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Datafold VS Code Extension

With the Datafold VS Code Extension, you can quickly run and diff any dbt models, view and interact with diff results in a clean GUI, and automatically diff models that change all within your VS Code IDE.

Getting Started

Install Datafold VS Code Extension

1. Install the Datafold VS Code Extension using the VS Code Extension tab

2. Open the extension's settings to set file paths for dbt profiles, your dbt project, and your Python installation


Set absolute paths in the Extension Settings to avoid any issues.

3. Using the command palate (⌘⇧P on Mac, ⌃⇧P on Windows and Linux), install data-diff by searching for "Datafold: Install data-diff"

  • You'll be walked through a few steps including:
    • setting up your dbt_project.yml
    • setting the path to your profiles.yml
    • selecting a data warehouse
  • If you use custom schemas, just enter any text string in the "Enter your schema" step. This will populate the production_schemavar in your dbt_project.yml with whatever value you entered. Then, you'll need to adjust your dbt_project.yml following the steps in the Custom Schema section in our documentation.

This is what will be added to the vars of your dbt_project.yml once setup is complete:

prod_database: YOUR_DATABASE
prod_schema: YOUR_SCHEMA

Running your first Data Diff

You can diff dbt models by clicking on the bird of Datafold, which reveals a sidebar containing all of your dbt models.

Click on any model's "play" button to run a data diff between the development and production version of the model.


In order for the data diff to run, there must be a version of the model in both your production and development environments.

Explore value-level differences

Understand exactly which values will change if the development code is merged to production.

Additional commands

You can search for Datafold commands by using the command palate (⌘⇧P on Mac, ⌃⇧P on Windows and Linux).

Try typing "Datafold: Diff dbt model"

  • If a dbt model file is open, it will be diffed automatically.
  • If a dbt model file is not open, you will be prompted to enter a model name.

You can also diff every model that was built in your most recent dbt run.

Additional features

Watch Mode

By turning on Watch Mode, the Datafold VS Code extension will diff all models that are run in each dbt run, as you code. Simply check this box in the Extension Settings.


To prevent diffing too many models with Watch Mode on, be sure to select only a subset (e.g., dbt run --select dim_orgs+).