Long Callbacks

Long callbacks are new in Dash 2.0! If you’re new to callbacks, read the Basic Callbacks chapter first.

Most web servers have a 30 second timeout by default, which is an issue for callbacks that take longer to complete. While you can increase the timeout on the web server, you risk allowing long-running callbacks to use all of your app’s workers, preventing other requests from going through. Long callbacks offer a scalable solution for using long-running callbacks.

Long callbacks can be added to your apps with the decorator @app.long_callback. Callbacks with this decorator use a backend configured by you to run the callback logic. There are currently two options:

Dash Enterprise makes it easy to deploy Celery and Redis for using Long callbacks in production. Get Pricing or see Dash in action at our next demo session.

Getting Started

The examples below use the diskcache manager, which requires diskcache, multiprocess, and psutil libraries:

$ pip install diskcache multiprocess psutil

Basic Steps

The first step to use long callbacks is to configure a long callback manager instance using your chosen backend.

The @app.long_callback decorator requires this long callback manager instance. You can provide the manager instance to the dash.Dash app constructor as the long_callback_manager keyword argument, or as the manager argument to the @app.long_callback decorator itself.

The @app.long_callback decorator supports the same arguments as the normal @app.callback decorator, but also includes support for several additional optional arguments explained further below: manager, running, cancel, progress, and progress_default.

In the next five examples, we’ll discuss in more detail how to implement long callbacks.

Example 1: Simple Example

Here is a simple example of using the @app.long_callback decorator to register a callback function that updates an html.P element with the number of times that a button has been clicked. The callback uses time.sleep to simulate a long-running operation.

import time
import dash
from dash import html
from dash.long_callback import DiskcacheLongCallbackManager
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output

## Diskcache
import diskcache
cache = diskcache.Cache("./cache")
long_callback_manager = DiskcacheLongCallbackManager(cache)

app = dash.Dash(__name__)

app.layout = html.Div(
    [
        html.Div([html.P(id="paragraph_id", children=["Button not clicked"])]),
        html.Button(id="button_id", children="Run Job!"),
    ]
)

@app.long_callback(
    output=Output("paragraph_id", "children"),
    inputs=Input("button_id", "n_clicks"),
    manager=long_callback_manager,
)
def callback(n_clicks):
    time.sleep(2.0)
    return [f"Clicked {n_clicks} times"]


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run_server(debug=True)

Simple example

Example 2: Disable Button While Callback is Running

Notice how in the previous example, there is no visual indication that the long callback is running. A user might click the “Run Job!” button multiple times before the original job can complete. We can address these shortcomings by disabling the button while the callback is running, and re-enabling it when the callback completes.

This is accomplished using the running argument to @app.long_callback. This argument accepts a list of 3-element tuples. The first element of each tuple must be an Output dependency object referencing a property of a component in the app layout. The second element is the value that the property should be set to while the callback is running, and the third element is the value the property should be set to when the callback completes.

This example uses running to set the disabled property of the button to True while the callback is running, and False when it completes.

In this example, the long callback manager is provided to the dash.Dash app constructor instead of the @app.long_callback decorator.

import time
import dash
from dash import html
from dash.long_callback import DiskcacheLongCallbackManager
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output

## Diskcache
import diskcache

cache = diskcache.Cache("./cache")
long_callback_manager = DiskcacheLongCallbackManager(cache)

app = dash.Dash(__name__, long_callback_manager=long_callback_manager)

app.layout = html.Div(
    [
        html.Div([html.P(id="paragraph_id", children=["Button not clicked"])]),
        html.Button(id="button_id", children="Run Job!"),
    ]
)

@app.long_callback(
    output=Output("paragraph_id", "children"),
    inputs=Input("button_id", "n_clicks"),
    running=[
        (Output("button_id", "disabled"), True, False),
    ],
)
def callback(n_clicks):
    time.sleep(2.0)
    return [f"Clicked {n_clicks} times"]


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run_server(debug=True)

Disable button while callback is running example

Example 3: Cancelable Callback

This example builds on the previous example, adding support for canceling a long-running callback using the cancel argument to the @app.long_callback decorator. We set the cancel argument to a list of Input dependency objects that reference a property of a component in the app’s layout. When the value of this property changes while a callback is running, the callback is canceled. Note that the value of the property is not significant — any change in value cancels the running job (if any).

