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Upgrading to v1.5

dbt Core v1.5 is a feature release, with two significant additions:

  1. Model governance — access, contracts, versions — the first phase of multi-project deployments
  2. A Python entry point for programmatic invocations, at parity with the CLI


What to know before upgrading

dbt Labs is committed to providing backward compatibility for all versions 1.x, with the exception of any changes explicitly mentioned below. If you encounter an error upon upgrading, please let us know by opening an issue.

Behavior changes

Why changes to previous behavior?

This release includes significant new features, and rework to dbt-core's CLI and initialization flow. As part of refactoring its internals, we made a handful of changes to runtime configuration. The net result of these changes is more consistent & practical configuration options, and a more legible codebase.

Wherever possible, we will provide backward compatibility and deprecation warnings for at least one minor version before actually removing the old functionality. In those cases, we still reserve the right to fully remove backwards compatibility for deprecated functionality in a future v1.x minor version of dbt-core.

Setting log-path and target-path in dbt_project.yml has been deprecated for consistency with other invocation-specific runtime configs (dbt-core#6882). We recommend setting via env var or CLI flag instead.

The dbt list command will now include INFO level logs by default. Previously, the list command (and only the list command) had WARN-level stdout logging, to support piping its results to jq, a file, or another process. To achieve that goal, you can use either of the following parameters:

  • dbt --log-level warn list (recommended; equivalent to previous default)
  • dbt --quiet list (suppresses all logging less than ERROR level, except for "printed" messages and list output)

The following env vars have been renamed, for consistency with the convention followed by all other parameters:


As described in dbt-core#7169, command-line parameters that could be silent before will no longer be silent. See dbt-labs/dbt-core#7158 and dbt-labs/dbt-core#6800 for more examples of the behavior we are fixing.

An empty tests: key in a yaml file will now raise a validation error, instead of being silently skipped. You can resolve this by removing the empty tests: key, or by setting it to an empty list explicitly:

#  ❌ this will raise an error
- name: my_model
config: ...

# ✅ this is fine
- name: my_model
tests: [] # todo! add tests later
config: ...

Some options that could previously be specified after a subcommand can now only be specified before. This includes the inverse of the option, --write-json and --no-write-json, for example. The list of affected options are:

List of affected options
--cache-selected-only | --no-cache-selected-only
--debug, -d | --no-debug
--deprecated-print | --deprecated-no-print
--enable-legacy-logger | --no-enable-legacy-logger
--fail-fast, -x | --no-fail-fast
--log-cache-events | --no-log-cache-events
--macro-debugging | --no-macro-debugging
--partial-parse | --no-partial-parse
--populate-cache | --no-populate-cache
--print | --no-print
--quiet, -q | --no-quiet
--record-timing-info, -r
--send-anonymous-usage-stats | --no-send-anonymous-usage-stats
--single-threaded | --no-single-threaded
--static-parser | --no-static-parser
--use-colors | --no-use-colors
--use-colors-file | --no-use-colors-file
--use-experimental-parser | --no-use-experimental-parser
--version, -V, -v
--version-check | --no-version-check
--write-json | --no-write-json

Additionally, some options that could be previously specified before a subcommand can now only be specified after. Any option not in the above list must appear after the subcommand from v1.5 and later. For example, --profiles-dir.

The built-in collect_freshness macro now returns the entire response object, instead of just the table result. If you're using a custom override for collect_freshness, make sure you're also returning the response object; otherwise, some of your dbt commands will never finish. For example:

{{ return(load_result('collect_freshness')) }}

Finally: The built-in generate_alias_name macro now includes logic to handle versioned models. If your project has reimplemented the generate_alias_name macro with custom logic, and you want to start using model versions, you will need to update the logic in your macro. Note that, while this is not a prerequisite for upgrading to v1.5—only for using the new feature—we recommmend that you do this during your upgrade, whether you're planning to use model versions tomorrow or far in the future.

Likewise, if your project has reimplemented the ref macro with custom logic, you will need to update the logic in your macro as described here.

For consumers of dbt artifacts (metadata)

The manifest schema version will be updated to v9. Specific changes:

  • Addition of groups as a top-level key
  • Addition of access, constraints, version, latest_version as a top-level node attributes for models
  • Addition of constraints as a column-level attribute
  • Addition of group and contract as node configs
  • To support model versions, the type of refs has changed from List[List[str]] to List[RefArgs], with nested keys name: str, package: Optional[str] = None, and version: Union[str, float, NoneType] = None).

For maintainers of adapter plugins

For more detailed information and to ask questions, please read and comment on the GH discussion: dbt-labs/dbt-core#7213.

New and changed documentation

Model governance

The first phase of supporting dbt deployments at scale, across multiple projects with clearly defined ownership and interface boundaries. Read about model governance, all of which is new in v1.5.

Revamped CLI

Compile and preview dbt models and --inline dbt-SQL queries on the CLI using:

Node selection methods can use Unix-style wildcards to glob nodes matching a pattern:

dbt ls --select "tag:team_*"

And (!): a first-ever entry point for programmatic invocations, at parity with CLI commands.

Run dbt --help to see new & improved help documentation :)

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