Jobs API

Last Updated: September 12, 2016

The Jobs API provides a way for your app to run asynchronous tasks (meaning that after starting a task you don’t have to wait for it to finish before moving on). As an example, you may need to run a model that takes a long time (potentially hours or days) to complete. Using the Jobs API you can create a job that will run the model, and then leave it to run while your app moves on and does other stuff. You can check the job’s status at any time, and when the job is done the Jobs API will help retrieve the results.

Key Concepts

To facilitate interacting with jobs asynchronously, they are stored in a database. The Jobs API provides a job manager to handle the details of working with the database, and provides a simple interface for creating and retrieving jobs. The first step to creating a job is to define a job template. A job template is like a blue print that describes certain key characteristics about the job, such as the job type and where the job will be run. The job manager uses a job template to create a new job that has all of the attributes that were defined in the template. Once a job has been created from a template it can then be customized with any additional attributes that are needed for that specific job.

The Jobs API supports various types of jobs (see Job Types).


The real power of the jobs API comes when it is combined with the Compute API. This make it possible for jobs to be offloaded from the main web server to a scalable computing cluster, which in turn enables very large scale jobs to be processed. This is done through the Condor Job Type or the Condor Workflow Job Type.

See also

The Condor Job and the Condor Workflow job types use the CondorPy library to submit jobs to HTCondor compute pools. For more information on CondorPy and HTCondor see the CondorPy documentation and specifically the Overview of HTCondor.

Defining Job Templates

To create jobs in an app you first need to define job templates. A job template specifies the type of job, and also defines all of the static attributes of the job that will be the same for all instances of that template. These attributes often include the names of the executable, input files, and output files. Job templates are defined in a method on the TethysAppBase subclass in module. The following code sample shows how this is done:

from import CondorJobTemplate, CondorJobDescription
from tethys_sdk.compute import list_schedulers

def job_templates(cls):
    Example job_templates method.
    my_scheduler = list_schedulers()[0]

    my_job_description = CondorJobDescription(condorpy_template_name='vanilla_transfer_files',
                                              remote_input_files=('$(APP_WORKSPACE)/', '$(APP_WORKSPACE)/input_1', '$(USER_WORKSPACE)/input_2'),
                                              transfer_input_files=('../input_1', '../input_2'),
                                              transfer_output_files=('example_output1', example_output2),

    job_templates = (CondorJobTemplate(name='example',

    return job_templates


To define job templates the appropriate template class and any supporting classes must be imported from In this case the template class CondorJobTemplate is imported along with the supporting class CondorJobDescription.

There is a corresponding job template class for every job type. In this example the CondorJobTemplate class is used, which corresponds to the Condor Job Type. For a list of all possible job types see Job Types.

When instantiating any job template class there is a required name parameter, which is used used to identify the template to the job manager (see Using the Job Manager in your App). The template class for each job type may have additional required and/or optional parameters. In the above example the job_description and the scheduler parameters are required because the the CondorJobTemplate class is being instantiated. Job template classes may also support setting job attributes as parameters in the template. See the Job Types documentation for a list of acceptable parameters for the template class of each job type.


The generic template class JobTemplate allong with the dictionary JOB_TYPES have been used to define job templates in the past but are being deprecated in favor of job-type specific templates classes (e.g. CondorJobTemplate or CondorWorkflowTemplate).

Job Types

The Jobs API is designed to support multiple job types. Each job type provides a different framework and environment for executing jobs. To create a job of a particular job type, you must first create a job template from the template class corresponding to that job type (see Defining Job Templates). After the job template for the job type you want has been instantiated you can create a new job instance using the job manager (see Using the Job Manager in your App).

Once you have a newly created job from the job manager you can then customize the job by setting job attributes. All jobs have a common set of attributes, and then each job type may add additional attributes.

The following attributes can be defined for all job types:

  • name (string, required): a unique identifier for the job. This should not be confused with the job template name. The template name identifies a template from which jobs can be created and is set when the template is created. The job name attribute is defined when the job is created (see Creating and Executing a Job).
  • description (string): a short description of the job.
  • workspace (string): a path to a directory that will act as the workspace for the job. Each job type may interact with the workspace differently. By default the workspace is set to the user’s workspace in the app that is creating the job (see Workspaces).
  • extended_properties (dict): a dictionary of additional properties that can be used to create custom job attributes.

All job types also have the following read-only attributes:

  • user (User): the user who created the job.

  • label (string): the package name of the Tethys App used to created the job.

  • creation_time (datetime): the time the job was created.

  • execute_time (datetime): the time that job execution was started.

  • start_time (datetime):

  • completion_time (datetime): the time that the job status changed to ‘Complete’.

  • status (string): a string representing the state of the job. Possible statuses are:

    • ‘Pending’
    • ‘Submitted’
    • ‘Running’
    • ‘Complete’
    • ‘Error’
    • ‘Aborted’
    • ‘Various’*
    • ‘Various-Complete’*

    *used for job types with multiple sub-jobs (e.g. CondorWorkflow).