import time
import dash
from dash import html
from dash.long_callback import DiskcacheLongCallbackManager
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output

## Diskcache
import diskcache

cache = diskcache.Cache("./cache")
long_callback_manager = DiskcacheLongCallbackManager(cache)

app = dash.Dash(__name__, long_callback_manager=long_callback_manager)

app.layout = html.Div(
    [
        html.Div([html.P(id="paragraph_id", children=["Button not clicked"])]),
        html.Button(id="button_id", children="Run Job!"),
        html.Button(id="cancel_button_id", children="Cancel Running Job!"),
    ]
)

@app.long_callback(
    output=Output("paragraph_id", "children"),
    inputs=Input("button_id", "n_clicks"),
    running=[
        (Output("button_id", "disabled"), True, False),
        (Output("cancel_button_id", "disabled"), False, True),
    ],
    cancel=[Input("cancel_button_id", "n_clicks")],
)
def callback(n_clicks):
    time.sleep(2.0)
    return [f"Clicked {n_clicks} times"]


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run_server(debug=True)

Concealable callback example

Example 4: Progress Bar

This example uses the progress argument to the @app.long_callback decorator to update a progress bar while the callback is running. We set the progress argument to an Output dependency grouping that references properties of components in the app’s layout.

When a dependency grouping is assigned to the progress argument of @app.long_callback, the decorated function is called with a new special argument as the first argument to the function. This special argument, named set_progress in the example below, is a function handle that the decorated function calls in order to provide updates to the app on its current progress. The set_progress function accepts a single argument, which corresponds to the grouping of properties specified in the Output dependency grouping passed to the progress argument of @app.long_callback.

import time
import dash
from dash import html
from dash.long_callback import DiskcacheLongCallbackManager
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output

## Diskcache
import diskcache
cache = diskcache.Cache("./cache")
long_callback_manager = DiskcacheLongCallbackManager(cache)

app = dash.Dash(__name__, long_callback_manager=long_callback_manager)

app.layout = html.Div(
    [
        html.Div(
            [
                html.P(id="paragraph_id", children=["Button not clicked"]),
                html.Progress(id="progress_bar"),
            ]
        ),
        html.Button(id="button_id", children="Run Job!"),
        html.Button(id="cancel_button_id", children="Cancel Running Job!"),
    ]
)

@app.long_callback(
    output=Output("paragraph_id", "children"),
    inputs=Input("button_id", "n_clicks"),
    running=[
        (Output("button_id", "disabled"), True, False),
        (Output("cancel_button_id", "disabled"), False, True),
        (
            Output("paragraph_id", "style"),
            {"visibility": "hidden"},
            {"visibility": "visible"},
        ),
        (
            Output("progress_bar", "style"),
            {"visibility": "visible"},
            {"visibility": "hidden"},
        ),
    ],
    cancel=[Input("cancel_button_id", "n_clicks")],
    progress=[Output("progress_bar", "value"), Output("progress_bar", "max")],
)
def callback(set_progress, n_clicks):
    total = 10
    for i in range(total):
        time.sleep(0.5)
        set_progress((str(i + 1), str(total)))
    return [f"Clicked {n_clicks} times"]


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run_server(debug=True,port=8054)

Progress bar example

Example 5: Progress Bar Chart Graph

The progress argument to the @app.long_callback decorator can be used to update arbitrary component properties. This example creates and updates a Plotly bar graph to display the current calculation status.

This example also uses the progress_default argument to long_callback to specify a grouping of values that should be assigned to the components specified by the progress argument when the callback is not in progress. If progress_default is not provided, all the dependency properties specified in progress are set to None when the callback is not running. In this case, progress_default is set to a figure with a zero width bar.

import time
import dash
import dash_html_components as html
from dash import html, dcc
from dash.long_callback import DiskcacheLongCallbackManager
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output
import plotly.graph_objects as go

