Customize view of Apache Hive Metastore from Airflow web UI

Airflow has feature that allows to integrate a custom UI along with its core UI using the Plugin manager

This is an example plugin for Airflow that allows to create custom view of Apache Hive metastore from the web UI of Airflow. Showing Metastore information like list of the tables in database, finding the table object/ ddl information for given table, retrieving partition information, retrieving data from the table, retrieving table objects from Hive Metastore are some of the custom views shown in this example.

In this plugin, two object reference are derived from the base class airflow.plugins_manager.AirflowPlugin. They are flask_blueprints and appbuilder_views

Using flask_blueprints in Airflow plugin, the core application can be extended to support the application that is customized to view Apache Hive Metastore. In this object reference, the list of Blueprint object with the static template for rendering the Metastore information is passed on.

Using appbuilder_views in Airflow plugin, a class that represents a concept is added and presented with views and methods to implement it. In this object reference, the list of dictionaries with FlaskAppBuilder BaseView object and metadata information like name and category is passed on.

Custom view Registration

A custom view with object reference to flask_appbuilder and Blueprint from flask and be registered as a part of a plugin. The following is a skeleton for us to implement a new custom view:

from airflow.plugins_manager import AirflowPlugin
from flask import Blueprint
from flask_appbuilder import BaseView

class MetastoreBrowserView(BaseView):

# Creating a flask blueprint to integrate the templates and static folder
bp = Blueprint(

class MetastoreBrowserPlugin(AirflowPlugin):
    name = "metastore_browser"
    flask_blueprints = [bp]
    appbuilder_views = [
            "category": "Plugins",  # name of the tab in Airflow UI
            "name": "Hive Metadata Browser",  # name of link under the tab
            "view": MetastoreBrowserView(),

Plugins specified in the category key of appbuilder_views dictionary is the name of the tab in the navigation bar of the Airflow UI. Hive Metastore Browser is the name of the link under the tab Plugins, which will launch the plugin

We have to add Blueprint for generating the part of the application that needs to be rendered in Airflow web UI. We can define templates, static files and this blueprint will be registered as part of the Airflow application when the plugin gets loaded.

Next, we can add code into MetastoreBrowserView with views and implementing methods for each of those views. After the implementation, the custom view created becomes part of the Airflow web UI.

For reference, here’s the plugin code within MetastoreBrowserView class that shows list of tables in the database:


    def db(self):
        """Show tables in database"""
        db = request.args.get("db")
        metastore = HiveMetastoreHook(METASTORE_CONN_ID)
        tables = sorted(metastore.get_tables(db=db), key=lambda x: x.tableName)
        return self.render_template("metastore_browser/db.html", tables=tables, db=db)

The $AIRFLOW_HOME/plugins folder with custom view UI have the following folder structure.

├── templates
|   └── metastore_browser
|       ├── base.html
|       ├── db.html
|       ├── dbs.html
│       └── table.html

The HTML files required to render the views built is added as part of the Airflow plugin into $AIRFLOW_HOME/plugins/templates folder and defined in the blueprint.

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