# Templating names

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There are several places within Prefect where names can be templated at runtime to create a value relevant to that specific run. These names can be passed as literal strings, e.g. "my_foo_task", but to get dynamic values based on the current state, we'll need to use template strings. Here, we take advantage of Python's format string and provide various arguments. Instead of a static string, you'll pass a string that will be formatted at runtime, e.g. "foo-{today}", where today is the name of one of the variables we provide.

# Where can I use templating?

Templating is available for:

# What variables can I use?

All templatable objects are passed:

Naming collisions

The variables are loaded in the order shown above. Collisions will be resolved such that the last loaded value overwrites those above it. For example, if your a task input name is the same as the name of a variable in the context, the input variable value will overwrite context value.

# Examples

# Using task inputs

The name can be a templatable string like "{val}". Make sure not to try to format the string early, e.g. f"{val}" as this will be formatted when your flow is defined rather than when it is run.

Here's an example that uses the task input to determine the name.

from prefect import task, Flow

def compute(val):

with Flow("template-example") as flow:

# Callable name generators

Templates can also be callables, which give you the ability to do more complex determinations.

from prefect import task, Flow

def generate_task_run_name(val: str, **kwargs):
    Replace spaces with '-' and truncate at 10 characters.

    You can specify some arguments if you know they will be passed, but you must take
    **kwargs to consume the rest of the passed values from the context or an exception
    will be thrown.
    val = val.replace(" ", "-")
    if len(val) > 10:
        val = val[:10]
    return val

def compute(val: str):

with Flow("template-example") as flow:
    compute(val="hello this is a kind of long sentence")

# Using flow parameters

All parameters in the flow are made available, even if not used in the task. Here's an example using a Parameter to template a local result location.

import os
from prefect import task, Flow, Parameter
from prefect.engine.results import LocalResult

result_basepath = Parameter("result_basepath", default="~")

def format_location(result_basepath, task_name, **kwargs):
    # Notice we expand the user at runtime so the user of the parameter
    # does not need to worry about the path to the home directory on the
    # server that the flow runs on
    return f"{os.path.expanduser(result_basepath)}/{task_name}.prefect"

def my_task():
    return [1, 2, 3, 4]

with Flow("local-result-parametrized") as flow:

# Ensure the parameter is registered to the flow even though no task uses it

# Formatting dates

The context contains a pendulum DateTime object which allows manipulation of the timestamp. For example, this writes the result to ~/2020-12_my_task.prefect.

import os
from prefect import task, Flow,
from prefect.engine.results import LocalResult

def format_location(date, task_name, **kwargs):
    return os.path.join(
        os.path.expanduser("~"), f"{date.year}-{date.month}_{task_name}.prefect"

def my_task():
    return [1, 2, 3, 4]

with Flow("local-result-with-date-parsing") as flow:

Python date formatting

You can also format dates with the Python built-in formatting. For example, the following will create a name like Tuesday-Dec-29

from prefect import task, Flow

def compute():

with Flow("template-example") as flow: