A Survey of 21 ETL Tools for Python

Here are summaries of each of the tools you’ve mentioned along with examples of how to implement the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process using each tool within a Python workflow:

  1. Apache Spark: Apache Spark is a powerful open-source cluster-computing framework that provides an interface for programming entire clusters with implicit data parallelism and fault tolerance. It’s commonly used for processing large-scale data and running complex ETL pipelines. Example Implementation:
from pyspark.sql import SparkSession

spark = SparkSession.builder \
    .appName("ETLExample") \

# Load data from source
source_data = spark.read.csv("source_data.csv", header=True, inferSchema=True)

# Apply transformations
transformed_data = source_data.select("column1", "column2").filter(source_data["column3"] > 10)

# Write data to destination

  1. Apache Airflow: Apache Airflow is an open-source platform to programmatically author, schedule, and monitor workflows. It allows you to define complex ETL workflows as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and manage their execution. Example Implementation: Define a DAG in a Python script:
from airflow import DAG
from airflow.operators.python_operator import PythonOperator
from datetime import datetime

def etl_process():
    # Your ETL logic here

default_args = {
    'start_date': datetime(2023, 8, 1),
    'schedule_interval': '0 0 * * *',  # Run daily at midnight

dag = DAG('etl_workflow', default_args=default_args)

etl_task = PythonOperator(
  1. Luigi: Luigi is a Python package to build complex pipelines of batch jobs. It allows you to define tasks and dependencies in a Python script, making it easy to create and manage ETL workflows. Example Implementation:
import luigi

class ExtractTask(luigi.Task):
    def output(self):
        return luigi.LocalTarget('source_data.csv')

class TransformTask(luigi.Task):
    def requires(self):
        return ExtractTask()

    def output(self):
        return luigi.LocalTarget('transformed_data.csv')

    def run(self):
        source_data = pd.read_csv(self.input().path)
        transformed_data = source_data[['column1', 'column2']].loc[source_data['column3'] > 10]
        transformed_data.to_csv(self.output().path, index=False)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    luigi.build([TransformTask()], local_scheduler=True)
  1. Pandas: Pandas is a popular open-source data manipulation library for Python. While it’s not a full ETL framework, it’s widely used for data transformation and manipulation within ETL processes. Example Implementation:
import pandas as pd

# Load data from source
source_data = pd.read_csv('source_data.csv')

# Apply transformations
transformed_data = source_data[['column1', 'column2']][source_data['column3'] > 10]

# Write data to destination
transformed_data.to_csv('transformed_data.csv', index=False)
  1. Odo: Odo is a part of the Blaze ecosystem, designed for efficient data migration and ETL tasks. It allows you to move data between different data sources seamlessly. Example Implementation:
from odo import odo
import dask.dataframe as dd

# Load data from source (assuming source_data is a Dask DataFrame)
source_data = dd.read_csv('source_data.csv')

# Apply transformations
transformed_data = source_data[source_data['column3'] > 10][['column1', 'column2']]

# Write data to destination (assuming transformed_data is a Dask DataFrame)
odo(transformed_data, 'transformed_data.parquet')
  1. Bonobo: Bonobo is a lightweight and extensible Python ETL framework. It focuses on simplicity and ease of use, allowing developers to create ETL pipelines by defining reusable transformation functions. Example Implementation:
import bonobo

def extract():
    yield from range(10)

def transform(item):
    return item * 2

def load(item):

graph = bonobo.Graph(

if __name__ == "__main__":
    with bonobo.open(graph) as context:
  1. Petl: Petl is a Python library for extracting, transforming, and loading tabular data. It offers a simple and expressive way to work with data in CSV, Excel, and other formats. Example Implementation:
import petl as etl

source_data = etl.fromcsv('source_data.csv')
transformed_data = etl.cut(source_data, 'column1', 'column2').select(lambda rec: rec['column3'] > 10)
etl.tocsv(transformed_data, 'transformed_data.csv')
  1. Pygrametl: Pygrametl is a Python framework specifically designed for ETL tasks. It focuses on performance and simplicity, using a functional approach for building ETL processes. Example Implementation:
from pygrametl.datasources import CSVSource
from pygrametl.tables import Dimension, FactTable
from pygrametl.functions import lookup

