Dynamic Tables

In the plugin definition, if SchemaMode is set to dynamic, every time Steampipe starts, the plugin's schema will be checked for any changes since the last time it loaded, and re-import the schema if it detects any.

Dynamic tables are useful when you are building a plugin whose schema is not known at compile time; instead, its schema will be generated at runtime. For instance, a plugin with dynamic tables is useful if you want to load CSV files as tables from one or more directories. Each of these CSV files may have different column structures, resulting in a different structure for each table.

In order to create a dynamic table, in the plugin definition, TableMapFunc should call a function that returns map[string]*plugin.Table.

For instance, in the CSV plugin:

func Plugin(ctx context.Context) *plugin.Plugin {
p := &plugin.Plugin{
Name: "steampipe-plugin-csv",
ConnectionConfigSchema: &plugin.ConnectionConfigSchema{
NewInstance: ConfigInstance,
Schema: ConfigSchema,
DefaultTransform: transform.FromGo().NullIfZero(),
SchemaMode: plugin.SchemaModeDynamic,
TableMapFunc: PluginTables,
return p
func PluginTables(ctx context.Context, p *plugin.Plugin) (map[string]*plugin.Table, error) {
// Initialize tables
tables := map[string]*plugin.Table{}
// Search for CSV files to create as tables
paths, err := csvList(ctx, p)
if err != nil {
return nil, err
for _, i := range paths {
tableCtx := context.WithValue(ctx, "path", i)
base := filepath.Base(i)
// tableCSV returns a *plugin.Table type
tables[base[0:len(base)-len(filepath.Ext(base))]] = tableCSV(tableCtx, p)
return tables, nil

The tableCSV function mentioned in the example above looks for all CSV files in the configured paths, and for each one, builds a *plugin.Table type:

func tableCSV(ctx context.Context, p *plugin.Plugin) *plugin.Table {
path := ctx.Value("path").(string)
csvFile, err := os.Open(path)
if err != nil {
plugin.Logger(ctx).Error("Could not open CSV file", "path", path)
r := csv.NewReader(csvFile)
csvConfig := GetConfig(p.Connection)
if csvConfig.Separator != nil && *csvConfig.Separator != "" {
r.Comma = rune((*csvConfig.Separator)[0])
if csvConfig.Comment != nil {
if *csvConfig.Comment == "" {
// Disable comments
r.Comment = 0
} else {
// Set the comment character
r.Comment = rune((*csvConfig.Comment)[0])
// Read the header to peak at the column names
header, err := r.Read()
if err != nil {
plugin.Logger(ctx).Error("Error parsing CSV header:", "path", path, "header", header, "err", err)
cols := []*plugin.Column{}
for idx, i := range header {
cols = append(cols, &plugin.Column{Name: i, Type: proto.ColumnType_STRING, Transform: transform.FromField(i), Description: fmt.Sprintf("Field %d.", idx)})
return &plugin.Table{
Name: path,
Description: fmt.Sprintf("CSV file at %s", path),
List: &plugin.ListConfig{
Hydrate: listCSVWithPath(path),
Columns: cols,

The end result is when using the CSV plugin, whenever Steampipe starts, it will check for any new, deleted, and modified CSV files in the configured paths and create any discovered CSVs as tables. The CSV filenames are turned directly into table names.

For more information on how the CSV plugin can be queried as a result of being a dynamic table, please see the {csv_filename} table document.