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Maestro is a SQL-centric tool for orchestrating BigQuery jobs. Maestro also supports data transfers from and to Google Cloud Storage (GCS) and relational databases (presently PostgresSQL and MySQL).

Maestro is a "catalog" of SQL statements. Key feature of Maestro is the ability to infer dependencies by examining the SQL and without any additional configuration. Maestro can execute all tasks in correct order without a manually specified order (i.e. a "DAG"). Execution can be associated with a frequency (cadence) without requiring any cron or cron-like configuration.

Maestro is an ever-running service (daemon). It uses PostgreSQL to store the SQL and all other configuration, state and history. The daemon takes great care to maintain all of its state in PostgreSQL so that it can be stopped or restarted without interrupting any in-progress jobs (in most cases).

Maestro records all BigQuery job and other history and has a notion of users and groups which is useful for attributing costs and resource utilization to users and groups.

Maestro has a basic web-based user interface implemented in React, though its API can also be used directly. Maestro can notify arbitrary applications of job completion via a simple HTTP request. Maestro also provides a Python client library for a more native Python experience.

Maestro integrates with Google OAuth for authentication, Google Sheets for simple exports, Github (for SQL revision control) and Slack (for alerts and notifications).


Maestro was designed with simplicity as one of its primary goals. It trades flexibility usually afforded by configurability in various languages for the transaprency and clarity achievable by leveraging the declarative nature of SQL.

Maestro works best for environments where BigQuery is the primary store of all data for analyitcal purposes. E.g. the data may be periodically imported into BigQuery from various databases. Once imported, data may be subsequently summarized or transformed via a sequence of BigQuery jobs. The summarized data can then be exported to external databases/application for additional processing (e.g. SciPy) and possibly be imported back into BigQiery, and so on. Every step of this process can be orchestrated by Maestro without relying on any external scheduling facility such as cron.

Key Concepts

Below is the listing of all the key conepts with explanations.


A table is the central object in Maestro. It always corresponds to a table in BigQuery. Maestro code and documentation use the verb "run" with respect to tables. To "run a table" means to perform whatever action is called for in its configuration and store the result in a BigQuery table.

A table is (in most cases) defined by a BigQuery SQL statement. There are three kinds of tables in Maestro.

Summary Table

A summary table is produced by executing a BigQuery SQL statement (a Query job).

Import Table

An import table is produced by executing SQL on an external database and importing the result into BigQuery. The SQL statement in this case it intentionally restricted to a primitive which supports only SELECT, FROM, WHERE and LIMIT. This is so as to discourage the users from running a complex and taxing query on the database server. The main reason for this SQL statement is to filter out or transform columns, any other processing is best done subsequently in BigQuery.

External Table

This is a table whose data comes from GCS. The import is triggered via the Maestro API. Such tables are generally used when BigQuery data needs to be processed by an external tool, e.g. SciPy, etc.


A job is a BigQuery job. BigQquery has three types of jobs: query, extract and load. All three types are used in Maestro. These details are internal but should be familiar to developers.

A BigQquery query job is executed as part of running a table.

A BigQuery extract job is executed as part of running a table, after the query job is complete. It results in one or more extract files in GCS. Maestro provides signed URLs to the GCS files so that external tools require no authentication to access the data. This is also facilitated via the Maestro pythonlib.

A BigQuery load job is executed as part of running an import table. It is the last step of the import, after the external database table data has been copied to GCS.


A run is a complex process which happens periodically, according to a frequency. For example if a daily frequency is defined, then Maestro will construct a run once per day, selecting all tables (including import tables) assigned to this frequency, computing the dependency graph and creating jobs for each table. The jobs are then executed in correct order based on the position in the graph and the number of workers available. Maestro will also assign priority based on the number of child dependencies a table has, thus running the most "important" tables first.

Getting Started

PostgreSQL 9.6 or later is required to run Maestro. Building a "production" binary, i.e. with all assets included in the binary itself requires Webpack. Webpack is not necessary for "development" mode which uses Babel for transpilation.