Job template classes may support passing in job attributes as additional arguments. See the documentation for each job type for a list of acceptable parameters for each template class add if additional arguments are supported.

Specific job types may define additional attributes. The following job types are available.


Each job has it’s own workspace, which by default is set to the user’s workspace in the app where the job is created. However, the job may need to reference files that are in other workspaces. To make it easier to interact with workspaces in job templates, two special variables are defined: $(APP_WORKSPACE) and $(USER_WORKSPACE). These two variables are resolved to absolute paths when the job is created. These variables can only be used in job templates. To access the app’s workspace and the user’s workspace when working with a job in other places in your app use the Workspaces API.

Job Manager

The Job Manager is used in your app to interact with the jobs database. It facilitates creating and querying jobs.

Using the Job Manager in your App

To use the Job Manager in your app you first need to import the TethysAppBase subclass from the module:

from app import MyFirstApp as app

You can then get the job manager by calling the method get_job_manager on the app.

job_manager = app.get_job_manager()

You can now use the job manager to create a new job, or retrieve an existing job or jobs.

Creating and Executing a Job

To create a job call the create_job method on the job manager. The required parameters are name, user and template_name. Any other job attributes can also be passed in as kwargs.

# create a new job
job = job_manager.create_job(name='job_name', user=request.user, template_name='example', description='my first job')

# customize the job using methods provided by the job type
job.set_attribute('arguments', 'input_2')

# save or execute the job
# or

Before a controller returns a response the job must be saved or else all of the changes made to the job will be lost (executing the job automatically saves it). If submitting the job takes a long time (e.g. if a large amount of data has to be uploaded to a remote scheduler) then it may be best to use AJAX to execute the job.


The Jobs Table Gizmo has a built-in mechanism for submitting jobs with AJAX. If the Jobs Table Gizmo is used to submit the jobs then be sure to save the job after it is created.

Retrieving Jobs

Two methods are provided to retrieve jobs: list_jobs and get_job. Jobs are automatically filtered by app. An optional user parameter can be passed in to these methods to further filter jobs by the user.

# get list of all jobs created in your app

# get list of all jobs created by current user in your app

# get job with id of 27

# get job with id of 27 only if it was created by current user
job_manager.get_job(job_id=27, user=request.user)


Be thoughtful about how you retrieve jobs. The user filter is provided to prevent unauthorized users from accessing jobs that don’t belong to them.

Jobs Table Gizmo

The Jobs Table Gizmo facilitates job management through the web interface and is designed to be used in conjunction with the Job Manager. It can be configured to list any of the properties of the jobs, and will automatically update the job status, and provides buttons to run, delete, or view job results. The following code sample shows how to use the job manager to populate the jobs table:

job_manager = app.get_job_manager()

jobs = job_manager.list_jobs(request.user)

jobs_table_options = JobsTable(jobs=jobs,
                               column_fields=('id', 'description', 'run_time'),

See also

Jobs Table

Job Status Callback

Each job has a callback URL that will update the job’s status. The URL is of the form:


For example, a URL may look something like this:

The output would look something like this:

{"success": true}

This URL can be retrieved from the job manager with the get_job_status_callback_url method, which requires a request object and the id of the job.

job_manager = app.get_job_manager()
callback_url = job_manager.get_job_status_callback_url(request, job_id)

API Documentation

class tethys_compute.job_manager.JobManager(app)

A manager for interacting with the Jobs database providing a simple interface creating and retrieving jobs.


Each app creates its own instance of the JobManager. the get_job_manager method returns the app.

from app import MyApp as app

job_manager = app.get_job_manager()
create_job(name, user, template_name, **kwargs)

Creates a new job from a JobTemplate.

  • name (str) – The name of the job.
  • user (User) – A User object for the user who creates the job.
  • template_name (str) – The name of the JobTemplate from which to create the job.
  • **kwargs

A new job object of the type specified by the JobTemplate

get_job(job_id, user=None, filters=None)

Gets a job by id.

  • job_id (int) – The id of the job to get.
  • user (User, optional) – The user to filter the jobs by.

A instance of a subclass of TethysJob if a job with job_id exists (and was created by user if the user argument is passed in).

get_job_status_callback_url(request, job_id)

Get the absolute url to call to update job status

list_jobs(user=None, order_by='id', filters=None)

Lists all the jobs from current app for current user.

  • user (User, optional) – The user to filter the jobs by. Default is None.
  • order_by (str, optional) – An expression to order jobs. Default is ‘id’.
  • filters (dict, optional) – A list of key-value pairs to filter the jobs by. Default is None.

A list of jobs created in the app (and by the user if the user argument is passed in).

class, type=None, parameters=None)

A template from which to create a job.

  • name (str) – Name to refer to the template.
  • type (TethysJob) – A subclass of the TethysJob base class. Use the JOB_TYPE dictionary for possible values.
  • parameters (dict) – A dictionary of key-value pairs. Each Job type defines the possible parameters.