March 26, 2023

How to Automate New User Onboarding in Snowflake

By Tony Foerster

New user onboarding in the Snowflake Data Cloud often takes longer (and is more difficult) than people realize, at least initially.

Snowflake supports federated authentication; however, in order to provide secure access, users and database resources still need to be provisioned within Snowflake. Not only is this time-consuming; it’s risky.

With such a complex, manual process, it’s easy to make a mistake along the way. Mistakes mean project slowdowns, misconfigurations, and extra costs, which can lead to late starts, security vulnerabilities, or failure to get applications off the ground at all.

This is why we created the Provision Tool. 

The Provision tool is an information and onboarding accelerator for self-service user and role provisioning for Snowflake. We built the Provision tool to automate the processes mentioned above with accuracy, flexibility, and security in mind.

Rather than requiring admins to field requests and handle provisioning manually, the Provision tool streamlines the new user onboarding process, allowing you to quickly create and manage project resources within Snowflake including: 

  • Users 
  • Roles 
  • Databases
  • Schemas 
  • Privileges

Self-Service and Governance

Our business partners want self-service so they don’t have to stand by for days or weeks in DBA task queues waiting for resources to be created, often slightly incorrectly, and then wait again.

To facilitate self-service, the Provision tool supports two approaches to ensure resources are easy to request and that they will be created correctly the first time.

The first is a GitOps model where technical users can create a pull request in order to provision resources. 

Alternatively, the Provision tool can provision access and resources based by integrating with your existing ticketing systems like ServiceNow or Jira Service Desk. Users can request Snowflake projects or project access without leaving the tools they already have.

To facilitate governance, the Provision tool provides fine-grained control over predefined access lists to provisioned resources. Its declarative configuration also makes it easy to create and manage complex information architectures within your Snowflake environments — improving repeatability and simplifying the process of cataloging and sharing project data.

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