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Deployment on Databricks

· 6 min read

Many analytics applications are ported to the cloud, Data Lakes and Lakehouses in the cloud becoming more and more popular. The Databricks platform provides an easy accessible and easy configurable way to implement a modern analytics platform. Smart Data Lake Builder on the other hand provides an open source, portable automation tool to load and transform the data.

In this article the deployment of Smart Data Lake Builder (SDLB) on Databricks is described.

Before jumping in, it should be mentioned, that there are also many other methods to deploy SDLB in the cloud, e.g. using containers on Azure, Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Synapse Clusters, Google Dataproc... The present method provides the advantage of having many aspects taken care of by Databricks like Cluster management, Job scheduling and integrated data science notebooks. Further, the presented SDLB pipeline is just a simple example, focusing on the integration into Databricks environment. SDLB provides a wide range of features and its full power is not revealed here.

Let's get started:

  1. Databricks accounts can be created as Free Trial or as Community Account

    • Account and Workspace creation are described in detail here, there are few hints and modifications presented below.
    • I selected AWS backend, but there are conceptually no differences to the other providers. If you already have an Azure, AWS or Google Cloud account/subscription this can be used, otherwise you can register a trial subscription there.
  2. Workspace stack is created using the Quickstart as described in the documentation. When finished launch the Workspace.

  3. Databricks CLI: for file transfer of configuration files, scripts and data, the Databricks CLI is installed locally. Configure the CLI, using the Workspace URL and in the Workspace "Settings" -> "User Settings" -> "Access tokens" create a new token.

  4. Cluster creation, in the Workspace open the Cluster Creation form.

    • Spark version: When selecting the Databricks version pay attention to the related Spark version. This needs to match the Spark version we build SDLB with later. Here, 10.4 LTS is selected with Spark 3.2.1 and Scala 2.12. Alternatively, SDLB can be build with a different Spark version, see also Architecture for supported versions.

    • typesafe library version correction script: the workspace currently includes version 1.2.1 from com.typesafe:config java library. SDLB relies on functions of a newer version (>1.3.0) of this library. Thus, we provide a newer version of the com.typesafe:config java library in an initialization script: Advanced options -> Init Scripts specify dbfs:/databricks/scripts/

      • Further, the script needs to be created and uploaded. You can use the following script in a local terminal:
      cat << EOF >> ./
      wget -O /databricks/jars/-----config-1.4.1.jar
      databricks fs mkdirs dbfs:/databricks/scripts
      databricks fs cp ./ dbfs:/databricks/scripts/

      Alternatively, you can also use a Databricks notebook for the script upload by executing the following cell:

      cat << EOF >> ./
      wget -O /databricks/jars/-----config-1.4.1.jar
      mkdir /dbfs/databricks/scripts
      cp ./ /dbfs/databricks/scripts/

      Note: to double-check the library version I ran grep typesafe pom.xml in the SmartDataLake source

      Note: the added ----- will ensure that this .jar is preferred before the default Workspace Spark version (which starts with ----). If you are curious you could double-check e.g. with a Workspace Shell Notebook running ls /databricks/jars/*config*

  5. fat-jar: We need to provide the SDLB sources and all required libraries. Therefore, we compile and pack the Scala code into a Jar including the dependencies. We use the getting-started as dummy project, which itself pulls the SDLB sources.

    • download the getting-started source and build it with the -P fat-jar profile
    podman run -v ${PWD}:/mnt/project -v ${PWD}/.mvnrepo:/mnt/.mvnrepo maven:3.6.0-jdk-11-slim -- mvn -DskipTests  -P fat-jar  -f /mnt/project/pom.xml "-Dmaven.repo.local=/mnt/.mvnrepo" package

    General build instructions can be found in the getting-started documentation. Therewith, the file target/getting-started-1.0-jar-with-dependencies.jar is created. The fat-jar profile will include all required dependencies. The profile is defined in the smart-data-lake pom.xml.

  6. upload files

    • JAR: in the "Workspace" -> your user -> create a directory jars and "import" the library using the link in "(To import a library, such as a jar or egg, click here)" and select the above created fat-jar to upload. As a result the jar will be listed in the Workspace directory.
    • SDLB application: As an example a dataset from Airbnb NYC will be downloaded from Github, first written into a CSV file and later partially ported into a table. Therefore, the pipeline is defined first locally in a new file application.conf:
    dataObjects {
    ext-ab-csv-web {
    type = WebserviceFileDataObject
    url = ""
    followRedirects = true
    stg-ab {
    type = CsvFileDataObject
    schema = """id integer, name string, host_id integer, host_name string, neighbourhood_group string, neighbourhood string, latitude double, longitude double, room_type string, price integer, minimum_nights integer, number_of_reviews integer, last_review timestamp, reviews_per_month double, calculated_host_listings_count integer, availability_365 integer"""
    path = "file:///dbfs/data/~{id}"
    int-ab {
    type = DeltaLakeTableDataObject
    path = "~{id}"
    table {
    db = "default"
    name = "int_ab"
    primaryKey = [id]

    actions {
    loadWeb2Csv {
    type = FileTransferAction
    inputId = ext-ab-csv-web
    outputId = stg-ab
    metadata {
    feed = download
    loadCsvLoc2Db {
    type = CopyAction
    inputId = stg-ab
    outputId = int-ab
    transformers = [{
    type = SQLDfTransformer
    code = "select id, name, host_id,host_name,neighbourhood_group,neighbourhood,latitude,longitude from stg_ab"
    metadata {
    feed = copy
    • upload using Databricks CLI
    databricks fs mkdirs dbfs:/conf/
    databricks fs cp application.conf dbfs:/conf/application.conf
  7. Job creation: Here, the Databricks job gets defined, specifying the SDL library and, the entry point and the arguments. Here we specify only the download feed. Therefore, open in the sidebar Jobs -> Create Job:

    • Type: JAR
    • Main Class:
    • add Dependent Libraries: "Workspace" -> select the file previously uploaded "getting-started..." file in the "jars" directory jar select
    • Cluster select the cluster created above with the corrected typesafe library
    • Parameters: ["-c", "file:///dbfs/conf/", "--feed-sel", "download"], which specifies the location of the SDLB configuration and selects the feed "download" download task
  8. Launch the job: Launch the job. When finished in the "Runs" section of that job we can verify the successful run status

  9. Results After running the SDLB pipeline the data should be downloaded into the staging file stg_ab/result.csv and selected parts into the table int_ab

    • csv file: in the first step we downloaded the CSV file. This can be verified, e.g. by inspecting the data directory in the Databricks CLI using databricks fs ls dbfs:/data/stg-ab or running in a Workspace shell notebook ls /dbfs/data/stg-ab
    • database: in the second phase specific columns are put into the database. This can be verified in the Workspace -> Data -> default -> int_ab select table table

    Note that our final table was defined as DeltaLakeTableDataObject. With that, Smart Data Lake Builder automatically generates a Delta Lake Table in your Databricks workspace.

Lessons Learned

There are a few steps necessary, including building and uploading SDLB. Further, we need to be careful with the used versions of the underlying libraries. With these few steps we can reveal the power of SDLB and Databricks, creating a portable and reproducible pipeline into a Databricks Lakehouse.