To begin, import Xpublish and open an Xarray Dataset:

import xarray as xr
import xpublish

ds = xr.tutorial.open_dataset(
    "air_temperature", chunks=dict(lat=5, lon=5),

Publishing the dataset above is straightforward, just use the Rest class:

rest = xpublish.Rest(ds)

Alternatively, you might want to use the xarray.Dataset.rest accessor for more convenience:


Optional customization of the underlying FastAPI application or the server-side cache is possible, e.g.,

        title="My Dataset",
        description="Dataset Description",

Serving the dataset then simply requires calling the serve() method on the Rest instance or the xarray.Dataset.rest accessor:


# or


serve() passes any keyword arguments on to uvicorn.run() (see Uvicorn docs).

Default API routes

By default, the FastAPI application created with Xpublish provides the following endpoints to get some information about the published dataset:

  • /: returns xarray’s HTML repr.

  • /keys: returns a list of variable keys, i.e., those returned by xarray.Dataset.variables.

  • /info: returns a JSON dictionary summary of a Dataset variables and attributes, similar to xarray.Dataset.info().

  • /dict: returns a JSON dictionary of the full dataset.

  • /versions: returns JSON dictionary of the versions of Python, Xarray and related libraries on the server side, similar to xarray.show_versions().

The application also provides data access through a Zarr compatible API with the following endpoints:

  • /.zmetadata: returns a JSON dictionary representing the consolidated Zarr metadata.

  • /{var}/{key}: returns a single chunk of an array.

Custom API routes

With Xpublish you have full control on which and how API endpoints are exposed by the application.

In the example below, the default API routes are included with custom tags and using a path prefix for Zarr-like data access:

from xpublish.routers import base_router, zarr_router

        (base_router, {'tags': 'info'}),
        (zarr_router, {'tags': 'zarr', 'prefix': '/zarr'})


Using those settings, the Zarr-specific API endpoints now have the following paths:

  • /zarr/.zmetadata

  • /zarr/{var}/{key}

It is also possible to create custom API routes and serve them via Xpublish. In the example below, we create a minimal application to get the mean value of a given variable in the published dataset:

from fastapi import APIRouter, Depends, HTTPException
from xpublish.dependencies import get_dataset

myrouter = APIRouter()

def get_mean(var_name: str, dataset: xr.Dataset = Depends(get_dataset)):
    if var_name not in dataset.variables:
        raise HTTPException(
            status_code=404, detail=f"Variable '{var_name}' not found in dataset"

    return float(dataset[var_name].mean())



Taking the dataset loaded above in this tutorial, this application should behave like this:

  • /air/mean returns a floating number

  • /not_a_variable/mean returns a 404 HTTP error

The get_dataset() function in the example above is a FastAPI dependency that is used to access the dataset object being served by the application, either from inside a FastAPI path operation decorated function or from another FastAPI dependency. Note that get_dataset can only be used as a function argument (FastAPI has other ways to reuse a dependency, but those are not supported in this case).

Xpublish also provides a get_cache() dependency function to get/put any useful key-value pair from/into the cache that is created along with a running instance of the application.

API Docs

Thanks to FastAPI and Swagger UI, automatically generated interactive documentation is available at the /docs URL.

This path can be overridden by setting the docs_url key in the app_kws dictionary argument when initializing the rest accessor.

Serving multiple datasets

Xpublish also lets you serve multiple datasets via one FastAPI application. You just need to provide a mapping (dictionary) when creating a Rest instance, e.g.,

ds2 = xr.tutorial.open_dataset('rasm')

rest_collection = xpublish.Rest({'air_temperature': ds, 'rasm': ds2})


When multiple datasets are given, all dataset-specific API endpoint URLs have the /datasets/{dataset_id} prefix. For example:

  • /datasets/rasm/info returns information about the rasm dataset

  • /datasets/invalid_dataset_id/info returns a 404 HTTP error

The application also has one more API endpoint:

  • /datasets: returns the list of the ids (keys) of all published datasets

Note that custom routes work for multiple datasets just as well as for a single dataset. No code change is required. Taking the example above,

rest_collection = xpublish.Rest(
    {'air_temperature': ds, 'rasm': ds2},


The following URLs should return expected results:

  • /datasets/air_temperature/air/mean

  • /datasets/rasm/Tair/mean


By default, datasets served by Xpublish can be opened by any Zarr client that implements an HTTPStore. In Python, this can be done with fsspec:

import zarr
from fsspec.implementations.http import HTTPFileSystem

fs = HTTPFileSystem()

# The URL '' here serves one dataset
http_map = fs.get_mapper('')

# open as a zarr group
zg = zarr.open_consolidated(http_map, mode='r')

# or open as another Xarray Dataset
ds = xr.open_zarr(http_map, consolidated=True)

Xpublish’s endpoints can also be queried programmatically. For example:

import requests

response = requests.get('').json()