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Pemi - Python Extract Modify Integrate

Project description

Welcome to Pemi’s documentation!

Pemi is a framework for building testable ETL processes and workflows. Users define pipes that define how to collect, transform, and deliver data. Pipes can be combined with other pipes to build out complex and modular data pipelines. Testing is a first-class feature of Pemi and comes with a testing API to allow for describing test coverage in a manner that is natural for data transformations.

Full documentation on readthedocs

Install Pemi

Pemi can be installed from pip:

pip install pemi

Concepts and Features


The principal abstraction in Pemi is the Pipe. A pipe can be composed of Data Sources, Data Targets, and other Pipes. When a pipe is executed, it collects data form the data sources, manipulates that data, and loads the results into the data targets. For example, here’s a simple “Hello World” pipe. It takes a list of names in the form of a Pandas DataFrame and returns a Pandas DataFrame saying hello to each of them.

import pandas as pd

import pemi
from pemi.fields import *

class HelloNamePipe(pemi.Pipe):
    # Override the constructor to configure the pipe
    def __init__(self):
        # Make sure to call the parent constructor

        # Add a data source to our pipe - a pandas dataframe called 'input'
            schema = pemi.Schema(


        # Add a data target to our pipe - a pandas dataframe called 'output'

    # All pipes must define a 'flow' method that is called to execute the pipe
    def flow(self):
        self.targets['output'].df = self.sources['input'].df.copy()
        self.targets['output'].df['salutation'] = self.sources['input'].df['name'].apply(
            lambda v: 'Hello ' + v

To use the pipe, we have to create an instance of it:

pipe = HelloNamePipe()

and give some data to the source named “input”:

pipe.sources['input'].df = pd.DataFrame({
    'name': ['Buffy', 'Xander', 'Willow', 'Dawn']

The pipe performs the data transformation when the flow method is called:


The data target named “output” is then populated:

name salutation
Buffy Hello Buffy
Xander Hello Xander
Willow Hello Willow
Dawn Hello Dawn

Data Subjects

Data Sources and Data Targets are both types of Data Subjects. A data subject is mostly just a reference to an object that can be used to manipulate data. In the [Pipes](#pipes) example above, we defined the data source called “input” as using the pemi.PdDataSubject class. This means that this data subject refers to a Pandas DataFrame object. Calling the df method on this data subject simply returns the Pandas DataFrame, which can be manipulated in all the ways that Pandas DataFrames can be manipulated.

Pemi supports 3 data subjects natively, but can easily be extended to support others. The 3 supported data subjects are

  • pemi.PdDataSubject - Pandas DataFrames
  • pemi.SaDataSubject - SQLAlchemy Engines
  • pemi.SparkDataSubject - Apache Spark DataFrames


A data subject can optionally be associated with a Schema. Schemas can be used to validate that the data object of the data subject conforms to the schema. This is useful when data is passed from the target of one pipe to the source of another because it ensures that downstream pipes get the data they are expecting.

For example, suppose we wanted to ensure that our data had fields called id and name. We would define a data subject like:

from pemi.fields import *

ds = pemi.PdDataSubject(

If we provide the data subject with a dataframe that does not have a field:

df = pd.DataFrame({
    'name': ['Buffy', 'Xander', 'Willow']

ds.df = df

Then an error will be raised when the schema is validated (which happens automatically when data is passed between pipes, as we’ll see below):

#=> MissingFieldsError: DataFrame missing expected fields: {'id'}

We’ll also see later that defining a data subject with a schema also aids with writing tests. So while optional, defining data subjects with an associated schema is highly recommended.

Referencing data subjects in pipes

Data subjects are rarely defined outside the scope of a pipe as done in [Schemas](#schemas). Instead, they are usually defined in the constructor of a pipe as in [Pipes](#pipes). Two methods of the pemi.Pipe class are used to define data subjects: source and target. These methods allow one to specify the data subject class that the data subject will use, give it a name, assign a schema, and pass on any other arguments to the specific data subject class.

For example, if we were to define a pipe that was meant to use an Apache Spark dataframe as a source:

spark_session = ...
class MyPipe(pemi.Pipe):
    def __init__(self):


When self.source is called, it builds the data subject from the options provided and puts it in a dictionary that is associated with the pipe. The spark data frame can then be accessed from within the flow method as:

def flow(self):

Types of Pipes

Most user pipes will typically inherit from the main pemi.Pipe class. However, the topology of the pipe can classify it according to how it might be used. While the following definitions can be bent in some ways, they are useful for describing the purpose of a given pipe.

  • A Source Pipe is a pipe that is used to extract data from some external system and convert it into a Pemi data subject. This data subject is the target of the source pipe.
  • A Target Pipe is a pipe that is used to take a data subject and convert it into a form that can be loaded into some external system. This data subject is the source of the target pipe.
  • A Transformation Pipe is a pipe that takes one or more data sources, transforms them, and delivers one more target sources.
  • A Job Pipe is a pipe that is self-contained and does not specify any source or target data subjects. Instead, it is usually composed of other pipes that are connected to each other.

Pipe Connections

A pipe can be composed of other pipes that are each connected to each other. These connections for a directed acyclic graph (DAG). When then connections between all pipes are executed, the pipes that form the nodes of the DAG are executed in the order specified by the DAG (in parallel, when possible – parallel execution is made possible under the hood via Dask graphs). The data objects referenced by the node pipes’ data subjects are passed between the pipes according.

As a minimal example showing how connections work, let’s define a dummy source pipe that just generates a Pandas dataframe with some data in it:

class MySourcePipe(pemi.Pipe):
    def __init__(self):

    def flow(self):
        self.targets['main'].df = pd.DataFrame({
            'id': [1,2,3],
            'name': ['Buffy', 'Xander', 'Willow']

And a target pipe that just prints the “salutation” field:

class MyTargetPipe(pemi.Pipe):
    def __init__(self):


    def flow(self):
        for idx, row in self.sources['main'].df.iterrows():

Now we define a job pipe that will connect the dummy source pipe to our hello world pipe and connect that to our dummy target pipe:

class MyJob(pemi.Pipe):
    def __init__(self):

        self.connect('my_source_pipe', 'main').to('hello_pipe', 'input')

        self.connect('hello_pipe', 'output').to('my_target_pipe', 'main')


    def flow(self):

In the flow method we call self.connections.flow(). This calls the flow method of each pipe defined in the connections graph and transfers data between them, in the order specified by the DAG.

The job pipe can be executed by calling its flow method:

# => Hello Buffy
# => Hello Xander
# => Hello Willow

Furthermore, if you’re running this in a Jupyter notebook, you can see a graph of the connections by running:


Referencing pipes in pipes

Referencing pipes within pipes works the same way as for data sources and targets. For example, if we wanted to run the MyJob job pipe and then look at the source of the “hello_pipe”:

job  = MyJob()

Where to go from here

Full documentation on readthedocs


If you want to contribute to the development of Pemi, you’ll need to be able to run the test suite locally. To get started, copy the example environment file to a file you can edit locally if needed:

>>> cp example.env .env

All of the tests are run inside of a docker container, which you can build using

>>> inv build

Once the containers are built, spin up the containers to run the tests

>>> inv up

And then run the tests using something like (you may prefer different pytest options):

>>> inv test --opts="-s -x -vv --tb=short --color=yes tests"

The test container also launches a local Jupyter notebook server. This can be a convenient tool to have when developing Pemi. To access the notebook severs, just visit http://localhost:8890/lab in a web browser (the specific port can be configured in the .env file).

Take down the container using

>>> inv down

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