Scrapy - Item Pipeline


Item Pipeline is a method where the scrapped items are processed. When an item is sent to the Item Pipeline, it is scraped by a spider and processed using several components, which are executed sequentially.

Whenever an item is received, it decides either of the following action −

  • Keep processing the item.
  • Drop it from pipeline.
  • Stop processing the item.

Item pipelines are generally used for the following purposes −

  • Storing scraped items in database.
  • If the received item is repeated, then it will drop the repeated item.
  • It will check whether the item is with targeted fields.
  • Clearing HTML data.


You can write the Item Pipeline using the following method −

process_item(self, item, spider) 

The above method contains following parameters −

  • Item (item object or dictionary) − It specifies the scraped item.
  • spider (spider object) − The spider which scraped the item.

You can use additional methods given in the following table −

Sr.No Method & Description Parameters

open_spider(self, spider)

It is selected when spider is opened.

spider (spider object) − It refers to the spider which was opened.


close_spider(self, spider)

It is selected when spider is closed.

spider (spider object) − It refers to the spider which was closed.


from_crawler(cls, crawler)

With the help of crawler, the pipeline can access the core components such as signals and settings of Scrapy.

crawler (Crawler object) − It refers to the crawler that uses this pipeline.


Following are the examples of item pipeline used in different concepts.

Dropping Items with No Tag

In the following code, the pipeline balances the (price) attribute for those items that do not include VAT (excludes_vat attribute) and ignore those items which do not have a price tag −

from Scrapy.exceptions import DropItem  
class PricePipeline(object): 
   vat = 2.25 

   def process_item(self, item, spider): 
      if item['price']: 
         if item['excludes_vat']: 
            item['price'] = item['price'] * self.vat 
            return item 
            raise DropItem("Missing price in %s" % item) 

Writing Items to a JSON File

The following code will store all the scraped items from all spiders into a single items.jl file, which contains one item per line in a serialized form in JSON format. The JsonWriterPipeline class is used in the code to show how to write item pipeline −

import json  

class JsonWriterPipeline(object): 
   def __init__(self): 
      self.file = open('items.jl', 'wb') 

   def process_item(self, item, spider): 
      line = json.dumps(dict(item)) + "\n" 
      return item

Writing Items to MongoDB

You can specify the MongoDB address and database name in Scrapy settings and MongoDB collection can be named after the item class. The following code describes how to use from_crawler() method to collect the resources properly −

import pymongo  

class MongoPipeline(object):  
   collection_name = 'Scrapy_list' 

   def __init__(self, mongo_uri, mongo_db): 
      self.mongo_uri = mongo_uri 
      self.mongo_db = mongo_db 

   def from_crawler(cls, crawler): 
      return cls( 
         mongo_uri = crawler.settings.get('MONGO_URI'), 
         mongo_db = crawler.settings.get('MONGO_DB', 'lists') 
   def open_spider(self, spider): 
      self.client = pymongo.MongoClient(self.mongo_uri) 
      self.db = self.client[self.mongo_db] 

   def close_spider(self, spider): 

   def process_item(self, item, spider): 
      return item

Duplicating Filters

A filter will check for the repeated items and it will drop the already processed items. In the following code, we have used a unique id for our items, but spider returns many items with the same id −

from scrapy.exceptions import DropItem  

class DuplicatesPipeline(object):  
   def __init__(self): 
      self.ids_seen = set() 

   def process_item(self, item, spider): 
      if item['id'] in self.ids_seen: 
         raise DropItem("Repeated items found: %s" % item) 
         return item

Activating an Item Pipeline

You can activate an Item Pipeline component by adding its class to the ITEM_PIPELINES setting as shown in the following code. You can assign integer values to the classes in the order in which they run (the order can be lower valued to higher valued classes) and values will be in the 0-1000 range.

   'myproject.pipelines.PricePipeline': 100,
   'myproject.pipelines.JsonWriterPipeline': 600,
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