SDK Dev Guide

Tap Development Overview

Create taps with the SDK requires overriding just two or three classes:

  1. The Tap class. This class governs configuration, validation, and stream discovery.

  2. The stream class. You have different options for your base class depending on the type of data source you are working with:

    • Stream - The generic base class for streams.

    • RESTStream - The base class for REST-type streams.

    • GraphQLStream - The base class for GraphQL-type streams. This class inherits from RESTStream, since GraphQL is built upon REST.

  3. An optional authenticator class. You can omit this class entirely if you do not require authentication or if you prefer to write custom authentication logic. The supported authenticator classes are:

    • SimpleAuthenticator - This class is functionally equivalent to overriding http_headers property in the stream class.

    • OAuthAuthenticator - This class performs an OAuth 2.0 authentication flow.

    • OAuthJWTAuthenticator - This class performs an JWT (JSON Web Token) authentication flow.

Target Development Overview

Create targets with the SDK requires overriding just two classes:

  1. The Target class. This class governs configuration, validation, and stream discovery.

  2. The Sink class. You have two different options depending on whether your target prefers writing one record at a time versus writing in batches:

    • RecordSink writes one record at a time, via the process_record() method.

    • BatchSink writes one batch at a time. Important class members include:

      • start_batch() to (optionally) initialize a new batch.

      • process_record() to enqueue a record to be written.

      • process_batch() to write any queued records and cleanup local resources.

Note: The Sink class can receive records from one stream or from many. See the Sink documentation for more information on differences between a target’s Sink class versus a tap’s Stream class.

Building a New Tap or Target

First, install cookiecutter if you haven’t done so already:

# Install pipx if you haven't already
pip3 install pipx
pipx ensurepath
# Restart your terminal here, if needed, to get the updated PATH
pipx install cookiecutter

Now you can initialize your new project with the Cookiecutter template for taps:

cookiecutter --directory="cookiecutter/tap-template"

…or for targets:

cookiecutter --directory="cookiecutter/target-template"

Once you’ve answered the cookiecutter prompts, follow the instructions in the generated file to complete your new tap or target. You can also reference the Meltano Tutorial for a more detailed guide.


By default, the Singer SDK for REST streams assumes the API responds with a JSON array or records, but you can easily override this behaviour by specifying the records_jsonpath expression in your RESTStream implementation:

class EntityStream(RESTStream):
    """Entity stream from a generic REST API."""
    records_jsonpath = "$.data.records[*]"

You can test your JSONPath expressions with the JSONPath Online Evaluator.

Nested array example

Many APIs return the records in an array nested inside an JSON object key.

  • Response:

      "data": {
        "records": [
          {"id": 1, "value": "abc"},
          {"id": 2, "value": "def"}
  • Expression: $.data.records[*]

  • Result:

      {"id": 1, "value": "abc"},
      {"id": 2, "value": "def"}

Nested object values example

Some APIs instead return the records as values inside an object where each key is some form of identifier.

  • Response:

      "data": {
        "1": {
          "id": 1,
          "value": "abc"
        "2": {
          "id": 2,
          "value": "def"
  • Expression: $.data.*

  • Result:

      {"id": 1, "value": "abc"},
      {"id": 2, "value": "def"}

Additional Resources

Detailed Class Reference

For a detailed reference, please see the SDK Reference Guide

SDK Implementation Details

For more information about the SDK’s’ Singer implementation details, please see the SDK Implementation Details section.

Code Samples

For a list of code samples solving a variety of different scenarios, please see our Code Samples page.

CLI Samples

For a list of sample CLI commands you can run, click here.

Python Tips

We’ve collected some Python tips which may be helpful for new SDK users.

Testing performance

We’ve had success using viztracer to create flame graphs for SDK-based packages and find if there are any serious performance bottlenecks.

You can start doing the same in your package. Start by installing viztracer.

$ poetry add --dev viztracer

Then simply run your package’s CLI as normal, preceded by the viztracer command

$ poetry run viztracer my-tap

That command will produce a result.json file which you can explore with the vizviewer tool.

$ poetry run vizviewer result.json

Thet output should look like this

SDK Flame Graph

Note: Chrome seems to work best for running the vizviewer app.