Download and compile Maestro with "go get". (Note that this will create a $GOPATH/bin/maestro binary, which is not very useful, you can delete it). From here cd $GOPATH/src/ and go build. You should now have a "maestro" binary in this directory.

You can also create a "production" binary by running "make build". This will combine all the javascript code into a single file and pack it and all other assets into the maestro binary itself, so that to deploy you only need the binary and no other files.

Create a PostgreSQL database named "maestro". If you name it something other than that, you will need to provide that name to Maestro via the -db-connect flag which defaults to "host=/var/run/postgresql dbname=maestro sslmode=disable", which should work on most Linux distros. On MacOS the Postgres socket is likely to be in "/private/tmp" and one way to address this is to run "ln -s /private/tmp /var/run/postgresql"

Maestro connects to many services and needs credentials for all of them. These credentials are stored in the database, all encrypted using the same shared secret which must be specified on the command line via the -secret argument. The -secret argument is meant mostly for development, in production it is much more secure to use the -secretpath option pointing to the location of a file containing the secret.

From the Google Cloud perspective, it is best to create a project entirely dedicated to Maestro, with BigQuery and GCS API's enabled, then create a Service Account (in IAM) dedicated to Maestro, as well as OAuth credentials. The service account will need BigQuery Editor, Job User and Storage Object Admin roles.

Run Maestro like so: ./maestro -secret=whatever where "whatever" is the shared secret you invent and need to remember.

You should now be able to visit the Maestro UI, by default it is at http://localhost:3000

When you click on the log-in link, since at this point Maestro has no OAuth configuration, you will be presented with a form asking for the relevant info, which you will need to provide. You should then be redirected to the Google OAuth login page. From here on the configuration is stored in the database in encrypted form.

As the first user of this Maestro instance, you are automatically marked as "admin", which means you can perform any action. As an admin, you should see the "Admin" menu in the upper right. Click on it and select the "Credentials" option.

You now need to populate the credentials. The BigQuery, default dataset and GCS bucket are required, while Git and Slack are optional, but highly recommended.

Note that the BigQuery dataset and the GCS bucket are not created by Maestro, you need to create those manually. The GCS bucket is used for data exports, and it is generally a good idea to set the data in it to expire after several days or whatever works for you.

If you need to import data from external databases, you can add those credentials under the Admin / Databases menu.

You may want to create a frequency (also under Admin menu). A frequency is how periodic jobs are scheduled in Maestro. It is defined by a period and an offset. The period is passed to time.Truncate() function, and if the result is 0, this is when a run is triggered. The offset is an offset into the period. E.g. to define a frequency that start a run at 4am UTC, you need to specify a period of 86400 and an offset of 14400.

Note that Maestro needs to be restarted after these configuration changes (this will be fixed later).

At this point you should be able to create a summary table with some simple SQL, e.g. "SELECT 'hello' AS world", save it and run it. If it executes correctly, you should be able to see this new table in the BigQuery UI.

Package Files

assetfs.go doc.go main.go


bqPackage bq is responsible for all interactions with BigQuery.
cryptoBasic encrypt/decrypt functionality using AES-GCM.
daemonPackage daemon is responsible for all aspects of Maestro running as a service.
dbPackage db is where all database-specific code which maintains Maestro state and configuration resides.
dbsyncPackage dbsync contains the code for transferring data in and out of external PostgreSQL and MySQL databases, primarily for Maestro import tables.
gcsPackage GCS contains the code to interface with Google Cloud Storage.
gitPackage git provides the functionality for interacting with git/GitHub.
gsheetsPackage gsheets contains the functionality necessary to interface with Google Sheets.
modelPackage model is the core of Maestro.
oauthPackage oauth provides the integration with Google OAuth.
schedulerPackage scheduler contains all the logic for periodic execution of tables, including construction of a dependency graph, prioritization, etc.
slackPackage slack contains code to interface with the Slack API.
uiPackage UI contains all the code behind the Maestro API.

Package main imports 9 packages (graph). Updated 2019-07-27. Refresh now. Tools for package owners.

The go get command cannot install this package because of the following issues: