If you have a lot of data and want to keep throwing it into a data warehouse, Snowflake (opens in a new tab) is a tried and tested solution. They continue to push the boundaries of SQL and analytics features and their data sharing features between organizations are particularly strong for larger enterprises.

About 50% of Glean's customers use Snowflake. If you're using AWS, Snowflake could be a good solution for you. If you don't have much data, using Postgres, Redshift, or even DuckDB could be good options too. Compared to Redshift, Snowflake has a more modern architecture with decoupled storage and compute that can scale to larger datasets more easily. This architecture is also much easier to manage with more flexibility over how much compute you use and fewer required decisions over how you lay out data. If Google Cloud is an option, you may also want to consider BigQuery as an alternative to Snowflake.

How to get set up

  1. Sign up for a 30 day trial (opens in a new tab) on Snowflake if you don't have an account.
  2. Create a Snowflake user that Glean can use.
  3. Set up a database connection in Glean.

Create a Snowflake user

You can run the following script. Make sure you fill out your database name, warehouse and a password in the script:

set database_name = '--YOUR DATABASE NAME--';
set warehouse_name = '--YOUR WAREHOUSE NAME--';
set glean_user = 'GLEAN_USER';
set glean_role = 'GLEAN_ROLE';
create user if not exists identifier($glean_user) password='--YOUR PASSWORD--';
create role if not exists identifier($glean_role);
grant role identifier($glean_role) to user identifier($glean_user);
-- grant Glean role access to warehouse
grant USAGE on warehouse identifier($warehouse_name)
to role identifier($glean_role);
-- grant Glean access to database
grant MONITOR, USAGE  on database identifier($database_name) to role identifier($glean_role);
grant USAGE on all schemas in database identifier($database_name) to role identifier($glean_role);
grant SELECT on all tables in database identifier($database_name) to role identifier($glean_role);
grant SELECT on future tables in database identifier($database_name) to role identifier($glean_role);

Create a Snowflake database connection in Glean

  1. First, go to your Glean settings (opens in a new tab) page from the project dropdown
  2. Click + New Database Connection and fill out the fields below


  • Account: Your snowflake account identifier (opens in a new tab) is provided by Snowflake and included in the start of the URL you use to login to Snowflake: <account_identifier>
  • User: The Snowflake user. Best practice is to have a service user specifically dedicated to Glean.
  • Password: The password used to login to Snowflake.
  • Database: The Snowflake database to use. Databases correspond with logical groupings of tables and views in Snowflake.
  • Schema: optional If you provide a schema, we will limit listed tables in the model builder to this schema. If you need to limit permissions to a specific schema, you should do this with Snowflake permissions.
  • Warehouse: The warehouse to use in Snowflake. Warehouses correspond with compute resources.
  • Role: You must specify a role to be assumed when connecting from Glean. See Snowflake's roles (opens in a new tab) documentation.