Git setup

Overview

Whale supports a free hosted backend + lightweight GUI through Github and Github actions (though any git remote server + CI/CD system will work - you'll simply have to write your own config). This is possible because the metadata and user-generated content accessed by whale are stored as markdown in the ~/.whale subdirectory.

We have provided a series of simple commands and instructions to get started easily, but these can be executed manually quite easily as well.

Getting started

Set up ~/.whale/ as a git repository

Run the following command to set up and push your ~/.whale directory to the provided git remote (replace <YOUR_GIT_REMOTE> with your git address). This will add a .gitignore file, add all files, and push to your git remote server.

This will also push your connections.yaml file to your repo. If you'd like to avoid doing this, mv your ~/.whale/config/connections.yaml file elsewhere first and see Advanced usage.

wh git-setup <YOUR_GIT_REMOTE>

Set up a CI/CD pipeline to scrape metadata

Below, we illustrate how to set up github actions to scrape metadata for you, but the steps can be easily adapted to any CI/CD platform. We chose github actions because github supplies 2000 free minutes/month, even for private repos and organizations, which is generally more than enough to cover these simple scraping jobs.

First, create a local directory for your github actions workflows:

mkdir -p ~/.whale/.github/workflows

Then, within this directory, create a new file (e.g. metadata.yml), paste in the following file, then git add, commit, & push to master.

name: Whale Runner
on:
schedule:
- cron: "0 */12 * * *"
jobs:
run-etl:
runs-on: ubuntu-latest
steps:
# Setup python + clone repos
- uses: actions/setup-python@v2
with:
python-version: '3.8'
- uses: actions/checkout@v2
- name: Copy to ~/.whale
run: |
cp -r . ~/.whale/
- uses: actions/checkout@v2
with:
repository: dataframehq/whale
path: whale
# Scrape from warehouse
- name: etl
working-directory: ./whale
run: |
make python
source ~/.whale/libexec/env/bin/activate
python3 ~/.whale/libexec/build_script.py
# Push to git
- name: push-to-git
working-directory: /home/runner/.whale
run: |
git config user.name 'GHA Runner'
git config user.email '<your_username>@users.noreply.github.com'
git add .
git commit -m "Automated push." || echo "No changes to commit"
git push

Update your local whale instance

Now that you have a remote git server pulling metadata, you'll want to avoid scraping metadata independently from your warehouse, and instead periodically rebase your table stubs over your git remote. If you desire, you can set a git pull --autostash --rebase to occur programmatically. To do this, run the following command:

wh git-enable

This will add a is_git_etl_enabled: "true" flag to the file located at ~/.whale/config/config.yaml. This file can be accessed by running wh config and manually edited at any point to turn the flag off.

While programmatic git commands can be a bit dangerous, whale's file formatting ensures that this is done in debuggable and easily resolvable manner. Because the only local command run is the git pull --autostash --rebase command, your personal edits will be saved as merge conflicts, still viewable in the respective files (and therefore, through wh). If such conflicts arise, we will surface this to you through a warning when running wh, and they should be simple to address.

Team setup

Now that you've set up a git as your SSOT, have others Install whale, then run the following series of commands to clone your central repo and set up a cron job to periodically rebase onto your remote:

git clone <YOUR_GIT_REMOTE> ~/.whale
wh schedule
wh git-enable

Make sure to not have an existing ~/.whale directory or the clone will fail.

Advanced usage

Manual setup

Though we have enabled convenient install hooks to make this git setup process easy, if you're familiar with git and a CI/CD platform, it is quite simple to implement all of this manually. In short, wh git-setup is doing the following:

  • Creating a .gitignore file.

  • git add . && git commit -m "Whale on our way" && git push

If you would rather not install the command-line tool, you can therefore simply create a repo, manually create a credentials.yaml file in config/credentials.yaml, and create a CI/CD pipeline that does the following (or use our github action above):

  • Checkout your repo, and copy it to ~/.whale on your CI/CD runner.

  • Install python.

  • pip install whalebuilder

  • Run python -c 'import whalebuilder as wh; wh.run()'.

  • Push the results back to git.

If you want improved logging, see here for an example (in short, simply import logging and adjust the logging level).

Storing credentials

If storing credentials as plaintext is a concern, a workaround is to simply save the full connections.yaml file as a Github secret (named CONNECTIONS in the example below), then echo this into the ~/.whale/config/connections.yaml file. For example, with Github actions:

run: |
echo '${{ secrets.CONNECTIONS }}' > ~/.whale/config/connections.yaml

Then remove the file before the push step.

run: |
rm ~/.whale/config/connections.yaml

The full file would then be:

name: Whale Runner
on:
schedule:
- cron: "0 */12 * * *"
jobs:
run-etl:
runs-on: ubuntu-latest
steps:
# Setup python + clone repos
- uses: actions/setup-python@v2
with:
python-version: '3.8'
- uses: actions/checkout@v2
- name: Copy to ~/.whale
run: |
cp -r . ~/.whale/
- uses: actions/checkout@v2
with:
repository: dataframehq/whale
path: whale
# Scrape from warehouse
- name: etl
working-directory: ./whale
run: |
make python
source ~/.whale/libexec/env/bin/activate
echo '${{ secrets.CONNECTIONS }}' > ~/.whale/config/connections.yaml
python3 ~/.whale/libexec/build_script.py
rm ~/.whale/config/connections.yaml
# Push to git
- name: push-to-git
working-directory: /home/runner/.whale
run: |
git config user.name 'GHA Runner'
git config user.email '<your_username>@users.noreply.github.com'
git add metadata manifests metrics
git commit -m "Automated push." || echo "No changes to commit"
git push

For Bigquery, specifically, the credentials file alone could alternatively be echoed at runtime into the correct path, as follows:

run: |
echo '${{ secrets.BIGQUERY_JSON }}' > ~/.whale/credentials.json