starting point for loading data from Rest API to DuckDB:

# create a new directory
mkdir rest_api_pipeline
cd rest_api_pipeline
# initialize a new pipeline with your source and destination
dlt init rest_api duckdb
# install the required dependencies
pip install -r requirements.txt

The last command will install the required dependencies for your pipeline. The dependencies are listed in the requirements.txt:


You now have the following folder structure in your project:

├── .dlt/
│ ├── config.toml # configs for your pipeline
│ └── secrets.toml # secrets for your pipeline
├── rest_api/ # folder with source specific files
│ └── ...
├── # your main pipeline script
├── requirements.txt # dependencies for your pipeline
└── .gitignore # ignore files for git (not required)

2. Configuring your source and destination credentials

The dlt cli will have created a .dlt directory in your project folder. This directory contains a config.toml file and a secrets.toml file that you can use to configure your pipeline. The automatically created version of these files look like this:

generated config.toml

# put your configuration values here

log_level="WARNING" # the system log level of dlt
# use the dlthub_telemetry setting to enable/disable anonymous usage data reporting, see
dlthub_telemetry = true

generated secrets.toml

# put your secret values and credentials here. do not share this file and do not push it to github

github_token = "github_token" # please set me up!

dataset_name = "dataset_name" # please set me up!

2.1. Adjust the generated code to your usecase

Further help setting up your source and destinations
  • Read more about setting up the Rest API source in our docs.
  • Read more about setting up the DuckDB destination in our docs.

3. Running your pipeline for the first time

The dlt cli has also created a main pipeline script for you at, as well as a folder rest_api that contains additional python files for your source. These files are your local copies which you can modify to fit your needs. In some cases you may find that you only need to do small changes to your pipelines or add some configurations, in other cases these files can serve as a working starting point for your code, but will need to be adjusted to do what you need them to do.

The main pipeline script will look something like this:

from typing import Any

import dlt
from rest_api import (

def github_source(github_token: str = dlt.secrets.value) -> Any:
# Create a REST API configuration for the GitHub API
# Use RESTAPIConfig to get autocompletion and type checking
config: RESTAPIConfig = {
"client": {
"base_url": "",
"auth": {
"type": "bearer",
"token": github_token,
# The default configuration for all resources and their endpoints
"resource_defaults": {
"primary_key": "id",
"write_disposition": "merge",
"endpoint": {
"params": {
"per_page": 100,
"resources": [
# This is a simple resource definition,
# that uses the endpoint path as a resource name:
# "pulls",
# Alternatively, you can define the endpoint as a dictionary
# {
# "name": "pulls", # <- Name of the resource
# "endpoint": "pulls", # <- This is the endpoint path
# }
# Or use a more detailed configuration:
"name": "issues",
"endpoint": {
"path": "issues",
# Query parameters for the endpoint
"params": {
"sort": "updated",
"direction": "desc",
"state": "open",
# Define `since` as a special parameter
# to incrementally load data from the API.
# This works by getting the updated_at value
# from the previous response data and using this value
# for the `since` query parameter in the next request.
"since": {
"type": "incremental",
"cursor_path": "updated_at",
"initial_value": "2024-01-25T11:21:28Z",
# The following is an example of a resource that uses
# a parent resource (`issues`) to get the `issue_number`
# and include it in the endpoint path:
"name": "issue_comments",
"endpoint": {
# The placeholder {issue_number} will be resolved
# from the parent resource
"path": "issues/{issue_number}/comments",
"params": {
# The value of `issue_number` will be taken
# from the `number` field in the `issues` resource
"issue_number": {
"type": "resolve",
"resource": "issues",
"field": "number",
# Include data from `id` field of the parent resource
# in the child data. The field name in the child data
# will be called `_issues_id` (_{resource_name}_{field_name})
"include_from_parent": ["id"],

yield from rest_api_resources(config)

def load_github() -> None:
pipeline = dlt.pipeline(

load_info =

def load_pokemon() -> None:
pipeline = dlt.pipeline(

pokemon_source = rest_api_source(
"client": {
"base_url": "",
# If you leave out the paginator, it will be inferred from the API:
# paginator: "json_response",
"resource_defaults": {
"endpoint": {
"params": {
"limit": 1000,
"resources": [

def check_network_and_authentication() -> None:
(can_connect, error_msg) = check_connection(
if not can_connect:
pass # do something with the error message


load_info =

if __name__ == "__main__":

Provided you have set up your credentials, you can run your pipeline like a regular python script with the following command:


4. Inspecting your load result

You can now inspect the state of your pipeline with the dlt cli:

dlt pipeline rest_api_github info

You can also use streamlit to inspect the contents of your DuckDB destination for this:

# install streamlit
pip install streamlit
# run the streamlit app for your pipeline with the dlt cli:
dlt pipeline rest_api_github show

5. Next steps to get your pipeline running in production

One of the beauties of dlt is, that we are just a plain Python library, so you can run your pipeline in any environment that supports Python >= 3.8. We have a couple of helpers and guides in our docs to get you there:

The Deploy section will show you how to deploy your pipeline to

  • Deploy with Github Actions: dlt supports deployment with Github Actions. You can schedule the Github Action using a cron schedule expression. More details can be found here.
  • Deploy with Airflow: dlt also provides support for deployment with Airflow. It creates an Airflow DAG for your pipeline script that you should customize. Learn more about this here.
  • Deploy with Google Cloud Functions: You can deploy your dlt pipeline with Google Cloud Functions. It provides a guide on how to deploy a pipeline with Google Cloud Functions. Find more information here.
  • Other Deployment Options: dlt provides several other deployment options. You can find more details about these options here.

The running in production section will teach you about:

  • Monitor Your Pipeline: dlt provides robust tools to monitor your pipeline, ensuring that you have real-time insights into your data loading process. Learn how to set up monitoring with this guide.
  • Set Up Alerts: Stay informed about your pipeline's status with dlt's alerting capabilities. You can set up alerts to notify you of any issues or changes in your pipeline. Find out how to set up alerts here.
  • Implement Tracing: dlt allows you to trace your pipeline's execution, providing valuable insights into its performance and potential bottlenecks. Learn how to set up tracing with this tutorial.

Available Sources and Resources

For this verified source the following sources and resources are available

Source github_source

"Rest API Source for GitHub, providing detailed data on issues and related comments."

Resource NameWrite DispositionDescription
issue_commentsmergeContains information about the issue comments including the author, body of the comment, created date, and user details among other data.
issuesmergeContains information about the issues including the assignee details, author, body of the issue, comments, created date, and user details among other data.

Additional pipeline guides

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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