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Python Data Loading from slack to duckdb using dlt Library

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This page provides technical documentation on how to use dlt, an open-source Python library, to load data from Slack into DuckDB. Slack is a business messaging app that centralizes information, making it readily accessible. DuckDB is an in-process analytical database known for its speed and comprehensive SQL dialect, along with deep integrations into client APIs. The guide will walk you through the process of using dlt to extract data from Slack and load it into DuckDB for further analysis. For more information about Slack, please visit

dlt Key Features

  • Pipeline Metadata: dlt pipelines leverage metadata to provide governance capabilities, facilitating data lineage and traceability. Read more about lineage.
  • Schema Enforcement and Curation: dlt empowers users to enforce and curate schemas, ensuring data consistency and quality. Read more: Adjust a schema docs.
  • Schema evolution: dlt notifies stakeholders when modifications occur in the source data’s schema, allowing them to take necessary actions.
  • Scaling and finetuning: dlt offers several mechanism and configuration options to scale up and finetune pipelines. Read more about performance.
  • Community Support: dlt is a constantly growing library that supports many features and use cases needed by the community. Join our Slack to find recent releases or discuss what you can build with dlt.

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 Slack to DuckDB. You can run the following commands to create a starting point for loading data from Slack to DuckDB:

# create a new directory
mkdir slack_pipeline
cd slack_pipeline
# initialize a new pipeline with your source and destination
dlt init slack 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
├── slack/ # 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

access_token = "access_token" # 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 Slack 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 slack 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:

"""Pipeline to load slack into duckdb."""

from typing import List

import dlt
from pendulum import datetime
from slack import slack_source

def load_all_resources() -> None:
"""Load all resources from slack without any selection of channels."""

pipeline = dlt.pipeline(
pipeline_name="slack", destination='duckdb', dataset_name="slack_data"

source = slack_source(
page_size=1000, start_date=datetime(2023, 9, 1), end_date=datetime(2023, 9, 8)

# Uncomment the following line to load only the access_logs resource. It is not selectes
# by default because it is a resource just available on paid accounts.
# source.access_logs.selected = True

load_info =

def select_resource(selected_channels: List[str]) -> None:
"""Execute a pipeline that will load the given Slack list of channels with the selected
channels incrementally beginning at the given start date."""

pipeline = dlt.pipeline(
pipeline_name="slack", destination='duckdb', dataset_name="slack_data"

source = slack_source(
start_date=datetime(2023, 9, 1),
end_date=datetime(2023, 9, 8),
).with_resources("channels", "1-announcements", "dlt-github-ci")

load_info =

def get_users() -> None:
"""Execute a pipeline that will load Slack users list."""

pipeline = dlt.pipeline(
pipeline_name="slack", destination='duckdb', dataset_name="slack_data"

source = slack_source(

load_info =

if __name__ == "__main__":
# Add your desired resources to the list...
# resources = ["access_logs", "conversations", "conversations_history"]

# load_all_resources()
# select_resource(selected_channels=["dlt-github-ci"])

# select_resource(selected_channels=["1-announcements", "dlt-github-ci"])


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 slack 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 slack 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 provides a simple way to deploy your pipelines using Github Actions. With this method, you can automate your pipeline to run at specific intervals.
  • Deploy with Airflow: If you prefer using Airflow, dlt has you covered. You can easily deploy your pipelines on Airflow by following the guide provided.
  • Deploy with Google Cloud Functions: dlt also allows you to deploy your pipelines using Google Cloud Functions. This serverless execution environment runs your code in response to events without requiring you to manage any server infrastructure.
  • Other Deployment Options: If you want to explore other ways to deploy your dlt pipelines, you can find more options here.

The running in production section will teach you about:

  • Monitor Your Pipeline: dlt provides a comprehensive monitoring solution for your data pipeline. This feature allows you to keep track of the pipeline's progress, performance, and potential issues. Learn more about it here.
  • Set Up Alerts: Stay on top of your pipeline's health with dlt's alerting feature. This feature allows you to receive notifications about important events or issues in your pipeline. Find out how to set it up here.
  • Set Up Tracing: dlt allows you to trace the execution of your pipeline. This feature provides valuable insights into the pipeline's performance and can help identify bottlenecks or issues. Learn how to set it up here.

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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