Share information between tasks in a Databricks job

You can use task values to pass arbitrary parameters between tasks in a Databricks job. You pass task values using the taskValues subutility in Databricks Utilities. The taskValues subutility provides a simple API that allows tasks to output values that can be referenced in subsequent tasks, making it easier to create more expressive workflows. For example, you can communicate identifiers or metrics, such as information about the evaluation of a machine learning model, between different tasks within a job run. Each task can set and get multiple task values. Task values can be set and retrieved in Python notebooks.

Using task values

The taskValues subutility provides two commands: dbutils.jobs.taskValues.set() to set a variable and dbutils.jobs.taskValues.get() to retrieve a value. Suppose you have two notebook tasks: Get_user_data and Analyze_user_data and want to pass a user’s name and age from the Get_user_data task to the Analyze_user_data task. The following example sets the user’s name and age in the Set_user_data task:

dbutils.jobs.taskValues.set(key = 'name', value = 'Some User')
dbutils.jobs.taskValues.set(key = "age", value = 30)
  • key is the name of the task value key. This name must be unique to the task.

  • value is the value for this task value’s key. This command must be able to represent the value internally in JSON format. The size of the JSON representation of the value cannot exceed 48 KiB.

The following example then gets the values in the Analyze_user_data task:

dbutils.jobs.taskValues.get(taskKey = "Get_user_data", key = "age", default = 42, debugValue = 0)
dbutils.jobs.taskValues.get(taskKey = "Get_user_data", key = "name", default = "Jane Doe")
  • taskKey is the name of the job task setting the value. If the command cannot find this task, a ValueError is raised.

  • key is the name of the task value’s key. If the command cannot find this task value’s key, a ValueError is raised (unless default is specified).

  • default is an optional value that is returned if key cannot be found. default cannot be None.

  • debugValue is an optional value that is returned if you try to get the task value from within a notebook that is running outside of a job. This can be useful during debugging when you want to run your notebook manually and return some value instead of raising a TypeError by default. debugValue cannot be None.

As a more complex example of sharing context between tasks, suppose that you have an application that includes several machine learning models to predict an individual’s income given various personal attributes, and a task that determines the best model to use based on output from the previous three tasks. The models are run by three tasks named Logistic_Regression, Decision_Tree, and Random_Forest, and the Best_Model task determines the best model to use based on output from the previous three tasks.

Graph of example classification application

The accuracy for each model (how well the classifier predicts income) is passed in a task value to determine the best performing algorithm. For example, the logistic regression notebook associated with the Logistic_Regression task includes the following command:

dbutils.jobs.taskValues.set(key = "model_performance", value = result)

Each model task sets a value for the model_performance key. The Best_Model task reads the value for each task, and uses that value to determine the optimal model. The following example reads the value set by the Logistic_Regression task:

logistic_regression = dbutils.jobs.taskValues.get(taskKey = "Logistic_Regression", key = "model_performance")

View task values

To view the value of a task value after a task runs, go to the task run history for the task. The task value results are displayed in the Output panel.