# Define data sources and transformation functions
source = CSVSource('source_data.csv', delimiter=',')
dim_product = Dimension(
fact_sales = FactTable(
    measures=['quantity', 'amount']

# Build the ETL process
for row in source:
    product_id = lookup(dim_product, 'product_name', row['product_name'])
    fact_sales.insert(product_id=product_id, quantity=row['quantity'], amount=row['amount'])
  1. Pyspark: PySpark is the Python library for Apache Spark, an open-source big data processing framework. It allows you to process and analyze large datasets using distributed computing capabilities. Example Implementation:
from pyspark.sql import SparkSession

spark = SparkSession.builder \
    .appName("ETLExample") \

source_data = spark.read.csv("source_data.csv", header=True, inferSchema=True)

transformed_data = source_data.select("column1", "column2").filter(source_data["column3"] > 10)


  1. Blaze: Blaze is a part of the larger PyData ecosystem and provides an interface for working with data in a flexible and distributed manner. It’s designed to abstract data sources and allow for easy querying and transformation. Example Implementation:
from blaze import Data, by, transform

source_data = Data("source_data.csv")
transformed_data = transform(source_data, column1=by('column1'), column2=by('column2')).filter(by('column3') > 10)

  1. Dask: Dask is a parallel computing library that enables dynamic task scheduling for parallel and distributed computing in Python. It’s often used for scalable data processing and ETL tasks. Example Implementation:
import dask.dataframe as dd

source_data = dd.read_csv('source_data.csv')
transformed_data = source_data[source_data['column3'] > 10][['column1', 'column2']]

  1. Pachyderm: Pachyderm is a data versioning, data lineage, and data pipeline platform. It focuses on maintaining the provenance of data and building reproducible data pipelines. Example Implementation: Using Pachyderm involves setting up data repositories and pipelines via its command-line interface (CLI). Here’s an example Pachyderm pipeline manifest file:
  name: etl-pipeline
  image: python:3
  cmd: ["/bin/bash", "-c"]
  stdin: ["pip install pandas && python /code/etl_script.py"]
    glob: "/*"
  1. Toil: Toil is an open-source workflow engine designed for scalable and reproducible computational workflows. It’s capable of executing complex pipelines across different environments. Example Implementation: Define a Toil workflow in a Python script:
from toil.common import Toil
from toil.job import Job

def extract(job):
    # Extract data logic

def transform(job, input_data):
    # Transform data logic

def load(job, transformed_data):
    # Load data logic

if __name__ == '__main__':
    with Toil() as toil:
        job = Job.wrapJobFn(extract)
        transformed_data = Job.wrapJobFn(transform, job.rv())
        load_job = Job.wrapJobFn(load, transformed_data.rv())
  1. Azkaban: Azkaban is an open-source workflow management tool designed for creating and managing data workflows. It’s commonly used for scheduling and executing ETL tasks. Example Implementation: Assuming you have two Python scripts: extract.py and transform.py.
    • Create an Azkaban Project: Set up a new project in the Azkaban web interface.
    • Create a Workflow: Inside the project, create a new workflow. Add two tasks: one for the extraction step and another for the transformation step.
    • Task Configuration: Configure each task:
      • Task 1 (Extraction):
        • Type: Command
        • Command: python /path/to/extract.py
      • Task 2 (Transformation):
        • Type: Command
        • Dependencies: Extraction task
        • Command: python /path/to/transform.py
    • Schedule: Schedule the workflow to run at a specific time or interval.

When the workflow is triggered based on the schedule, Azkaban will execute the specified commands, which in this case are the Python scripts. The scripts themselves should be placed in the specified path on the execution environment.

  1. Oozie: Oozie is a workflow scheduler system for managing Hadoop jobs. It’s used to define and manage data processing workflows that consist of multiple Hadoop jobs or other tasks. Example Implementation: Define an Oozie workflow in an XML file, which can include various actions like MapReduce, Pig, Hive, and Shell. Here’s an example XML for a simple ETL workflow:
<workflow-app name="etl-workflow" xmlns="uri:oozie:workflow:0.5">
    <start to="etl-action"/>
    <action name="etl-action">
        <ok to="end"/>
        <error to="fail"/>
    <kill name="fail">
        <message>ETL action failed</message>
    <end name="end"/>
  1. Keboola: Keboola is a cloud-based data integration and analytics platform that allows you to design, automate, and manage data pipelines. It focuses on simplifying ETL processes and data transformations. Example Implementation: Set up an ETL process in Keboola through its user interface. The platform allows you to configure data sources, transformations, and destinations without writing code directly.

