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Dash wrapper for flume node editor

Project description


A node editor for plotly dash

Flowfunc is a plotly dash component which works as a web based node editor. You can create nodes based on python functions and connect them together to define the logic during runtime.



The front end is created using the react package Flume. The data model is also heavily influenced by this package.


The package is still in alpha stage. Please test out and let me know your comments.

Basic installation

pip install git+


If you want to run your nodes using rq in a distributed manner.

pip install "flowfunc[distributed] @ git+

Full installation

In addition to the packages required for distributed run, this will install dash as well.

pip install "flowfunc[full] @ git+

Basic Usage

A fully functioning dash app with Flowfunc node editor would look like below. The app will have the node editor and a button to evaluate the current state of the node editor. The result of the evaluation will be displayed in a separate div at the bottom.

The nodes are created from regular python functions using it's function signature. It is also possible to create a node manually which offers more control.

from typing import Dict
import dash
from dash import html, Input, Output, State
from flowfunc import Flowfunc
from flowfunc.config import Config
from flowfunc.jobrunner import JobRunner
from flowfunc.models import OutNode

app = dash.Dash(__name__)

# Functions can be converted to nodes
def add(a: int, b: int) -> int:
    """Add two numbers"""
    return a + b

def subtract(a: int, b: int) -> int:
    """Find difference between two numbers"""
    return a - b

# A Config object contains info about the nodes and ports available in the node editor
nodeeditor_config = Config.from_function_list([add, subtract])

# A JobRunner object helps evaluate the nodes created using the node editor
runner = JobRunner(nodeeditor_config)

app.layout = html.Div(
        html.Button(id="btn_run", children="Run"),
        Flowfunc(id="nodeeditor", config=nodeeditor_config.dict()),
    ], style={"height": "600px"}

    Output("output", "children"),
    Input("btn_run", "n_clicks"),
    State("nodeeditor", "nodes"),
def run_nodes(nclicks: int, output_nodes: Dict[str, OutNode]):
    """Run the node layout"""
    # The result is a dictionary of OutNode objects
    result =
    output = []
    for node in result.values():
        # node.result contains the result of the node
            html.Div([html.H1(f"{node.type}: {}"), html.P(str(node.result))])
    return output

if __name__ == "__main__": 

Basic example


nodeeditor_config = Config.from_function_list([add, subtract])

The Flowfunc component requires a Config object which contains the list of all nodes as an input. You can create the list of nodes easily from a list of python functions using the class method from_function_list. It will accept async functions also.

runner = JobRunner(nodeeditor_config)
result =

JobRunner object helps evaluate the output of the front end node editor by making sure the inputs and outputs are routed properly. It takes in the output from the nodeeditor, parses it using pydantic and creates a dict of OutNode objects, evaluates each of the objects by making sure the dependent inputs are routed properly. It uses the functions defined in the config object to evaluate a node. The output of is the same dictionary that it parsed initially, but now with an addtional result attribute on each node. If you are running in a distributed way, it will have a job_id attribute on every node. You can use this job_id and the queue object to retrieve the results of the node.

Flowfunc(id="nodeeditor", config=nodeeditor_config.dict())

This is the dash component with id equal to nodeeditor. You need to pass in the config object created previously, but converted to a dictionary.

More examples

Look into the examples folder to see a more elaborate example with better looking interface using dash-boostrap-components. There is also an example which uses the distributed method where each node is evaluated in a separate rqworker.


Nodes are the building blocks which you can connect together using their exposed Ports. Flowfunc let's you easily create nodes from python functions by inspecting their signature and type annotations. The parameters of the function becomes the input ports and return value of the function becomes the output port. You can give different types of type annotations. Even dataclasses and pydantic classes. The parser does it's best to interpret the type annotations and render an equivalent node with different types of controls on it. If you aren't happy with the controls that the parser creted, you can manually specify how the node should be constructed.

Once the parser processed the function signature, it creates a Node object which is a pydantic object.


Ports are the inputs and outputs of a Node. So they basically mean the inputs or outputs of a function. Ports can render controls in the node and let the user interact with them and pass in data. There are some ports (read datatypes) which come with a default control. They are int, float, str, bool, color, time, date, month, week. Some of these are not standard python types and hence, you cannot use them in type annotation directly. If you want to use type annotation, create a custom type with these names. In future, the plan is to create some kind of interface to make this process easier and also make more controls available.

When you annotate a argument with a dataclass or pydantic object, flowfunc will inspect the attributes of this class and it will try to create controls for each of the attributes of the object. As of now, flowfunc cannot handle nested pydantic or dataclass objects.

A default set of ports are automatically created when the nodes are processed from python functions. Port object is also a pydantic object.


Config object holds info about all the nodes and ports available in the node editor. It's a direct equivalent of Flume's config object, but modified so that the data can be serialized at the server side and sent to the client (ie; no javascript functions). In future, the plan is to make it possible to define functions in javascript as well.

Config.nodes will contain all the Node pydantic objects and Config.ports will contain all the Port pydantic objects.


JobRunner object helps process the output of the node editor. JobRunnber can run in as blocking (sync), return an awaitable (async), return a dict of rq jobs (distributed) or await on a dict of rq jobs (async_distributed).

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