Converting a Spark DataFrame to a Pandas DataFrame

This example shows the process of returning a Spark dataset from a Flyte task and then utilizing it as a Pandas DataFrame.

To begin, import the libraries.

import flytekit
import pandas
from flytekit import ImageSpec, Resources, kwtypes, task, workflow
from flytekit.types.structured.structured_dataset import StructuredDataset
from flytekitplugins.spark import Spark
from typing_extensions import Annotated

Create an ImageSpec to automate the retrieval of a prebuilt Spark image.

custom_image = ImageSpec(registry="", packages=["flytekitplugins-spark"])


Replace with a container registry you’ve access to publish to. To upload the image to the local registry in the demo cluster, indicate the registry as localhost:30000.

In this particular example, we specify two column types: name: str and age: int that we extract from the Spark DataFrame.

columns = kwtypes(name=str, age=int)

To create a Spark task, add Spark config to the Flyte task.

The spark_conf parameter can encompass configuration choices commonly employed when setting up a Spark cluster. Additionally, if necessary, you can provide hadoop_conf as an input.

Create a task that yields a Spark DataFrame.

            "spark.driver.memory": "1000M",
            "spark.executor.memory": "1000M",
            "spark.executor.cores": "1",
            "spark.executor.instances": "2",
            "spark.driver.cores": "1",
            "spark.jars": "",
def spark_df() -> Annotated[StructuredDataset, columns]:
    This task returns a Spark dataset that conforms to the defined schema.
    sess = flytekit.current_context().spark_session
    return StructuredDataset(
                ("Alice", 5),
                ("Bob", 10),
                ("Charlie", 15),
            ["name", "age"],

spark_df represents a Spark task executed within a Spark context, leveraging an active Spark cluster.

This task yields a pyspark.DataFrame object, even though the return type is specified as StructuredDataset. The Flytekit type system handles the automatic conversion of the pyspark.DataFrame into a StructuredDataset object. The StructuredDataset object serves as an abstract representation of a DataFrame, adaptable to various DataFrame formats.

Create a task to consume the Spark DataFrame.

def sum_of_all_ages(sd: Annotated[StructuredDataset, columns]) -> int:
    df: pandas.DataFrame =
    return int(df["age"].sum())

The sum_of_all_ages task accepts a parameter of type StructuredDataset. By utilizing the open method, you can designate the DataFrame format, which, in our scenario, is pandas.DataFrame. When all is invoked on the structured dataset, the executor will load the data into memory (or download it if executed remotely).

Lastly, define a workflow.

def spark_to_pandas_wf() -> int:
    df = spark_df()
    return sum_of_all_ages(sd=df)

You can execute the code locally.

if __name__ == "__main__":
    print(f"Running {__file__} main...")
    print(f"Running my_smart_schema()-> {spark_to_pandas_wf()}")

New DataFrames can be dynamically loaded through the type engine. To register a custom DataFrame type, you can define an encoder and decoder for StructuredDataset as outlined in the StructuredDataset example.

Existing DataFrame plugins include: