Provider packages

Provider packages context

Unlike Apache Airflow 1.10, the Airflow 2.0 is delivered in multiple, separate, but connected packages. The core of Airflow scheduling system is delivered as apache-airflow package and there are around 60 providers packages which can be installed separately as so called "Airflow Provider packages". Those provider packages are separated per-provider (for example amazon, google, salesforce etc.) Those packages are available as apache-airflow-providers packages - separately per each provider (for example there is an apache-airflow-providers-amazon or apache-airflow-providers-google package.

You can install those provider packages separately in order to interface with a given provider. For those providers that have corresponding extras, the provider packages (latest version from PyPI) are installed automatically when Airflow is installed with the extra.

Providers are released and versioned separately from the Airflow releases. We are following the Semver versioning scheme for the packages. Some versions of the provider packages might depend on particular versions of Airflow, but the general approach we have is that unless there is a good reason, new version of providers should work with recent versions of Airflow 2.x. Details will vary per-provider and if there is a limitation for particular version of particular provider, constraining the Airflow version used, it will be included as limitation of dependencies in the provider package.

Some of the providers have cross-provider dependencies as well. Those are not required dependencies, they might simply enable certain features (for example transfer operators often create dependency between different providers. Again, the general approach here is that the providers are backwards compatible, including cross-dependencies. Any kind of breaking changes and requirements on particular versions of other provider packages are automatically documented in the release notes of every provider.

Note

We also provide apache-airflow-backport-providers packages that can be installed for Airflow 1.10. Those are the same providers as for 2.0 but automatically back-ported to work for Airflow 1.10. Those backport providers are going to be updated and released for 3 months after Apache Airflow 2.0 release.

Provider packages functionality

Separate provider packages provide the possibilities that were not available in 1.10:

  1. You can upgrade to latest version of particular providers without the need of Apache Airflow core upgrade.

  2. You can downgrade to previous version of particular provider in case the new version introduces some problems, without impacting the main Apache Airflow core package.

  3. You can release and upgrade/downgrade provider packages incrementally, independent from each other. This means that you can incrementally validate each of the provider package update in your environment, following the usual tests you have in your environment.

Q&A for Airflow and Providers

Upgrading Airflow 2.0 and Providers

When upgrading to a new Airflow version such as 2.0, but possibly 2.0.1 and beyond, is the best practice to also upgrade provider packages at the same time?

It depends on your use case. If you have automated or semi-automated verification of your installation, that you can run a new version of Airflow including all provider packages, then definitely go for it. If you rely more on manual testing, it is advised that you upgrade in stages. Depending on your choice you can either upgrade all used provider packages first, and then upgrade Airflow Core or the other way round. The first approach - when you first upgrade all providers is probably safer, as you can do it incrementally, step-by-step replacing provider by provider in your environment.

Using Backport Providers in Airflow 1.10

I have an Airflow version (1.10.12) running and it is stable. However, because of a Cloud provider change, I would like to upgrade the provider package. If I don't need to upgrade the Airflow version anymore, how do I know that this provider version is compatible with my Airflow version?

Backport Provider Packages (those are needed in 1.10.* Airflow series) are going to be released for 3 months after the release. We will stop releasing new updates to the backport providers afterwards. You will be able to continue using the provider packages that you already use and unless you need to get some new release of the provider that is only released for 2.0, there is no need to upgrade Airflow. This might happen if for example the provider is migrated to use newer version of client libraries or when new features/operators/hooks are added to it. Those changes will only be backported to 1.10.* compatible backport providers up to 3 months after releasing Airflow 2.0. Also we expect more providers, changes and fixes added to the existing providers to come after the 3 months pass. Eventually you will have to upgrade to Airflow 2.0 if you would like to make use of those. When it comes to compatibility of providers with different Airflow 2 versions, each provider package will keep its own dependencies, and while we expect those providers to be generally backwards-compatible, particular versions of particular providers might introduce dependencies on specific Airflow versions.

Customizing Provider Packages

I have an older version of my provider package which we have lightly customized and is working fine with my MSSQL installation. I am upgrading my Airflow version. Do I need to upgrade my provider, or can I keep it as it is?

It depends on the scope of customization. There is no need to upgrade the provider packages to later versions unless you want to upgrade to Airflow version that introduces backwards-incompatible changes. Generally speaking, with Airflow 2 we are following the Semver approach where we will introduce backwards-incompatible changes in Major releases, so all your modifications (as long as you have not used internal Airflow classes) should work for All Airflow 2.* versions.

Creating your own providers

When I write my own provider, do I need to do anything special to make it available to others?

You do not need to do anything special besides creating the apache_airflow_provider entry point returning properly formatted meta-data (dictionary with extra-links and hook-class-names fields.

Should I named my provider specifically or should it be created in ``airflow.providers`` package?

We have quite a number (>70) of providers managed by the community and we are going to maintain them together with Apache Airflow. All those providers have well-defined structured and follow the naming conventions we defined and they are all in airflow.providers package. If your intention is to contribute your provider, then you should follow those conventions and make a PR to Apache Airflow to contribute to it. But you are free to use any package name as long as there are no conflicts with other names,so preferably choose package that is in your "domain".

Is there a convention for a connection id and type?

Very good question. Glad that you asked. We usually follow the convention <NAME>_default for connection id and just <NAME> for connection type. Few examples:

  • google_cloud_default id and google_cloud_platform type

  • aws_default id and aws type

You should follow this convention. It is important, to use unique names for connection type, so it should be unique for your provider. If two providers try to add connection with the same type only one of them will succeed.

Can I contribute my own provider to Apache Airflow?

However, community only accepts providers that are generic enough and can be managed by the community, so we might not always be in the position to accept such contributions. In case you have your own, specific provider, you are free to use your own structure and package names and to publish the providers in whatever form you find appropriate.

Can I advertise my own provider to Apache Airflow users and share it with others as package in PyPI?

Absolutely! We have an Ecosystem area on our website where we share non-community managed extensions and work for Airflow. Feel free to make a PR to the page and add we will evaluate and merge it when we see that such provider can be useful for the community of Airflow users.

Can I charge for the use of my provider?

This is something that is outside of our control and domain. As an Apache project, we are commercial-friendly and there are many businesses built around Apache Airflow and many other Apache projects. As a community, we provide all the software for free and this will never change. What 3rd-party developers are doing is not under control of Apache Airflow community.

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