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How do I create dependencies between models?

When you use the ref function, dbt automatically infers the dependencies between models.

For example, consider a model, customer_orders, like so:

min(order_date) as first_order_date,
max(order_date) as most_recent_order_date,
count(order_id) as number_of_orders
from {{ ref('stg_orders') }}
group by 1

There's no need to explicitly define these dependencies. dbt will understand that the stg_orders model needs to be built before the above model (customer_orders). When you execute dbt run, you will see these being built in order:

$ dbt run
Running with dbt=0.16.0
Found 2 models, 28 tests, 0 snapshots, 0 analyses, 130 macros, 0 operations, 0 seed files, 3 sources

11:42:52 | Concurrency: 8 threads (target='dev_snowflake')
11:42:52 |
11:42:52 | 1 of 2 START view model dbt_claire.stg_jaffle_shop__orders........... [RUN]
11:42:55 | 1 of 2 OK creating view model dbt_claire.stg_jaffle_shop__orders..... [CREATE VIEW in 2.50s]
11:42:55 | 2 of 2 START relation dbt_claire.customer_orders..................... [RUN]
11:42:56 | 2 of 2 OK creating view model dbt_claire.customer_orders............. [CREATE VIEW in 0.60s]
11:42:56 | Finished running 2 view models in 15.13s.


To get some practice with this, we recommend you complete the getting started guide to build your first dbt project.