Jeremy Satterfield
Coding, Making and Tulsa Life

Class-based Celery Tasks

Update 2017-11-02: Celery 4 now adivises against inheriting from Task unless you are extending common functionality. However you can still get similar functionality by creating a new class and calling is from inside a decorated function task.

class MyTask(object):
    def run(self, source):

def my_task(source):

Original Post:

Recently, I've had to write several complicated Celery tasks. Unfortunately, when doing a complicated process standard task functions can become unwieldy to write, read and unit test. After looking into how Celery tasks actually work, I was able to find a more manageable way of writing these complex tasks.

It turns out the task decorator that you're used to using is just an object factory for Task objects that turns the decorated function into the run method of on the Task instance it creates. Skipping the decorator and extending the Task class directly makes things a little more flexible.

from celery import Task

class MyTask(Task):
    ignore_result = True

    def run(self, source, *args, **kwargs):
        self.source = source
        data = self.collect_data()

    def generate_file(self, data):
        # do your file generation here
    def collect_data(self):
        # do your data collection here
        return data

In this case run is the equivalent of the function task you're used to, but thanks to OOP you're free to break some of the more complex code into logic blocks, collect_data and generate_file, and access to instance attribute, source.

To call the task your just need to instantiate the it and call the desired method to trigger it.

task = MyTask()

# Run on Celery worker now

# Run on Celery worker at a sepcfic time 
task.apply_async(args=[123], eta=datetime(2015, 6, 5, 12, 30, 22))

# Run task directly, No celery worker

Testing also now becomes easier as well since you can test each unit on it's own.

For most cases, your standard function-based classes are probably going to do the job. But for those extra complex cases, class-based might make things easier work with.