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​Deprecation of ​Templates

Since the release 0.11.0, Templates are deprecated and disabled by default. Please use subflows instead.

If you still rely on templates, you can re-enable them in your configuration.

Why templates are deprecated

  1. Subflows are more powerful — subflows provide the same functionality as templates while simultaneously being more flexible than templates. For instance, inputs are not allowed in a template because a template is only a list of tasks that get copied to another flow that references it. In contrast, when invoking a subflow, you can parametrize it with custom parameters. This way, subflows allow you to define workflow logic once and invoke it in other flows with custom parameters.
  2. Subflows are more transparently reflected in the topology view and don't require copying tasks.

If you are using templates and you are not ready to migrate to subflows yet, add the following Kestra configuration option to still be able to use them:

yaml
kestra:
  templates:
    enabled: true

Templates ⚠️

A typical template has an ID, a namespace, and a list of tasks. Here is an example template:

yaml
id: mytemplate
namespace: dev
tasks:
  - id: workingDir
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.WorkingDirectory
    tasks:
      - id: bash
        type: io.kestra.plugin.scripts.shell.Commands
        commands:
          - mkdir -p out
          - echo "Hello from 1" >> out/output1.txt
          - echo "Hello from 2" >> out/output2.txt
          - echo "Hello from 3" >> out/output3.txt
          - echo "Hello from 4" >> out/output4.txt
        runner: PROCESS
      - id: out
        type: io.kestra.core.tasks.storages.LocalFiles
        outputs:
          - out/**
  - id: each
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.EachParallel
    value: "{{outputs.out.uris | jq('.[]')}}"
    tasks:
      - id: path
        type: io.kestra.core.tasks.debugs.Return
        format: "{{taskrun.value}}"
      - id: contents
        type: io.kestra.plugin.scripts.shell.Commands
        commands:
          - cat "{{taskrun.value}}"
        runner: PROCESS

You can trigger it in a flow using the io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Template task:

yaml
id: templatedFlow
namespace: dev

tasks:
  - id: first
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.log.Log
    message: first task

  - id: template
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Template
    namespace: dev
    templateId: mytemplate

  - id: last
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.log.Log
    message: last task

This example shows that templates are quite restrictive — you can only invoke them as-is. You cannot set custom input values, and there is no link from this flow to the template. In contrast, subflows can be parametrized, and you can navigate to the subflow in the topology view. From the 0.11.0 release, you can also expand and collapse a subflow (child flow) to inspect the available tasks directly from the parent flow.


Subflows ✅

To migrate from a template to a subflow, you can create a flow that is a 1:1 copy of your template. This flow can then be invoked as a subflow the same way you used to invoke a template (only using a different task).

In our example, we can create a new flow called mytemplate in a namespace dev. This flow will be invoked from a parent flow as a subflow.

Then, to create a child flow (a subflow), you only need to change the following values in the templatedFlow:

  • Change the io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Template task type to io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Subflow
  • Change the templateId to flowId.

See the example below showing how you can invoke a subflow from a parent flow:

yaml
id: parentFlow
namespace: dev
tasks:
  - id: subflow
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Subflow
    namespace: dev
    flowId: mytemplate

And here is a complete example showing how a template task can be migrated to a subflow task:

yaml
id: parentFlow
namespace: dev

tasks:
  - id: first
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.log.Log
    message: first task

  - id: subflow
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Subflow
    namespace: dev
    flowId: mytemplate

  - id: last
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.log.Log
    message: last task

If your subflow has input parameters and you want to override them when calling the subflow, you can configure them as follows:

yaml
id: parentFlow
namespace: dev

tasks:
  - id: first
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.log.Log
    message: first task

  - id: subflow
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Subflow
    namespace: dev
    flowId: mytemplate
    inputs:
      myIntegerParameter: 42
      myStringParameter: hello world!

  - id: last
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.log.Log
    message: last task

Side-by-side comparison

You can look at both a flow with a template task and a flow with a subflow task side by side to see the difference in syntax:

template-vs-subflow

If you still have questions about migrating from templates to subflows, reach out via our Community Slack.


Documentation of the deprecated feature

Templates are lists of tasks that can be shared between flows. You can define a template and call it from other flows, allowing them to share a list of tasks and keep these tasks updated without changing your flow.

All tasks in a template will be executed sequentially; you can provide the same tasks that are found in a standard flow, including an errors branch.

Templates can have arguments passed via the args property — see the Template Task documentation.

Example

Below is a flow sample that will include a template:

yaml
id: with-template
namespace: dev

inputs:
  - name: store
    type: STRING
    required: true

tasks:
  - id: render-template
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Template
    namespace: dev
    templateId: template-example
    args:
      renamedStore: "{{ inputs.store }}"

If the template is defined like so:

yaml
id: template-example
namespace: dev

tasks:
  - id: task-defined-by-template
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.debugs.Return
    format: "{{ parent.outputs.args.renamedStore }}"

It will result in a flow similar to the following:

yaml
id: with-template
namespace: dev

tasks:
  - id: render-template
    type: io.kestra.core.tasks.flows.Sequential
    tasks:
      - id: task-defined-by-template
        type: io.kestra.core.tasks.debugs.Return
        format: "{{ inputs.store }}"

All tasks from the template will be copied at runtime.

Templates UI

If enabled, you can inspect Templates on the Templates page.

Kestra User Interface Templates Page

A Template page allows to edit the template via a YAML editor.

Kestra User Interface Template Page