Related reference docs

Getting started

A dbt project is a directory of .sql and .yml files, which dbt uses to transform your data. At a minimum, a dbt project must contain:

  • A project file: A dbt_project.yml file tells dbt that a particular directory is a dbt project, and also contains configurations for your project.
  • Models: A model is a single .sql file. Each model contains a single select statement that either transforms raw data into a dataset that is ready for analytics, or, more often, is an intermediate step in such a transformation.

A project may also contain a number of other resources, such as snapshots, seeds, tests, macros, documentation, and sources.

Creating a dbt project

If you don't yet have a dbt project, follow these instructions to create one. The dbt starter project contains default configurations as well as helpful notes.

To create a new dbt project when developing in dbt Cloud:

  1. Create a dbt Cloud account here. If your organization already has a dbt Cloud account, ask an admin to add you as a Developer.
  2. If you created a new account, a new project should automatically be created. If you were added to an existing account:
    • Click the hamburger menu, then Account Settings, then Projects.
    • Name your project, and click Save. There's no need to fill in the other details.
    • Click the hamburger menu, and then Home.
    • Switch the project in the header bar to your new "dbt Tutorial" project.
  3. Complete the project setup flow:
    • Connect to your data warehouse
    • Add a repository — either choose a managed repository, or connect to an existing, but bare, repository.
dbt Cloud Project Setup flow
dbt Cloud Project Setup flow
  1. Go to the Develop interface by either:
    • Selecting Start Developing, or
    • Selecting the hamburger menu, and then Develop.
  2. Select Initialize a project to create your project. You should see a directory structure with .sql and .yml files that were generated by the init command.


 What should I name my dbt project?
 How should I structure my project?

Using an existing project

If your organization already has a dbt Cloud account, and you wish to develop your project using dbt Cloud, ask an admin to add you as a Developer.