Local Relations

In addition to working with file relations backed up by Hadoop compatible file systems (HDFS, S3, …), Flowman also supports the local file system as backend for working with files. The implementation is independant of the normal Apache Spark data sources, therefore only a very limited set of file formats are supported.


    kind: local
    location: $outputPath
    pattern: data.csv
    format: csv
      kind: inline
        - name: str_col
          type: string
        - name: int_col
          type: integer


  • kind (mandatory) (string): local
  • schema (optional) (schema) (default: empty): Explicitly specifies the schema of the local relation.
  • description (optional) (string) (default: empty): A description of the relation. This is purely for informational purpose.
  • options (optional) (map:string) (default: empty): All options are passed directly to the reader/writer backend and are specific to each supported format.
  • format (optional) (string) (default: csv): This specifies the file format to use. Since the implementation of local file formats is separate from Apache Spark, only a limited number of formats are currently supported.
  • location (mandatory) (string): This field specifies the storage location in the local file system. If the data source is partitioned, this should specify only the root location below which partition directories are created.
  • partitions (optional) (list:partition) (default: empty): In order to use partitioned file based data sources, you need to define the partitioning columns. Each partitioning column has a name and a type and optionally a granularity.
  • pattern (optional) (string) (default: empty): This field specifies the directory and/or file name pattern to access specific partitions. Please see the section Partitioning below.


When using local relations as data sinks in a relation target, then Flowman will manage the whole lifecycle of the directory for you. This means that

  • The directory specified in location will be created during create phase
  • The directory specified in location will be populated with records or partitioning subdirectories will be added during build phase
  • The directory specified in location will be truncated or individual partitions will be dropped during clean phase
  • The directory specified in location tables will be removed during destroy phase

Automatic Migrations

The local relation does not support any automatic migration like adding/removing columns.

Supported File Format

The local relation only supports a very limited set of file formats (currently only CSV files)



The local relation also supports partitioning by storing different partitions in separate files or subdirectories. You need to explicitly specify a partition pattern via the pattern field.