## Diskcache
import diskcache
cache = diskcache.Cache("./cache")
long_callback_manager = DiskcacheLongCallbackManager(cache)

def make_progress_graph(progress, total):
    progress_graph = (
        go.Figure(data=[go.Bar(x=[progress])])
        .update_xaxes(range=[0, total])
        .update_yaxes(
            showticklabels=False,
        )
        .update_layout(height=100, margin=dict(t=20, b=40))
    )
    return progress_graph


app = dash.Dash(__name__, long_callback_manager=long_callback_manager)

app.layout = html.Div(
    [
        html.Div(
            [
                html.P(id="paragraph_id", children=["Button not clicked"]),
                dcc.Graph(id="progress_bar_graph", figure=make_progress_graph(0, 10)),
            ]
        ),
        html.Button(id="button_id", children="Run Job!"),
        html.Button(id="cancel_button_id", children="Cancel Running Job!"),
    ]
)

@app.long_callback(
    output=Output("paragraph_id", "children"),
    inputs=Input("button_id", "n_clicks"),
    running=[
        (Output("button_id", "disabled"), True, False),
        (Output("cancel_button_id", "disabled"), False, True),
        (
            Output("paragraph_id", "style"),
            {"visibility": "hidden"},
            {"visibility": "visible"},
        ),
        (
            Output("progress_bar_graph", "style"),
            {"visibility": "visible"},
            {"visibility": "hidden"},
        ),
    ],
    cancel=[Input("cancel_button_id", "n_clicks")],
    progress=Output("progress_bar_graph", "figure"),
    progress_default=make_progress_graph(0, 10),
    interval=1000,
)
def callback(set_progress, n_clicks):
    total = 10
    for i in range(total):
        time.sleep(0.5)
        set_progress(make_progress_graph(i, 10))

    return [f"Clicked {n_clicks} times"]


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run_server(debug=True)

Progress bar chart graph example

Example With Celery/Redis

We recommend using a Celery/Redis backend for production environments.

With Celery and Redis, example 3 looks like this:

import time
import dash
from dash import html
from dash.long_callback import CeleryLongCallbackManager
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output
from celery import Celery

celery_app = Celery(
    __name__, broker="redis://localhost:6379/0", backend="redis://localhost:6379/1"
)
long_callback_manager = CeleryLongCallbackManager(celery_app)

app = dash.Dash(__name__, long_callback_manager=long_callback_manager)

app.layout = html.Div(
    [
        html.Div([html.P(id="paragraph_id", children=["Button not clicked"])]),
        html.Button(id="button_id", children="Run Job!"),
        html.Button(id="cancel_button_id", children="Cancel Running Job!"),
    ]
)

@app.long_callback(
    output=Output("paragraph_id", "children"),
    inputs=Input("button_id", "n_clicks"),
    running=[
        (Output("button_id", "disabled"), True, False),
        (Output("cancel_button_id", "disabled"), False, True),
    ],
    cancel=[Input("cancel_button_id", "n_clicks")],
)
def callback(n_clicks):
    time.sleep(2.0)
    return [f"Clicked {n_clicks} times"]


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run_server(debug=True)

In place of the DiskcacheLongCallbackManager, we use CeleryLongCallbackManager and import Celery using the line:
from celery import Celery

We configure a Celery app (celery_app) and pass it to the CeleryLongCallbackManager. This is stored in the variable long_callback_manager and then passed to the app:

app = dash.Dash(__name__, long_callback_manager=long_callback_manager)

Caching Results

The @app.long_callback decorator can optionally memoize callback function results through caching, and it provides a flexible API for configuring when cached results may be reused.

How It Works

Here is a high-level description of how caching works in long_callback. Conceptually, you can imagine a dictionary is associated with each decorated callback function. Each time the decorated function is called, the input arguments to the function (and potentially other information about the environment) are hashed to generate a key. The long_callback decorator then checks the dictionary to see if there is already a value stored using this key. If so, the decorated function is not called, and the cached result is returned. If not, the function is called and the result is stored in the dictionary using the associated key.

The built-in functools.lru_cache decorator uses a Python dict just like this. The situation is slightly more complicated with Dash for two reasons:

For these reasons, a simple Python dict is not a suitable storage container for caching Dash callbacks. Instead, long_callback uses the current DiskCache or Celery callback manager to store cached results.

Caching Flexibility Requirements

To support caching in a variety of development and production use cases, long_callback may be configured by one or more zero-argument functions, where the return values of these functions are combined with the function input arguments when generating the cache key. Several common use-cases are described below.

