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Filter the resource being tested (model, source, seed, or snapshot).

The where condition is templated into the test query by replacing the resource reference with a subquery. For instance, a not_null test may look like:

select *
from my_model
where my_column is null

If the where config is set to where date_column = current_date, then the test query will be updated to:

select *
from (select * from my_model where date_column = current_date) dbt_subquery
where my_column is null


Configure a specific instance of a generic (schema) test:

version: 2

- name: large_table
- name: my_column
- accepted_values:
values: ["a", "b", "c"]
where: "date_column = current_date"
- name: other_column
- not_null:
where: "date_column < current_date"

Custom logic

The rendering context for the where config is the same as for all configurations defined in .yml files. You have access to {{ var() }} and {{ env_var() }}, but you do not have access to custom macros for setting this config. If you do want to use custom macros to template out the where filter for certain tests, there is a workaround.

As of v0.21, dbt defines a get_where_subquery macro.

dbt replaces {{ model }} in generic test definitions with {{ get_where_subquery(relation) }}, where relation is a ref() or source() for the resource being tested. The default implementation of this macro returns:

  • {{ relation }} when the where config is not defined (ref() or source())
  • (select * from {{ relation }} where {{ where }}) dbt_subquery when the where config is defined

You can override this behavior by:

  • Defining a custom get_where_subquery in your root project
  • Defining a custom <adapter>__get_where_subquery dispatch candidate in your package or adapter plugin

Within this macro definition, you can reference whatever custom macros you want, based on static inputs from the configuration. At simplest, this enables you to DRY up code that you'd otherwise need to repeat across many different .yml files. Because the get_where_subquery macro is resolved at runtime, your custom macros can also include fetching the results of introspective database queries.

Example: Filter your test to the past three days of data, using dbt's cross-platform dateadd() utility macro.

version: 2
- name: my_model
- name: id
- unique:
where: "date_column > __last_three_days__" # placeholder string for static config
{% macro get_where_subquery(relation) -%}
{% set where = config.get('where', '') %}
{% if "__three_days_ago__" in where %}
{# replace placeholder string with result of custom macro #}
{% set three_days_ago = dbt.dateadd('day', -3, current_timestamp()) %}
{% set where = where | replace("__three_days_ago__", three_days_ago) %}
{% endif %}
{% if where %}
{%- set filtered -%}
(select * from {{ relation }} where {{ where }}) dbt_subquery
{%- endset -%}
{% do return(filtered) %}
{%- else -%}
{% do return(relation) %}
{%- endif -%}
{%- endmacro %}