Custom Write with Blob Stores

Custom Write in Ascend allows you full flexibility in how you write your data out to blob store. In this doc, we'll be using the S3 connection as an example, but this method is also available for Azure Data Lake Storage and Google Cloud Storage

Accessing the Custom Write interface

  1. Create a blob store connection: AWS S3, GCS, ADLS
  2. Create a write connector: AWS S3, GCS, ADLS
  3. Set the Output Directory for where the data is written out to. This is a required field and is passed to the write function signature, but can be over-written in code.


Write Format

The "Format" field for the write connector is still required. However, this does not affect how the Custom Write functions, as you will ultimately program the format in the custom write code.

  1. Select the following options:
    Write Function Signature: Custom Function
    Parser Code Interface: write() called with all data provided
    Code Fingerprint Strategy: Automatic content-based fingerprint

Using the write() function

def write(filesystem: AsyncFileSystem, spark: SparkSession, data_provider: DataProvider, output_directory: str, **kwargs) -> None:

The write() function allows you to specify the logic to write out data to your destination. Below are explanations on the parameters passed in and how to use them:

filesystem: A Pythonic file interface for your blob store (for example, s3fs for Amazon S3) which allows you to carry out standard file-system operations. For example, to open a file for writing in S3, you would write:


spark: the SparkSession, which is the interface for Spark functionality.
data_provider: the Ascend DataProvider class. This provides an interface to access input data. The class definition is as such:

Class: DataProvider
partitions(): Returns a Python array of Partition objects (defined below). 
schema(): Returns the schema of data as a Spark StructType
data(): Returns all upstream data as a single Spark Dataframe

Class: Partition
semantic_sha(): Returns the semantic SHA for the partition. Semantic sha's are determined by 
the input data SHA and the SHA of the configuration for the Write Connector
data(): Returns a Spark dataframe for the current partition

output_directory: access the Output Directory value from the Write Connector configs.

Example: Writing data partitioned by minute

from ascend.connection.base import DataProvider
from fsspec.asyn import AsyncFileSystem
import pyarrow as pa
import pyarrow.parquet as pq
from pyspark.sql import DataFrame, SparkSession

def write(filesystem: AsyncFileSystem, spark: SparkSession, data_provider: DataProvider, output_directory: str, **kwargs) -> None:
    pd =
    pd['year'] = pd['at_ts'].dt.year
    pd['month'] = pd['at_ts'].dt.month
    pd['day'] = pd['at_ts']
    pd['hour'] = pd['at_ts'].dt.hour
    pd['minute'] = pd['at_ts'].dt.minute

                        partition_cols=['year', 'month', 'day', 'hour', 'minute'],

In this example, we are writing the data from our upstream component, partitioned by minute, out to S3 using PyArrow. We first create a pandas dataframe by calling toPandas() on the Spark dataframe returned by

The timestamp we want to partition on is as_ts, so we use Pandas to create year, month, day, hour, and minute columns.

Finally, we use the PyArrow parquet write_to_dataset function to write the data out by passing in our filesystem, specifying the directory we want to write out to, and selecting the columns we want to the data to be partitioned on.