DBT : Explain DBT’s .dbtignore


In a DBT (Data Build Tool) project, the .dbtignore file is used to specify which files and directories should be ignored by DBT when executing various commands such as dbt run or dbt test. This file is similar to .gitignore, which is used to specify files and directories to ignore when working with Git.

The .dbtignore file is placed in the root directory of your DBT project and contains a list of file paths and directory names that should be ignored by DBT. When DBT processes your project files, it will skip over any files or directories listed in the .dbtignore file. This can be useful for excluding files that are not relevant to your data transformation, such as log files or backup files.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when working with .dbtignore:

  1. Syntax: The .dbtignore file uses the same syntax as .gitignore. Each line in the file specifies a file path or directory name to be ignored. You can use wildcards to match patterns of files or directories.
  2. Placement: The .dbtignore file should be placed in the root directory of your DBT project, along with the dbt_project.yml file.
  3. Ignored files and directories: Any file or directory listed in the .dbtignore file will be ignored by DBT. This includes files and directories in the same directory as the .dbtignore file, as well as any files or directories in subdirectories.
  4. Negation: You can use the exclamation mark ! to negate a pattern in the .dbtignore file. For example, if you want to ignore all files in a directory except for one specific file, you can use the following pattern: directory/*, followed by !directory/specific_file.sql.
  5. Debugging: If you’re having trouble with files being ignored when they shouldn’t be, you can use the --debug flag with your DBT command to see which files are being ignored by DBT.

In summary, the .dbtignore file is an important component of a DBT project. It allows you to specify which files and directories should be ignored by DBT, making it easier to manage your project files and ensuring that DBT runs only on relevant files. By following the guidelines for syntax, placement, and negation, you can ensure that your .dbtignore file works as expected and improves your DBT project workflow.

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