Enabling Caching

Caching is enabled by providing one or more zero-argument functions to the cache_by argument of long_callback. These functions are called each time the status of a long_callback function is checked, and their return values are hashed as part of the cache key.

Here is an example using the DiskCache callback manager. In this example, the cache_by argument is set to a lambda function that returns a fixed UUID that is randomly generated during app initialization. The implication of this cache_by function is that the cache is shared across all invocations of the callback across all user sessions that are handled by a single server instance. Each time a server process is restarted, the cache is cleared and a new UUID is generated.

import time
from uuid import uuid4
import dash
from dash import html
from dash.long_callback import DiskcacheLongCallbackManager
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output

## Diskcache
import diskcache
launch_uid = uuid4()
cache = diskcache.Cache("./cache")
long_callback_manager = DiskcacheLongCallbackManager(
    cache, cache_by=[lambda: launch_uid], expire=60,
)

app = dash.Dash(__name__, long_callback_manager=long_callback_manager)
app.layout = html.Div(
    [
        html.Div([html.P(id="paragraph_id", children=["Button not clicked"])]),
        html.Button(id="button_id", children="Run Job!"),
        html.Button(id="cancel_button_id", children="Cancel Running Job!"),
    ]
)


@app.long_callback(
    output=(Output("paragraph_id", "children"), Output("button_id", "n_clicks")),
    inputs=Input("button_id", "n_clicks"),
    running=[
        (Output("button_id", "disabled"), True, False),
        (Output("cancel_button_id", "disabled"), False, True),
    ],
    cancel=[Input("cancel_button_id", "n_clicks")],
)
def callback(n_clicks):
    time.sleep(2.0)
    return [f"Clicked {n_clicks} times"], (n_clicks or 0) % 4


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run_server(debug=True)

Caching example

Here you can see that it takes a few seconds to run the callback function, but the cached results are used after n_clicks cycles back around to 0. By interacting with the app in a separate tab, you can see that the cached results are shared across user sessions.

Omitting Properties From Cache Key Calculation

The @app.long_callback decorator has an argument cache_args_to_skip that can be used to omit properties you specify from the cache key calculation. For example, you likely won’t want to include a button’s n_clicks property in a cache key because it will have a new value each time it’s clicked, and in this case you could use cache_args_to_skip.

If the callback is configured with keyword arguments (Input/State provided in a dict), cache_args_to_skip should be a list of argument names as strings. Otherwise, it should be a list of argument indices as integers. See the Flexible Callback Signatures chapter for more information on keyword arguments.

Cache_by Function Workflows

You can use cache_by functions to implement a variety of caching policies. Here are a few examples:

Setting an Expiration Time for Cache Entries

With both CeleryLongCallbackManager and DiskcacheLongCallbackManager, you can use the expire argument to limit how long a cache entry is retained for in the database. This is the number of seconds to keep a cache entry for after its last use. When an entry is accessed, the timer restarts.

celery_app = Celery(
    __name__, broker="redis://localhost:6379/0", backend="redis://localhost:6379/1"
)
long_callback_manager = CeleryLongCallbackManager(celery_app, expire=100)

Limitations

  1. The app must provide a validation_layout that contains all of the components referenced by callbacks in the app.
  2. The prevent_initial_call argument to app.long_callback must be set to True.

Why Job Queues?

When your app is deployed in production, a finite number of CPUs serve requests for that app.
Callbacks that take longer than 30 seconds often experience timeouts when deployed in production. And even callbacks that take less than 30 seconds can tie up all available server resources when multiple users access your app at the same time. When all CPUs are processing callbacks, new visitors to your app see a blank screen and eventually a “Server Timed Out” message.

Example with no job queue

Job queues are a solution to these timeout issues. Like the web processes serving your Dash app, job queues run with a dedicated number of CPU workers. These workers go through the jobs one at a time and aren’t subject to timeouts. While the job queue workers are processing the data, the web processes serving the Dash app and the regular callbacks display informative loading screens, progress bars, and the results of the job queues. End users never see a timeout and always see a responsive app.

Example with no job queue

Additional Resources

Long callbacks were developed through Dash Labs. We received lots of feedback from users throughout the development. You can see the original community discussions around the feature here:

Reference

API Reference for long callbacks