January 25, 2022

Announcing the phData Toolkit

By Grant Henke

We are pleased to announce the general availability of the all-new phData Toolkit!

The phData Toolkit is a unified interface for all of phData’s apps and tools that help to accelerate and automate your data projects. 

phData Toolkit Dashboard

The Toolkit itself consists of a few key components:

  • One account to discover and access all of the phData apps & tools
  • A menu of hosted SaaS applications that can be used directly in the UI
  • A list of tools with detailed documentation, demos, videos, and resources to get started
  • Resources to learn, find training, and get direct support
  • Keyword-based search navigation to find exactly what you need
  • A collapsible left navigation that moves out of the way when you don’t need it
  • Unified updates to find the latest features and releases

What is in it?

Of course, the real power of the phData Toolkit comes from the contents within it. However, any good toolkit also needs to be organized and optimized for finding exactly what you need when you need it. To help with that, we break down the content of the Toolkit into three main sections:

  • Apps: The apps are hosted SaaS applications that can be used directly in the Toolkit UI.
  • Tools: The tools are not hosted but can be found through the Toolkit UI. Our tools are often used via an open-source repository or a binary that can be installed in your own environment.
  • Resources: Other helpful technical resources to enable successful data projects that include documentation, training, partners, and support.

We also label the contents using simple descriptive names based on the primary function and provide information to help you get started and learn about each tool in detail. 

As a brief introduction, below is an overview of each of the apps and tools available today.

Privilege Audit

The Privilege Audit app provides powerful visualization and reporting that enables Snowflake data to access auditing and troubleshooting.

Who is it for?

This application is useful for security administrators and auditors to understand the roles and privileges within an account, but also for analysts and data engineers to find what data exists and the required role needed to access the data for project work.

SQL Translation

The SQL Translation app can instantly translate SQL from one language to another, eliminating a usually time-consuming, error-prone, and highly manual process. SQL Translation functions like Google Translate — but for SQL dialects.

Who is it for?

The SQL Translation app is essential to data engineers for fast and accurate SQL migrations regardless of scale. However, it is also important after migrations for engineers and analysts to translate newly written or discovered SQL that was not a part of the primary bulk translation. We find it is also a useful way to learn a new SQL dialect. Users can write SQL in the dialect they are most familiar with and translate it to find a proven way to perform the same function in the target dialect.

Project Administration

The Project Administration tool is like an automated DBA. It automates creating and managing project resources within Snowflake including users and their privileges. Once set up and configured with your existing ticketing systems or Active Directory installations, you can fully manage your self-service Snowflake environments without relying on manual SQL commands.

Who is it for?

The Project Administration tool is critical for any Snowflake administrator. Especially one who is operating a platform growing in adoption with the desire to maintain and organize an efficient information architecture with fast project launches.

Pipeline Automation

The Pipeline Automation tool simplifies the process of ingesting data onto new platforms and generating scripts for common pipeline patterns. It then generates pipeline code from a series of templates that you can use to ingest or transform data for the migration of a legacy database or ongoing ingestion of an operational database. It’s also an Apache-licensed open-source project that anyone can contribute to.

Who is it for?

The Pipeline Automation tool is for data engineers who need to ingest data from databases with anything from a few to thousands of tables.

Application Monitoring

The Application Monitoring tool is a set of packaged tools to aggregate data from data products to make understanding the performance, errors, and observability of data products easy.

Who is it for?

The Application Monitoring tool is for operators looking to jump-start the monitoring of their Snowflake managed pipelines, AWS DataOps managed services, and managed machine learning deployments.

Automated Infrastructure

The Automated Infrastructure tool is an accelerator that allows you to deploy and manage cloud infrastructure using Infrastructure-as-Code. It consists of prebuilt CloudFormation templates and a library to enable automatic testing and execution of your customized templates along with the promotion of changes from development to production environments in your CI/CD pipelines.

Who is it for?

The Automated Infrastructure tool is for the developer deploying cloud infrastructure that wants to ensure it is well tested, repeatable, auditable, and fast.

Who Can Use The phData Toolkit?

The phData Toolkit is openly available for everyone to use whether you’re a phData customer or not. However, all features and functionality are made available without restriction to all phData customers, including dedicated support.

Why Did phData Build the Toolkit?

As a services company specializing in data engineering, machine learning, and analytics, we have helped our customers solve complex data challenges and have deployed numerous production projects and applications. While parts of these projects are unique to a given company or domain, some of the challenges and patterns are common across a wide range of projects. These repetitive and tedious tasks lend themselves to automation and abstraction. 

By dedicating a team to building tools that solve and automate these problems, we improve the data experience for everyone. Customer projects get completed faster, more accurately, and at a lower cost. Additionally, our engineers and analysts can automate tedious and repetitive tasks to focus on the project’s challenging, engaging, and more meaningful work.

Once we built a collection of apps and tools, it became clear that organizing them into a single toolkit was the next step. There are numerous reasons, but among the most compelling are: 

  • It simplifies finding and using all the available apps and tools, including supporting resources and documentation.
  • It ensures a consistent experience for all apps and tools under a single account.
  • It reduces development and support complexity enabling us to focus on building the features and solutions that matter most to our customers.

What’s Next?

Our dedicated team of engineers will continue iterating on the features and content in the Toolkit to polish and streamline the experience. Beyond that, we plan to incorporate existing tools that phData offers which have not yet been added. We have also started work on new apps and tools that we look forward to releasing to the Toolkit later this year.

In Closing

We are excited to be launching the phData Toolkit to simplify the discovery, usage, and continued development of phData automation software that accelerates data projects and platforms. 

We encourage you to spend a few minutes browsing the apps and tools available in the phData Toolkit today to set yourself up for success in 2022. Then, follow our Twitter and LinkedIn feeds to see release announcements for new apps, tools, and features added throughout the year.

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Accelerate and automate your data projects with the phData Toolkit