Class based flow#

Experimental feature

This is an experimental feature, and may change at any time. Learn more.

When user need to persist objects (like connection) in memory during multiple rounds of flow runs, they can write a callable class as flow entry and put persist params in __init__ method.

If user need to log metrics on batch run outputs, they can add an __aggregate__ method and it will be scheduled after batch run finishes. The __aggregate__ method should only contain 1 params which is list of batch run results.

See connection support & aggregation support for more details.

Class as a flow#

Assume we have a file

class Reply(TypedDict):
    output: str

class MyFlow:
    def __init__(self, model_config: AzureOpenAIModelConfiguration, flow_config: dict):
      """Flow initialization logic goes here."""
      self.model_config = model_config
      self.flow_config = flow_config

    def __call__(question: str) -> Reply:
      """Flow execution logic goes here."""
      return Reply(output=output)

    def __aggregate__(self, line_results: List[str]) -> dict:
      """Aggregation logic goes here. Return key-value pair as metrics."""
      return {"key": val}

Flow test#

Test with original code#

Since flow’s definition is function/callable class. We recommend user directly run it like running other scripts:

class MyFlow:
if __name__ == "__main__":
    flow = MyFlow(model_config, flow_config)
    output = flow(question)
    metrics = flow.__aggregate__([output])
    # check metrics here

Test via function call#

It’s also supported to convert your class entry to a flow and test with prompt flow’s ability.

You can test with the following CLI:

# flow entry syntax:
pf flow test --flow flow_entry:MyFlow --inputs question="What's the capital of France?" --init init.json

Note: currently this command will generate a flow.flex.yaml in your working directory. Which will become the flow’s entry.

Check out a full example here: basic-chat

Chat with a flow#

Chat with flow in CLI is supported:

pf flow test --flow flow_entry:MyFlow --inputs inputs.json --init init.json --ui

Check here for more information.

Batch run#

User can also batch run a flow.

pf run create --flow "" --data "./data.jsonl"
# user can also directly use entry in `flow` param for batch run"", init="./init.jsonl", data="./data.jsonl")

Or directly run the imported flow class or flow instance.

from promptflow.core import AzureOpenAIModelConfiguration

class MyFlow:

config = AzureOpenAIModelConfiguration(
  # connection and api_key configs are exclusive
), init={"model_config": config, "flow_config": {}}, data="./data.jsonl")
# or
flow_obj = MyFlow(model_config=config, flow_config={}), data="./data.jsonl")

Learn more on this topic on Run and evaluate a flow

Define a flow yaml#

User can write a YAML file with name flow.flex.yaml manually or save a function/callable entry to YAML file. This is required for advanced scenario like deployment or run in cloud. A flow YAML may look like this:


Batch run with YAML#

User can batch run a flow. Flow init function’s param is supported by init parameter.

User need to write an JSON file as init’s value since it’s hard to write model config in command line.

    "model_config": {
        "azure_endpoint": "my_endpoint",
        "azure_deployment": "my_deployment",
        "api_key": "actual_api_key"
    "flow_config": {}
pf run create --flow "./flow.flex.yaml" --data "./data.jsonl" --init init.json
pf = PFClient()

config = AzureOpenAIModelConfiguration(
# if init's value is not json serializable, raise user error"./flow.flex.yaml", init={"model_config": config, "flow_config": {}}, data="./data.jsonl")

# when submit to cloud, user can only use connection
# in runtime executor will resolve connection in AzureOpenAIModelConfiguration and set connection's fields to ModelConfig: equal to original ModelConfiguration.from_connection()
config = AzureOpenAIModelConfiguration(
)"./flow.flex.yaml", init={"model_config": config, "flow_config": {}}, data="./data.jsonl")

Deploy a flow#

User can serve a flow. Flow init function’s param is supported by init parameter. The flow should have complete init/inputs/outputs specification in YAML to make sure serving swagger can be generated.

User need to write an JSON file as init’s value since it’s hard to write model config in command line.

    "model_config": {
        "azure_endpoint": "my_endpoint",
        "azure_deployment": "my_deployment",
        "api_key": "actual_api_key"
    "flow_config": {}
# user can only pass model config by file 
pf flow serve --source "./"  --port 8088 --host localhost --init path/to/init.json

Learn more: Deploy a flow.

Aggregation support#

Aggregation support is introduce to help user calculate metrics.

class MyFlow:
    def __call__(text: str) -> str:
      """Flow execution logic goes here."""

    # will only execute once after batch run finished.
    # the processed_results will be list of __call__'s output and we will log the return value as metrics automatically.
    def __aggregate__(self, processed_results: List[str]) -> dict:
        for element in processed_results:
            # If __call__'s output is primitive type, element will be primitive type.
            # If __call__'s output is dataclass, element will be a dictionary, but can access it's attribute with `element.attribute_name`
            # For other cases, it's recommended to access by key `element["attribute_name"]`


There’s several limitations on aggregation support:

  • The aggregation function will only execute in batch run.

  • Only 1 hard coded __aggregate__ function is supported.

  • The __aggregate__ will only be passed 1 positional arguments when executing.

  • The aggregation function’s input will be flow run’s outputs list.

    • Each element inside processed_results passed passed inside __aggregate__ function is not same object with each line’s __call__ returns.

    • The reconstructed element is a dictionary which supports 1 layer attribute access. But it’s recommended to access them by key. See the above example for usage.

  • If aggregation function accept more than 1 arguments, raise error in submission phase.

Next steps#