Virtual environment and install

Let’s make a little more practical data pipeline application. In this section, we will retrieve currency exchange rates and write out to CSV file.

We will install (, a data collection framework, in Python vitual environment.

We will use 04_install project. Here is project.yml:

> cat 04_install/project.yml
version: 0.3
description: Fetch foreign exchange rates

- venv: tap
  command: pip install tap-exchangeratesapi
- venv: target
  command: pip install target-csv

- key: base_currency
  value: USD

- name: fetch_exchange_rates
  description: Fetch exchange rates
  - command: tap-exchangeratesapi
    args: --config files/tap-config.json
    venv: tap
  - command: python
    args: files/
    venv: tap
  - command: target-csv
    args: --config files/target-config.json
    venv: target

  cloud_provider: aws
  cloud_platform: fargate
  resource_group: handoff-etl
  container_image: xxxxxxxxv
  task: exchange-rates-to-csv

- target_id: 1
  cron: "0 0 * * ? *"
  - key: __VARS
    value: 'start_date=$(date -I -d "-7 day")'

What’s new here is the installs section that lists the shell command to install the necessary program for this project.

For each install, you can set venv key to set the name of the Python virtual environment. This helps avoid the dependency conflicts among Python programs.

(The deploy and schedule sections in the file are irrelevant in this section. We will use it later.)

The project runs a pipeline that is a shell equivalent to

tap-exchangeratesapi | python files/ | target-csv

Before we can run this, we need to install a couple of Python packages: tap-exchangeratesapi and target-csv. The install section contains the installation commands. Also notice venv entries for each command. handoff can create Python virtual enviroment for each command to avoid conflicting dependencies among the packages.

To install, run this command:

> handoff workspace install -p 04_install -w workspace_04
[2020-12-28 22:02:12,049] [    INFO] - Found credentials in shared credentials file: ~/.aws/credentials - (
Requirement already satisfied: wheel in ./tap/lib/python3.6/site-packages (0.36.2)
Collecting tap-exchangeratesapi
  Using cached tap_exchangeratesapi-0.1.1-cp36-none-any.whl
Collecting backoff==1.3.2
  Using cached backoff-1.3.2-cp36-none-any.whl
Collecting requests==2.21.0
  Using cached requests-2.21.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl (57 kB)
Collecting singer-python==5.3.3
  Using cached singer_python-5.3.3-cp36-none-any.whl
  Using cached six-1.15.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl (10 kB)
Collecting pytzdata
  Using cached pytzdata-2020.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl (489 kB)
Collecting tzlocal
  Using cached tzlocal-2.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl (16 kB)
Collecting pytz
  Using cached pytz-2020.5-py2.py3-none-any.whl (510 kB)
Installing collected packages: six, pytz, tzlocal, pytzdata, python-dateutil, simplejson, pendulum, singer-python, jsonschema, target-csv
Successfully installed jsonschema-2.6.0 pendulum-1.2.0 python-dateutil-2.8.1 pytz-2020.5 pytzdata-2020.1 simplejson-3.11.1 singer-python-2.1.4 six-1.15.0 target-csv-0.3.0 tzlocal-2.1

Now, if you look at tap-config.json under files folder,

> cat 04_install/files/tap-config.json
{ "base": "{{ base_currency }}", "start_date": "{{ start_date }}" }

…you will notice {{ start_date }} variable but it is not defined in project.yml. That is because I did not want to hardcode a particular date. Instead, let’s fill a value when we run handoff run command.

The following command, for example, sets the start_date as 7 days ago:

> handoff run local -p 04_install -w workspace_04 -v start_date=$(date -I -d "-7 day")
[2020-12-28 22:02:27,352] [    INFO] - Found credentials in shared credentials file: ~/.aws/credentials - (
[2020-12-28 22:02:27,707] [    INFO] - Job started at 2020-12-28 22:02:27.707674 - (
[2020-12-28 22:02:27,707] [    INFO] - Running pipeline fetch_exchange_rates - (
[2020-12-28 22:02:27,726] [    INFO] - Checking return code of pid 3033 - (
[2020-12-28 22:02:28,313] [    INFO] - Checking return code of pid 3034 - (
[2020-12-28 22:02:28,320] [    INFO] - Checking return code of pid 3036 - (
[2020-12-28 22:02:28,338] [    INFO] - Pipeline fetch_exchange_rates exited with code 0 - (
[2020-12-28 22:02:28,338] [    INFO] - Job ended at 2020-12-28 22:02:28.338382 - (
[2020-12-28 22:02:28,338] [    INFO] - Processed in 0:00:00.630708 - (

Note: Mac OS local run should use -v start_date=$(date -v -7d +%F) instead of -I option.

This task should have created a CSV file in artifacts directory:


We learned how to install Pythonn packages and in this section. The exchange rate application is more practical use of handoff. 04_install project fetched the data from an API and store the data to the destination (CSV file).

In the next section, we will learn a little more advanced flow logic such as foreach and fork.