Using custom attributes

Custom attributes can be written and read from entities using the custom_attributes property.

The custom_attributes property provides a similar interface to a dictionary.

Keys can be printed using the keys method:

>>> task['custom_attributes'].keys()

or access keys and values as items:

>>> print(task['custom_attributes'].items())
[(u'my_text_field', u'some text')]

Read existing custom attribute values:

>>> print(task['custom_attributes']['my_text_field'])
'some text'

Updating a custom attributes can also be done similar to a dictionary:

task['custom_attributes']['my_text_field'] = 'foo'

To query for tasks with a custom attribute, my_text_field, you can use the key from the configuration:

for task in session.query(
    'Task where custom_attributes any '
    '(key is "my_text_field" and value is "bar")'


Set attributes on new entities

There are some limitations that are important to be aware of when creating an entity and updating custom attributes in one commit.

The following code does not work:

task = session.create('Task', {
    'custom_attributes': {
        'my_text_field': 'bar',

Instead, the entity must be created first, then we can set the custom attributes:

task = session.create('Task', {
task['custom_attributes']['my_text_field'] = 'bar'

After the commit the remote value is not automatically populated. This will cause an extra query to the server when a custom attribute is accessed:

# This will cause a server query.

Expression attributes

Expression attributes are not yet supported and the reported value will always be the non-evaluated expression.

Hierarchical attributes

Hierarchical attributes are not yet fully supported in the API. Hierarchical attributes support both read and write, but when read they are not calculated and instead the raw value is returned:

# The hierarchical attribute `my_attribute` is set on Shot but this will not
# be reflected on the children. Instead the raw value is returned.

To work around this limitation it is possible to use the legacy api for hierarchical attributes or to manually query the parents for values and use the first value that is set.


Custom attributes are validated on the ftrack server before persisted. The validation will check that the type of the data is correct for the custom attribute.

If the value set is not valid a ftrack_api.exception.ServerError is raised with debug information:

shot['custom_attributes']['fstart'] = 'test'

Traceback (most recent call last):
ftrack_api.exception.ServerError: Server reported error:
ValidationError(Custom attribute value for "fstart" must be of type number.
Got "test" of type <type 'unicode'>)