Snowflake embraces data programming (and Slootman writes another book)

Cloud data warehouser Snowflake has updated its product with access to unstructured data, data service providers, expanded data ingress and row access policies. Also, CEO Frank Slootman has written another book.

Let’s deal with the book first. With co-author Steve Hamm, Slootman has penned “Rise of The Data Cloud.” You can read a sample chapter to see if you want it as a Christmas present ($16.84 hardback on Amazon). Slootman clearly likes the writing – or ghost-written – lark. In 2009 he wrote “TAPE SUCKS: Inside Data Domain, A Silicon Valley Growth Story”. Now back to Snowflake.

The company, which enjoyed the biggest ever software IPO in September, is broadening its data ingest pipeline and increasing services for processing customer data in its warehouse.

Benoit Dageville

“Many of today’s organisations still struggle to mobilise all of their data in service of their enterprise, “Snowflake co-founder and president of products Benoit Dageville said in a statement.

“The Data Cloud contains a massive amount of data from Snowflake customers and commercial data providers, creating a powerful global data network effect for mobilising data to drive innovation and create new revenue streams.”

Data in the Snowpark

SnowPark is a new data ingress portal in which data engineers, data scientists and developers can write code in their languages of choice, using familiar programming concepts, and then execute workloads such as ETL/ELT, data preparation, and feature engineering on Snowflake. It brings more data pipelines into Snowflake’s core data platform and is currently available in testing environments.

The company has added more than 100 data service providers to the Snowflake Data Marketplace, which enables customers to discover and access live, ready-to-query, third-party data sets, without needing to copy files or move the data. Services such as running a risk assessment, behavioural scoring, predictive and prescriptive data analysis can be outsourced to a data service provider.

Snowflake has announced private preview support for unstructured data such as audio, video, pdfs, imaging data and more – which will provide the ability to orchestrate pipeline executions of that data. This looks like specific types of unstructured data and not general file storage data.

Upcoming row access policies will allow Snowflake customers to create policies for restricting returned result sets when queries are executed. By creating an umbrella policy to restrict access to row data in its database, users no longer need to ensure their queries each time contain all the right constraints. This feature is slated for private preview before the end of the year.