CopyActivity - AWS Data Pipeline


Copies data from one location to another. CopyActivity supports S3DataNode and SqlDataNode as input and output and the copy operation is normally performed record-by-record. However, CopyActivity provides a high-performance Amazon S3 to Amazon S3 copy when all the following conditions are met:

  • The input and output are S3DataNodes

  • The dataFormat field is the same for input and output

If you provide compressed data files as input and do not indicate this using the compression field on the S3 data nodes, CopyActivity might fail. In this case, CopyActivity does not properly detect the end of record character and the operation fails. Further, CopyActivity supports copying from a directory to another directory and copying a file to a directory, but record-by-record copy occurs when copying a directory to a file. Finally, CopyActivity does not support copying multipart Amazon S3 files.

CopyActivity has specific limitations to its CSV support. When you use an S3DataNode as input for CopyActivity, you can only use a Unix/Linux variant of the CSV data file format for the Amazon S3 input and output fields. The Unix/Linux variant requires the following:

  • The separator must be the "," (comma) character.

  • The records are not quoted.

  • The default escape character is ASCII value 92 (backslash).

  • The end of record identifier is ASCII value 10 (or "\n").

Windows-based systems typically use a different end-of-record character sequence: a carriage return and line feed together (ASCII value 13 and ASCII value 10). You must accommodate this difference using an additional mechanism, such as a pre-copy script to modify the input data, to ensure that CopyActivity can properly detect the end of a record; otherwise, the CopyActivity fails repeatedly.

When using CopyActivity to export from a PostgreSQL RDS object to a TSV data format, the default NULL character is \n.


The following is an example of this object type. This object references three other objects that you would define in the same pipeline definition file. CopyPeriod is a Schedule object and InputData and OutputData are data node objects.

{ "id" : "S3ToS3Copy", "type" : "CopyActivity", "schedule" : { "ref" : "CopyPeriod" }, "input" : { "ref" : "InputData" }, "output" : { "ref" : "OutputData" }, "runsOn" : { "ref" : "MyEc2Resource" } }


Object Invocation Fields Description Slot Type
schedule This object is invoked within the execution of a schedule interval. Users must specify a schedule reference to another object to set the dependency execution order for this object. Users can satisfy this requirement by explicitly setting a schedule on the object, for example, by specifying "schedule": {"ref": "DefaultSchedule"}. In most cases, it is better to put the schedule reference on the default pipeline object so that all objects inherit that schedule. Or, if the pipeline has a tree of schedules (schedules within the master schedule), users can create a parent object that has a schedule reference. For more information about example optional schedule configurations, see Reference Object, e.g. "schedule":{"ref":"myScheduleId"}
Required Group (One of the following is required) Description Slot Type
runsOn The computational resource to run the activity or command. For example, an Amazon EC2 instance or Amazon EMR cluster. Reference Object, e.g. "runsOn":{"ref":"myResourceId"}
workerGroup The worker group. This is used for routing tasks. If you provide a runsOn value and workerGroup exists, workerGroup is ignored. String

Optional Fields Description Slot Type
attemptStatus Most recently reported status from the remote activity. String
attemptTimeout Timeout for remote work completion. If set then a remote activity that does not complete within the set time of starting may be retried. Period
dependsOn Specify dependency on another runnable object. Reference Object, e.g. "dependsOn":{"ref":"myActivityId"}
failureAndRerunMode Describes consumer node behavior when dependencies fail or are rerun Enumeration
input The input data source. Reference Object, e.g. "input":{"ref":"myDataNodeId"}
lateAfterTimeout The elapsed time after pipeline start within which the object must complete. It is triggered only when the schedule type is not set to ondemand. Period
maxActiveInstances The maximum number of concurrent active instances of a component. Re-runs do not count toward the number of active instances. Integer
maximumRetries Maximum number attempt retries on failure Integer
onFail An action to run when current object fails. Reference Object, e.g. "onFail":{"ref":"myActionId"}
onLateAction Actions that should be triggered if an object has not yet been scheduled or still not completed. Reference Object, e.g. "onLateAction":{"ref":"myActionId"}
onSuccess An action to run when current object succeeds. Reference Object, e.g. "onSuccess":{"ref":"myActionId"}
output The output data source. Reference Object, e.g. "output":{"ref":"myDataNodeId"}
parent Parent of the current object from which slots will be inherited. Reference Object, e.g. "parent":{"ref":"myBaseObjectId"}
pipelineLogUri The S3 URI (such as 's3://BucketName/Key/') for uploading logs for the pipeline. String
precondition Optionally define a precondition. A data node is not marked "READY" until all preconditions have been met. Reference Object, e.g. "precondition":{"ref":"myPreconditionId"}
reportProgressTimeout Timeout for remote work successive calls to reportProgress. If set, then remote activities that do not report progress for the specified period may be considered stalled and so retried. Period
retryDelay The timeout duration between two retry attempts. Period
scheduleType Schedule type allows you to specify whether the objects in your pipeline definition should be scheduled at the beginning of interval or end of the interval. Time Series Style Scheduling means instances are scheduled at the end of each interval and Cron Style Scheduling means instances are scheduled at the beginning of each interval. An on-demand schedule allows you to run a pipeline one time per activation. This means you do not have to clone or re-create the pipeline to run it again. If you use an on-demand schedule it must be specified in the default object and must be the only scheduleType specified for objects in the pipeline. To use on-demand pipelines, you simply call the ActivatePipeline operation for each subsequent run. Values are: cron, ondemand, and timeseries. Enumeration

Runtime Fields Description Slot Type
@activeInstances List of the currently scheduled active instance objects. Reference Object, e.g. "activeInstances":{"ref":"myRunnableObjectId"}
@actualEndTime Time when the execution of this object finished. DateTime
@actualStartTime Time when the execution of this object started. DateTime
cancellationReason The cancellationReason if this object was cancelled. String
@cascadeFailedOn Description of dependency chain the object failed on. Reference Object, e.g. "cascadeFailedOn":{"ref":"myRunnableObjectId"}
emrStepLog EMR step logs available only on EMR activity attempts String
errorId The errorId if this object failed. String
errorMessage The errorMessage if this object failed. String
errorStackTrace The error stack trace if this object failed. String
@finishedTime The time at which this object finished its execution. DateTime
hadoopJobLog Hadoop job logs available on attempts for EMR-based activities. String
@healthStatus The health status of the object which reflects success or failure of the last object instance that reached a terminated state. String
@healthStatusFromInstanceId Id of the last instance object that reached a terminated state. String
@healthStatusUpdatedTime Time at which the health status was updated last time. DateTime
hostname The host name of client that picked up the task attempt. String
@lastDeactivatedTime The time at which this object was last deactivated. DateTime
@latestCompletedRunTime Time the latest run for which the execution completed. DateTime
@latestRunTime Time the latest run for which the execution was scheduled. DateTime
@nextRunTime Time of run to be scheduled next. DateTime
reportProgressTime Most recent time that remote activity reported progress. DateTime
@scheduledEndTime Schedule end time for object DateTime
@scheduledStartTime Schedule start time for object DateTime
@status The status of this object. String
@version Pipeline version the object was created with. String
@waitingOn Description of list of dependencies this object is waiting on. Reference Object, e.g. "waitingOn":{"ref":"myRunnableObjectId"}

System Fields Description Slot Type
@error Error describing the ill-formed object String
@pipelineId Id of the pipeline to which this object belongs to String
@sphere The sphere of an object denotes its place in the lifecycle: Component Objects give rise to Instance Objects which execute Attempt Objects String

See Also