Snowflake introduces Snowpark, a new developer environment for data programming

Cloud data management and warehouse provider Snowflake announced a bevy of product updates Tuesday that aim to improve data discovery across its platform. Key feature updates include support for more types of data, a new developer experience, more granular data controls, and expanded access to data services from third party providers.

On the developer side, Snowflake introduced Snowpark, described as a new way to program data in Snowflake via a set of optimized APIs. 

The service includes native support for multiple programming languages, allowing developers, data engineers and data scientists to write code in the language of their choice. Snowflake posits that Snowpark will simplify an organization’s IT architecture by bringing more data pipelines into Snowflake’s single, governed core data platform. Snowpark is currently available in testing environments only.

Meanwhile, the company announced that its marketplace now enables access to third-party data service providers. Snowflake also announced a row access policies feature, which allows users to conditionally filter rows and query time based on user roles. The feature, which Christian Kleinerman, Snowflake’s SVP of product, said provides “powerful and fine grain access control,” is expected to be in private preview later this year.

The company also expanded on its efforts around the concept of serverless tasks, which Kleinerman described as automated pipeline tasks optimized by Snowflake, allowing data engineers to optimize task management. 

In the area of data management, Snowflake also announced a new capability for object tagging that allows customers keep track of sensitive data for visibility and compliance, resource usage for cost visibility and attribution, and manage tags with flexible admin models. 

Snowflake also announced that it intends to support unstructured data files such as audio, video, pdfs and imaging data.

“Unstructured data management in Snowflake means customers will be able to avoid accessing and managing multiple systems, deploy fine-grained governance over unstructured files and metadata, and discover new revenue opportunities thanks to gaining more complete insights,” the company said.

Unstructured data support is currently in private preview.

Snowflake competes with multiple data warehouse providers but has enjoyed considerable success in the mere eight years since its founding. Snowflake offers companies a way to generate, process, and analyze large amounts of data in real time. The company went public in September in what’s been called the biggest software IPO in the history of Wall Street. 

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