Cloud Based ETL Options

There are a number of cloud based options, the following are not an exhaustive list, just some of the common options that you have among the big cloud providers.

  1. AWS Data Pipeline: AWS Data Pipeline is a web service that allows you to schedule regular data movement and data transformation activities across different AWS services and on-premises data sources. Example Implementation: Define a pipeline in AWS Data Pipeline using the console or AWS CloudFormation templates. Here’s an example JSON pipeline definition for a simple ETL process:
  "objects": [
      "id": "MyRedshiftToS3CopyActivity",
      "name": "CopyActivity",
      "schedule": {
        "ref": "DefaultSchedule"
      "input": {
        "ref": "MyRedshiftDataNode"
      "output": {
        "ref": "MyS3DataNode"
      "runsOn": {
        "ref": "MyEc2Resource"
      "type": "CopyActivity"
  1. AWS Glue: AWS Glue is a fully managed extract, transform, and load (ETL) service that makes it easy to move data between data stores, cleanse, and transform data using Python or Spark. Example Implementation: Create an AWS Glue ETL job using the Glue Console. Here’s an example Glue script in Python that reads data from Amazon S3, applies a transformation, and writes it to another S3 location:
import sys
from awsglue.transforms import *

glueContext = GlueContext(SparkContext.getOrCreate())
source_dyf = glueContext.create_dynamic_frame.from_catalog(database = "my_database", table_name = "my_table")

transformed_dyf = ApplyMapping.apply(
    frame = source_dyf,
    mappings = [("source_column", "string", "target_column", "string")]

    database = "my_database", 
    table_name = "my_transformed_table"
  1. AWS Batch: AWS Batch enables you to run batch computing workloads on the AWS Cloud. It dynamically provisions the optimal quantity and type of compute resources, and it handles job dependencies, retries, and scaling. Example Implementation: Create an AWS Batch job definition using the AWS Management Console or AWS CloudFormation templates. Here’s an example Docker container command for an ETL task using AWS Batch:
# Dockerfile
FROM python:3.8
COPY etl_script.py /etl_script.py
CMD ["python", "/etl_script.py"]
  1. Google Dataflow: Google Dataflow is a fully managed, serverless processing service for stream and batch data processing tasks. It’s built on Apache Beam and designed to handle ETL pipelines at scale. Example Implementation: Implement a simple ETL pipeline using Dataflow’s Python SDK. Here’s an example of reading from a Pub/Sub topic, applying a transformation, and writing to BigQuery:
import apache_beam as beam

pipeline = beam.Pipeline()
    | beam.io.ReadFromPubSub(topic='projects/my-project/topics/my-topic')
    | beam.Map(lambda x: x.upper())
    | beam.io.WriteToBigQuery(
  1. Azure Data Factory: Azure Data Factory is a cloud-based data integration service that allows you to create, schedule, and manage data pipelines for orchestrating and automating data movement and data transformation. Example Implementation: Define an Azure Data Factory pipeline using the Azure portal or Azure Resource Manager templates. Here’s an example JSON pipeline definition for copying data from an Azure SQL Database to Azure Blob Storage:
  "name": "CopyPipeline",
  "properties": {
    "activities": [
        "name": "CopyDataActivity",
        "type": "Copy",
        "inputs": [
            "referenceName": "SourceDataset"
        "outputs": [
            "referenceName": "DestinationDataset"
    "start": "2018-08-01T00:00:00Z",
    "end": "2018-08-01T23:59:59Z"


ETL frameworks for Python empower data professionals to efficiently extract, transform, and load data. Tools like Apache Spark offer distributed processing capabilities for big data scenarios, while platforms like AWS Glue simplify serverless ETL with cloud integration. Dask enables parallel computing, Google Dataflow streamlines data processing, and Azure Data Factory orchestrates data movement in the cloud. These frameworks provide diverse solutions for data integration and transformation, catering to various scales and complexities within modern data workflows.