How To Create a Zenefits Python Pipeline with PyAirbyte

10 min read
April 24, 2024

Integrating Zenefits data into analytical platforms often comes with its set of challenges, from handling complex API logic and schema changes to ensuring data consistency. PyAirbyte emerges as a solution to mitigate these challenges, offering a streamlined approach to building data pipelines.

By simplifying the integration process and handling the heavy lifting of data extraction, transformation, and loading, PyAirbyte allows teams to focus on deriving insights from their Zenefits data, reducing the burden of maintenance and operational overhead. This introduction sets the stage for exploring how PyAirbyte can efficiently address common integration hurdles.

Traditional Methods for Creating Zenefits Data Pipelines

When integrating Zenefits data into analytical platforms or other business applications, developers often resort to conventional methods, primarily involving custom Python scripts. These scripts interact with the Zenefits API to extract data, transform it as necessary, and load it into a target system. While this approach offers flexibility and control, it also introduces several challenges and efficiency concerns.

Custom Python Scripts for Zenefits Integration

Creating custom scripts requires a deep understanding of both the Zenefits API and the target data system's requirements. Developers need to handle authentication, paging through large datasets, error handling, and retry mechanisms manually. This process often involves writing boilerplate code that does little to add value to the business logic of the data pipeline.

Specific Pain Points in Extracting Data from Zenefits

  1. Complex API Logic: Zenefits' API, like many other modern web APIs, can have complex logic and rate limits. Managing these intricacies within custom scripts can be daunting, requiring constant updates to the code as API endpoints evolve or as the volume and structure of the data change.
  2. Handling Schema Changes: Zenefits' data schema could change over time. Maintaining scripts that can adapt to these changes without manual intervention is challenging, leading to frequent breakdowns and the need for regular code updates.
  3. Data Consistency and Integrity: Ensuring that data extracted is consistent and maintains integrity throughout the ETL process requires robust error handling and transaction management within the scripts. This complexity increases with the volume and variety of data.

Impact on Data Pipeline Efficiency and Maintenance

The challenges outlined above heavily impact the efficiency and maintenance of data pipelines crafted through traditional methods:

  • Increased Development Time: Significant engineering time and resources are dedicated to writing and updating scripts rather than focusing on analysis and insights that add direct business value.
  • Maintenance Overhead: The need for constant monitoring and updating of scripts, especially in response to API changes, adds to the operational overhead. This maintenance is not only time-consuming but also requires specialised knowledge, making it difficult to manage as team dynamics change.
  • Scalability Issues: As the volume of data and the number of data sources grow, custom scripts can become increasingly complex and hard to manage. Scaling these scripts to handle more data or additional sources often requires a complete overhaul, leading to further development and testing time.
  • Risk of Data Pipeline Failure: With the high maintenance and operational demands, there is a significant risk of data pipeline failures. Such failures can lead to data loss, delays in data availability, and, ultimately, business decisions made on outdated or incomplete data.

In essence, while the traditional method of using custom Python scripts to create Zenefits data pipelines enables bespoke integration, it introduces significant challenges in terms of development complexity, maintenance overhead, scalability, and reliability. These challenges can severely inhibit the ability of organizations to respond quickly to business needs and leverage their data effectively.

Implementing a Python Data Pipeline for Zenefits with PyAirbyte

The procedure to create a data pipeline from Zenefits to a local cache or database using Python involves several steps with PyAirbyte. This approach simplifies dealing with the Zenefits API directly, abstracting complexities like authentication, schema handling, and data consistency with a few lines of code.

Installing PyAirbyte:

pip install airbyte

This command installs the PyAirbyte package, a Python client for Airbyte, an open-source data integration platform. It allows you to programmatically manage your Airbyte connectors and pipelines.

Initializing the Source Connector:

import airbyte as ab

source = ab.get_source(
     "token": "your_api_token_here"

This code imports the Airbyte library and initializes the Zenefits source connector. "source-zenefits" specifies the Zenefits connector. The install_if_missing=True option tells PyAirbyte to automatically download and set up the Zenefits connector if it's not already available. The config dictionary includes necessary configuration for the Zenefits API, such as your API token.

Verifying Configuration and Credentials:


This line runs a check to verify that your configuration and credentials are correct and that PyAirbyte can establish a connection to Zenefits.

