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Reading in multiple files with Google Cloud Dataflow

Posted on One min read

Whenever you want to read in files from multiple folders from Google Cloud Storage in a Dataflow pipeline (as I was facing myself this week), you might run into a little trouble (as described in this Stackoverflow question). In this tip I will describe how I solved the problem before and provide some code you can use when you have a comma-seperated list of files you want to process.


What you can do in this case is read in the files in the usual way using TextIO and a PCollection, then constructing a PCollectionList, consisting of these PCollections and then flattening the whole thing into one PCollection.


When you have a comma-separated list as input, with all the paths you want to read in (which can be easily passed as a command line argument) you should be able to use the following Java code:

String input = "gs://xxx/*,gs://yyy/zzz/*" // (or options.getInput())
ArrayList<PCollection<String>> pcollectionlist = new ArrayList<>();

String[] input = inputs.split(",");
for(String i : input) {
	PCollection<String> extra = p.apply(;
PCollectionList<String> tempRes = PCollectionList.of(pcollectionlist); 
PCollection<String> res = tempRes.apply(Flatten.pCollections());


And this is what your input graph could look like for 7 input files for example:

Dataflow graph

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