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dbt Core

dbt is a data transformation tool where data analysts and engineers can transform, test, and document data in the data warehouse. Transform’s integration with dbt Core gives you the power to define Transform data sources using dbt models. Transform then surfaces useful metadata from your dbt models—like the time of the last successful run—and links to model documentation directly in the Transform App.


  • You have an active dbt Core setup
  • You have an active Transform account

Setup Instructions

You’ll first need to do the following setup in your dbt project and Transform in order to use the integration:

  1. (In dbt) In your dbt project’s dbt_project.yml file, add the following “post-hook” line under the models parameter:
    post-hook: "{{ transform_dbt_sync.log_model_end_event() }}"
  2. (In dbt) In your dbt project’s packages.yml file, add the transform-dbt-sync package:
    - git:
    revision: 0.1.1
  3. (In dbt) Commit the changes from Steps 1 and 2 to your project.
  4. (In dbt) Kick off a fresh run of your dbt project to ensure that the installed package has logged the requisite metadata. Since you are using dbt Core, follow your manual process for kicking off a dbt run of your project.
  5. (In Transform) In the Transform App, navigate to Settings → Integrations → Click “Get Started” on dbt card → Select the “dbt Core” option:
    • Enter your self-hosted docs URL in the input field.
    • Click the “Test Connection” button. You should be taken to a new tab that takes you directly to a page with a url path to your project's directory.
    • Once you’ve verified that "Test Connection" does in fact take you to the dbt project docs site you expect, mark the verification checkbox and click the “Submit” button.

Using dbt models for your Transform Metrics

Once you complete the setup instructions, you’re ready to add your dbt models as a data source in your Transform source configuration files.

  1. Add your dbt model in the dbt_model parameter, with the format database.target_schema_name.dbt_model_name (where target_schema_name is the target designated in your dbt profiles.yml configuration). You must still specify a value in the sql_table or sql_query parameter, following the format of database.target_schema_name.output_table_name.

    name: calls
    description: This data source is sourced from the demo.calls table. Each row in this table represents a call. Each call has a user_id representing the user making that call.
    sql_table: demo_dbt.calls
    dbt_model: demo_dbt.calls_base

    - name: call
    type: primary
    expr: call_id
    - name: user_id
    type: foreign

    - name: calls
    description: The total number of calls made.
    expr: 1
    agg: sum

    - name: ds
    type: time
    is_partition: false
    is_primary: True
    time_granularity: day

    type: immutable
    name: calls
    description: Calls made by users.
    display_name: Calls 📞
    type: measure_proxy
    measure: calls
    tier: 1
  2. Run mql validate-configs to verify that your data source file which uses a dbt model passes all the validation checks.

  3. Commit your configs, either by opening and merging a PR or by running mql commit-configs --force-primary.

Viewing dbt source freshness in the Transform App

You’ll now be able to see the source freshness for the dbt models you use as data sources in the Transform App. In Transform, navigate to a metric page where you used a dbt model as a data source.


Your dbt job(s) will need to run before you are able to see dbt source freshness in the Transform App for the first time. It can take up to 10 minutes for the dbt metadata to sync with Transform and get surfaced in the app.

There are two places in the Transform App where you can view dbt source freshness information:

  1. Click the “Metric Lineage” button in the Metric Definition section dbtLineageGraph

  2. Click the “dbt Source Freshness” button in the Metric Definition section dbtSourceFreshness

In both sections above, the dbt source freshness timestamp indicates the last time that particular dbt model completed a run.


At the moment, source freshness information will only be displayed for metrics that use dbt models as a data source.

Viewing dbt lineage docs in the Transform App

If you have completed Step 3 in the Setup Instructions section, then you’ll also be able to access the lineage docs link for every dbt model you use as a data source in Transform.

Follow these steps:

  • Click the “Metric Lineage” button.
  • Click on any Data Source card in the lineage graph with a dbt icon.
  • Scroll down and click the “dbt Source File” button. You should be taken to a new tab that takes you directly to the docs page for that particular dbt model.dbtDocsButton


  • Click the “dbt Source Freshness” button.
  • Click on the data source name of any of the Data Source cards. dbtSourceFreshnessArrow

We generate dbt lineage docs links based on the dbt run documentation. For the docs links to work, make sure that you’ve completed Step 5 in the Setup Instructions.