Getting started

The Python API can be used to communicate with a ftrack server from within any software that supports Python.

Quick start API code example

Before being able to communicate with a ftrack server from a Python script, the Python API has to be set up. Follow the 5 simple steps below to get started:

  1. Download the Python API from System Settings ‣ General Settings ‣ About, or by navigating to the following URL:


    Replace <YOUR_FTRACK_SERVER_URL> with the address to your ftrack server, e.g.

  2. Extract the file and put the contents in a directory on your computer.

  3. Open your favorite text editor, copy and paste the following code block into a new file and change the three lines in the top to be valid for your server. See the notes below for comments on those lines. Save the file in the same directory as before.

    import os
    os.environ['FTRACK_SERVER'] = 'https://<my name>'
    os.environ['FTRACK_APIKEY'] = '<my API key>'
    os.environ['LOGNAME'] = '<my username>'
    import ftrack
    for project in ftrack.getProjects():
        print project.getFullName()
    • The FTRACK_SERVER variable should point to your server, for example: https://<my name>
    • The FTRACK_APIKEY variable should be set to an API key. You can get an API key for your server in two ways:
      1. Copy your private API key from your My account page by clicking your avatar picture in the top right corner of the web interface and selecting My account. If using your private API key, make sure you set the username you are signing in to ftrack with in the next step.
      2. Copy an existing API key or add a new API key from the System settings ‣ Security ‣ API keys page.
    • The LOGNAME variable should be set to your username on your ftrack server. This can also be copied from My account.
  4. Launch a terminal window or Command Prompt and navigate to the directory where you saved the file. Enter python where is the filename of the Python file you just created, and press Enter.

  5. If the output in the terminal contains the names of all your projects, you have successfully set up your API and can start writing more advanced Python scripts! Happy coding!


If you see the error message ImportError: No module named ftrack, ensure that you have placed your script in the same directory as the API. The directory should contain a file called


You can set the environment variable PYTHONPATH to point to a directory containing the python API instead of placing the script in the same directory.

If you need any help, let us know by sending an email to

You are now ready to start developing with ftrack and can continue to other pages. For more information on Security and API keys, continue reading this page.

Security and API keys

The API will communicate with the server as the currently logged in user. API keys can be created and managed in the System settings ‣ Security ‣ API keys section in the ftrack web interface.

It is sometimes useful to override the user that is used. The environment variables LOGNAME, USER, LNAME and USERNAME are used in that order to figure out the current user as specified by the Python standard getpass module.

So, for example, setting LOGNAME to the desired username will cause all actions through the API to be performed as that user.

API keys are used to improve security when using the API as no password is needed to communicate with the server. The API key acts as a password that can be disabled or replaced if needed.

The API key is configured by setting the environment variable FTRACK_APIKEY.

API setup

The Python API is comprised of two parts:

  • A simple wrapper that allows setting of a few key environment variables and which imports the entire contents of the FTrackCore.egg under the ftrack namespace. FTRACK_SERVER and FTRACK_APIKEY are defined here and should be set to point to your server (or commented out if you want to use a different method for setting these).
  • FTrackCore.egg A zipped package that contained the actual files used by the API. When updating the server version FTrackCore.egg will also need to be updated.


The Python API can be downloaded from System Settings ‣ General Settings ‣ About, or by navigating to the URL <YOUR_FTRACK_SERVER_URL>/python-api.tar. Replace <YOUR_FTRACK_SERVER_URL> with the address to your ftrack server, e.g.

The following environment variables can be used to configure API usage:


The server URL including protocol, for example


The API key to use when authenticating.


An optional proxy URL to use if required.


Set to ‘true’ to skip feed generation and push notifications. Useful for improving performance in scripts that perform bulk inserts.


Only use for test purposes.

In addition, you must place the ftrack modules on the PYTHONPATH.

With the environment configured, open a Python shell and import ftrack to get started:

import ftrack

The ftrack module works with Python 2.6+