Transform data by running a Python activity in Azure Databricks

The Azure Databricks Python Activity in a Data Factory pipeline runs a Python file in your Azure Databricks cluster. This article builds on the data transformation activities article, which presents a general overview of data transformation and the supported transformation activities. Azure Databricks is a managed platform for running Apache Spark.

For an eleven-minute introduction and demonstration of this feature, watch the following video:

Databricks Python activity definition

Here is the sample JSON definition of a Databricks Python Activity:

{
    "activity": {
        "name": "MyActivity",
        "description": "MyActivity description",
        "type": "DatabricksSparkPython",
        "linkedServiceName": {
            "referenceName": "MyDatabricksLinkedservice",
            "type": "LinkedServiceReference"
        },
        "typeProperties": {
            "pythonFile": "dbfs:/docs/pi.py",
            "parameters": [
                "10"
            ],
            "libraries": [
                {
                    "pypi": {
                        "package": "tensorflow"
                    }
                }
            ]
        }
    }
}

Databricks Python activity properties

The following table describes the JSON properties used in the JSON definition:

Property Description Required
name Name of the activity in the pipeline. Yes
description Text describing what the activity does. No
type For Databricks Python Activity, the activity type is DatabricksSparkPython. Yes
linkedServiceName Name of the Databricks Linked Service on which the Python activity runs. To learn about this linked service, see Compute linked services article. Yes
pythonFile The URI of the Python file to be executed. Only DBFS paths are supported. Yes
parameters Command line parameters that will be passed to the Python file. This is an array of strings. No
libraries A list of libraries to be installed on the cluster that will execute the job. It can be an array of <string, object> No

Supported libraries for databricks activities

In the above Databricks activity definition you specify these library types: jar, egg, maven, pypi, cran.

{
    "libraries": [
        {
            "jar": "dbfs:/mnt/libraries/library.jar"
        },
        {
            "egg": "dbfs:/mnt/libraries/library.egg"
        },
        {
            "maven": {
                "coordinates": "org.jsoup:jsoup:1.7.2",
                "exclusions": [ "slf4j:slf4j" ]
            }
        },
        {
            "pypi": {
                "package": "simplejson",
                "repo": "http://my-pypi-mirror.com"
            }
        },
        {
            "cran": {
                "package": "ada",
                "repo": "https://cran.us.r-project.org"
            }
        }
    ]
}

For more details refer Databricks documentation for library types.

How to upload a library in Databricks

Using Databricks workspace UI

To obtain the dbfs path of the library added using UI, you can use Databricks CLI (installation).

Typically the Jar libraries are stored under dbfs:/FileStore/jars while using the UI. You can list all through the CLI: databricks fs ls dbfs:/FileStore/jars

Copy library using Databricks CLI

Example: databricks fs cp SparkPi-assembly-0.1.jar dbfs:/FileStore/jars