Listing Available Data Streams:


Here, the script retrieves and lists all the available streams (types of data) that the Zenefits connector can pull. This is useful for understanding what data you can work with.

Selecting Streams to Load:


This command selects all available streams for extraction. If you need only specific streams, use the select_streams() method instead, specifying which streams you're interested in.

Reading Data into Cache:

cache = ab.get_default_cache()
result =

These lines of code initialize a default local cache with DuckDB (a lightweight SQL database) and load the selected streams' data from Zenefits into this cache. You can replace DuckDB with another cache or database like Postgres, Snowflake, or BigQuery by configuring a custom cache.

Extracting Data to a Pandas DataFrame:

df = cache["your_stream"].to_pandas()

Finally, this snippet demonstrates how to read a specific stream's data from the cache into a Pandas DataFrame, making it ready for analysis or further processing. You need to replace "your_stream" with the actual stream name you're interested in. This makes the extracted data easily accessible for data analysis, transformation, or visualization within Python.

This approach significantly simplifies the process of creating a data pipeline from Zenefits, managing complexities under the hood and enabling you to focus more on extracting insights from the data rather than on the intricacies of data extraction itself.

For keeping up with the latest PyAirbyte’s features, make sure to check our documentation. And if you’re eager to see more code examples with PyAirbyte, check out our Quickstarts library.

Why Using PyAirbyte for Zenefits Data Pipelines

PyAirbyte simplifies data integration processes, particularly when dealing with complex sources like Zenefits. Here's a deep dive into the benefits and capabilities of using PyAirbyte for constructing efficient, reliable Zenefits data pipelines:

  • Easy Installation and Setup: PyAirbyte stands out for its easy installation process, achievable with a simple pip install airbyte command. The primary prerequisite is having Python installed on your system, making it highly accessible for teams already working within Python-centric data workflows.
  • Configurable Source Connectors: One of the core strengths of PyAirbyte is its ability to easily access and configure available source connectors. This flexibility extends to supporting custom source connectors, providing a path to integrate virtually any data source by either utilizing the extensive library of existing connectors or developing bespoke connectors as needed.
  • Streamlined Data Processing: By facilitating the selection of specific data streams, PyAirbyte enables teams to focus on the data that matters most to their analysis or operations. This selective data extraction conserves computing resources, simplifies data management, and enhances overall processing efficiency.
  • Flexible Caching Backends: The platform's support for multiple caching backends — including DuckDB, MotherDuck, Postgres, Snowflake, and BigQuery — grants users the flexibility to choose a caching solution that best fits their needs. If no specific cache is defined, DuckDB serves as the default, offering a lightweight, performant option for most use cases.
  • Incremental Data Reading: PyAirbyte’s capability to read data incrementally is critical for efficiently handling large datasets. This approach minimizes the load on the data source and the network, reducing the time and resources required for data updates by fetching only new or changed records.
  • Integration with Python Libraries: The compatibility with popular Python libraries, such as Pandas, and SQL-based tools broadens PyAirbyte’s applicability in data science and analytics projects. This integration enables seamless data transformation and analysis, fitting perfectly into existing Python-based workflows, data orchestrators, and AI frameworks.
  • Enabling AI Applications: PyAirbyte is ideally suited for powering AI applications by ensuring a smooth and efficient feed of clean, updated data into machine learning models. The ability to quickly adapt to different data sources and structures, coupled with incremental update capabilities, makes PyAirbyte a valuable tool in the AI development lifecycle.


Leveraging PyAirbyte offers a streamlined, efficient way to build data pipelines from Zenefits to your desired destinations. By abstracting away the complexities typically associated with API integration, it not only simplifies the data collection process but also accelerates the journey from data to insights.

Whether you're working on analytics, data science, or AI projects, PyAirbyte adapts to your needs, enabling you to focus on generating value from your data rather than managing infrastructure. As we've explored, its ease of use, flexibility, and compatibility with modern data tools make PyAirbyte a reliable and powerful ally in harnessing the full potential of your Zenefits data.

Do you have any questions or feedback for us? You can keep in touch by joining our Slack channel! If you want to keep up to date with new PyAirbyte features, subscribe to our newsletter.

Enhancing Python with Airbyte connectors
Try PyAirbyte