UDF Simulator

The UDF simulator simulates the mechanics of the /execute/proc call without the UDF actually having to be created in the database. The simulator reads data out of tables, writes it to files in the correct format, and provides the environment variable that needs to be set for the UDF API. After the UDF code is run, it can optionally read any output that was written and write it back into Kinetica. The simulator does not run the UDF code itself, it only manages the environment so the developer can run the UDF code from a debugger, Jupyter notebook, etc., as long as the environment variable is set correctly.


The UDF simulator is invoked via a Python script packaged with the database: /opt/gpudb/api/python/examples/udfsim.py. Though the script is distributed with the Python API, you can use any type of UDF with the simulator (Java, C++, etc.).


execute <execute parameters>Simulates proc execution
output <output parameters>Processes proc output
cleanCleans up files generated from execute or output. Takes no parameters

Execute Parameters and Flags

Parameter/FlagType RestrictionDescription
-f </path/to/file>, --path </path/to/file>N/AUser-specified directory in which to create the control files. Default directory is /opt/gpudb/api/python/
-p <param_name value>, --param <param_name value>N/AProc execution parameter(s) (see /execute/proc for more information)
-d, --distributedN/AEnable distributed UDF simulation. This is the default execution mode
-i <table_name [column_name, ...]>, --input <table_name [column_name, ...]>Distributed onlyInput table and optional column list
-o <table_name>, --output <table_name>Distributed onlyOutput table
-n, --nondistributedN/AEnable non-distributed UDF simulation
-K <url>, --url <url>N/AKinetica URL. Default is http://localhost:9191
-U <username>, --username <username>N/AKinetica username for authentication
-P <password>, --password <password>N/AKinetica password for authentication
-h, --helpN/APrints the help menu

Output Parameters and Flags

-d, --dry-runDisplay output only; no output written to Kinetica
-K URL, --url URLKinetica URL. Default is http://localhost:9191
-U username, --username usernameKinetica username for authentication
-P password, --password passwordKinetica password for authentication
-h, --helpPrints the help menu


  1. Run the simulator with the execute argument and any parameters. Once finished, it prints an export command that sets the environment variable needed for the UDF API:

    python udfsim.py execute <execute parameters>
  2. Run the printed export command via command line:

    export KINETICA_PCF=/opt/gpudb/api/kinetica-api-python/gpudb/kinetica-udf-sim-icf-Wvbdqi
  3. Execute the UDF. For example, executing a Python UDF script:

    python udf_cublas_proc.py


    You can execute the UDF using whatever method (Jupyter notebook, debugger, etc.) as long as the environment variable output from step 2 has been set. The UDF can be executed multiple times without rerunning step 1 and step 2 as long as it hasn't output any data. For iterative testing purposes, it may be desirable to comment out any data output code and instead use print statements

  4. Optionally, run the simulator with the output argument and any parameters to output data from the UDF into the database:

    python udfsim.py output <output parameters>


    This mode requires the environment variable output from step 2 to be set

  5. Optionally, run the simulator with the clean argument to clean up all the files written in step 2. The files can also be manually deleted if desired:

    python udfsim.py clean


    This mode requires the environment variable output from step 2 to be set


Running the UDF simulator for the Python table copy proc with the following parameters/flags:

  • in distributed mode
  • using the udf_tc_py_in_table table as input and udf_tc_py_out_table table as output (both tables created using Python table copy init script ),
  • placing all control files in /tmp/data/udf-sim-test/
  • performing a dry run on the output mode
$  python /opt/gpudb/python/api/examples/udfsim.py execute -f /tmp/data/udf-sim-test/ -d -i udf_tc_py_in_table -o udf_tc_py_out_table
export KINETICA_PCF=/tmp/data/udf-sim-test/kinetica-udf-sim-icf-k2cncp
$  python /opt/gpudb/udf/api/python/udf_tc_py_proc.py
$  python examples/udfsim.py output -d
No results

udf_tc_py_out_table: 10000 records


The UDF simulator has some limitations:

  • When simulating a distributed proc, all the data from the input table goes to one place and the UDF isn't run in parallel
  • Input data is written to actual files, not memory maps, so reading it from within the UDF may be slower and therefore I/O performance testing is not possible