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Configure Airflow alerts on Astro

Incorporating an alerting framework is critical to the health of your data pipelines. In addition to the observability functionality provided on Astro, Apache Airflow supports:

  • Slack notifications
  • SLAs
  • Email alerts

Slack alerts and SLAs do not require additional configuration on Astro. For best practices, see the Astronomer guide on Airflow alerts.

This guide focuses on setting up email alerts on Astro with an SMTP service.

Configure Airflow email alerts

On Astro, setting up email alerts requires configuring an SMTP service for delivering each alert. You can use a single SMTP service for your Organization, but email alerts have to be configured for each Deployment.

If your organization isn't using an SMTP service currently, Astronomer recommends one of the following:

The following topics provide setup steps for integrating each of these external SMTP services on Astro, but any external SMTP service can be used.

Integrate with SendGrid

SendGrid is an email delivery service that you can use to configure Airflow alerts. A free SendGrid account grants users 40,000 free emails within the first 30 days of an account opening and 100 emails per day after that. This should be enough emails for most alerting use cases.

  1. Create a SendGrid account. Be prepared to disclose some standard information about yourself and your organization.

  2. Verify a Single Sender Identity. Because you're sending emails only for internal administrative purposes, a single sender identity is sufficient for integrating with Astro. The email address you verify here is used as the sender for your Airflow alert emails.

  3. Create a Sendgrid API key. In SendGrid, go to Email API > Integration Guide. Follow the steps to generate a new API key using SendGrid's Web API and cURL.

    For more information, see Sendgrid documentation.

  4. Skip the step for exporting your API key to your development environment. Instead, execute the generated curl code directly in your command line, making sure to replace $SENDGRID_API_KEY in the --header field with your copied key.

  5. Verify your integration in SendGrid to confirm that the key was activated. If you get an error indicating that SendGrid can't find the test email, try rerunning the cURL code in your terminal before retrying the verification.

  6. Add the following line to the requirements.txt file of your Astro project to install the SendGrid Airflow provider:

  7. In the Deployment view of the Cloud UI, add the following environment variables:

    • AIRFLOW__EMAIL__EMAIL_BACKEND = airflow.providers.sendgrid.utils.emailer.send_email
    • AIRFLOW__EMAIL__EMAIL_CONN_ID = smtp_default
    • SENDGRID_MAIL_FROM = <validated-sendgrid-sender-email-address>

    For more information about these environment variables, see Send email using SendGrid.

  8. In the Airflow UI, create an Airflow connection with the following values:

    • Connection ID: smtp_default
    • Connection Type:: Email
    • Host:
    • Login: apikey
    • Password: <your-sendgrid-api-key>
    • Port: 587
  9. Click Save to finalize your configuration.

  10. To receive email alerts for task failures within a given DAG, configure the following values in the DAG's default_args:

    'email_on_failure': True,
    'email': ['<recipient-address>'],

Repeat steps 7-10 for each Deployment in which you want to configure Airflow alerts.

Integrate with Amazon SES

Use your existing Amazon SES instance to send Airflow alerts by email.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Amazon SES console at

  2. Click the menu icon and then click Verified Identities.

  3. Optional. Complete one of the following tasks:

    • To confirm the email account is working and the Amazon SES service can send emails to it, click an email address in the Identity column and then click Send test email. When the owner of the email address receives the test email, they need to select the validation link in the email.
    • To add a new email address, click Create Identity, add the email address, and then click Create Identity.

    For email alerts, Astronomer recommends using one email address as the sender and a second email address as the recipient. All email addresses must be verified.

    For more information about configuring Amazon SES, read Creating an email address identity and Verifying an email address identity in the Amazon documentation.

  4. Click Account dashboard.

  5. In the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) settings pane, copy the value displayed below SMTP endpoint.

  6. Obtain your Amazon SES SMTP credentials:

    • Click Create SMTP credentials in the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) settings pane.
    • Enter a name for your SMTP user in the IAM User Name field or accept the default value.
    • Click Create and then Show User SMTP Security Credentials.
    • Click Download Credentials or copy them and store them in a safe place.
    • Click Close Window.
  7. In the Cloud UI, select a Workspace, click Deployments, and then select a Deployment.

  8. In the environment variables area, click Edit Variables and add these variables:

    • ENV AIRFLOW__SMTP__SMTP_HOST: Enter the value you copied in step 5
    • ENV AIRFLOW__SMTP__SMTP_SSL: Enter False.
    • ENV AIRFLOW__SMTP__SMTP_USER: Enter the value you copied in step 6.
    • ENV AIRFLOW__SMTP__SMTP_PASSWORD: Enter the value you copied in step 6.
    • ENV AIRFLOW__SMTP__SMTP_PORT: Enter 587.
    • ENV AIRFLOW__SMTP__SMTP_MAIL_FROM: Enter your from email.

    See Set environment variables on Astro.

  9. To begin receiving Airflow alerts by email for task failures within a given DAG, configure the following values in the DAG's default_args:

    'email_on_failure': True,
    'email': ['<recipient-address>'],

Repeat steps 7-10 for each Deployment in which you want to configure Airflow alerts.