Apache Airflow is an open-source workflow management platform for data engineering pipelines. It started at Airbnb in October 2014 as a solution to manage the company’s increasingly complex workflows. Creating Airflow allowed Airbnb to programmatically author and schedule their workflows and monitor them via the built-in Airflow user interface. From the beginning, the project was made open source, becoming an Apache Incubator project in March 2016 and a Top-Level Apache Software Foundation project in January 2019.
Airflow is written in Python, and workflows are created via Python scripts. Airflow is designed under the principle of “configuration as code”. While other “configuration as code” workflow platforms exist using markup languages like XML, using Python allows developers to import libraries and classes to help them create their workflows.