The Data Warrior

Changing the world, one data model at a time. How can I help you?

Tech Tip: Connect to Snowflake db using #SQLDevModeler

So, some of you may have noticed that I took “real” job this week. I am now the Senior Technical Evangelist for a cool startup company called Snowflake Computing.

Basically we provide a data warehouse database as a service in the cloud.

Pretty cool stuff. (If you want to know more, check out our site at

I will talk more about the coolness of Snowflake (pun intended) in the future, but for now I just want to show you how easy it is to connect to.

Of course the first thing I want to do when I meet a new database is see if I can connect my most favorite data modeling tool, Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler (SDDM),  to it and reverse engineer some tables.

The folks here told me that tools like Informatica, MicroStrategy, and Tableau connect just fine using either JDBC or ODBC, and that since we are ANSI SQL compliant, there should be no problem.

And they were right. It was almost as easy as connecting to Oracle but it was WAY easier than connecting to SQL Server.

First you need a login to a Snowflake database. No problem here. Since I am an employee, I do get a login. Check.

We have both a web-UI and a desktop command line tool. Turned out I needed the command line tool which incidentally needed our Snowflake JDBC connector to work. Followed the Snowflake documentation, downloaded the JDBC drive (to my new Mac!). Piece of cake.

So connecting from SDDM is really easy. First add the 3rd party JDBC driver in preferences. Preferences ->Data Modeler -> Third Party JDBC Driver (press the green + sign, then browse to the driver).

Add JDBC Driver

As you can see our JDBC driver is conveniently named snowflake_jdbc.jar.

Next step is to configure the database connection. To do this you go to File -> Import -> Data Dictionary, then add a new connection in the wizard.

Configure Connection

Give at a name and login information, then go to the JDBC tab.

So getting the URL was the trick (for me anyway). Luckily the command line tool displayed the URL when I launched it in a terminal window, so I just copied it from there (totally wild guess on my part).

So the URL (for future reference) is:

Where account is whatever you named your account in Snowflake (once you have one of your very own that is).

The driver class was a little trickier – I had to read our documentation! Thankfully it is very good and has an entire section on how to connect using JDBC. In there I found the drive class name:


That was it.

I pushed the Test button and success!

Now to really test it, I did the typical reverse engineer and was able to see the demo schema and tables and brought them all in.

Snowflake Schema

Demo schema in Snowflake (no, not a snowflake schema!)

So I call that a win.

Not a bad weeks work really:

  1. New job orientation
  2. Start learning a new tech and the “cloud”
  3. Got logged in
  4. Installed SDDM on a Mac for the 1st time ever!
  5. Configured to speak to an “alien” database
  6. Successfully reverse engineer a schema
  7. Blog about it.

So that was my 1st week a a Senior Technical Evangelist.



still, The Data Warrior

P.S. If you want to see more about my week, just check my twitter stream and start following @SnowflakeDB too.



Better Data Modeling: What is #DataVault 2.0 and Why do I care?

Have you heard?

Dan Linstedt has just had his new book published on Data Vault 2.0. It is called Building a Scalable Data Warehouse with Data Vault 2.0. If you are at all into data warehousing and agile design, you need to get this book now. So click here and be done.

For those of you not sure what this DV 2.0 stuff is all about and why you might want to learn about it, I recently did a series of guest posts for Vertabelo to introduce folks to the concepts. In the series I walk you through some of the history of Data Vault and why we need a new way to do data warehousing. Then I get into the basics of modeling the Data Vault, the Business Vault, and finally building Information Marts from a Data Vault.

So you can find the posts here:

#1 – Agile Modeling: Not an Option Anymore

#2 – Data Vault 2.0 Modeling Basics

#3 – The Business Data Vault

#4 – Building an Information Mart with Your Data Vault

Once you have read these, I am sure you will want to go buy the new Data Vault 2.0 book and maybe sign up for some online training on

Model on!


The Data Warrior

P.S. If you want to catch up, you can still purchase the original Data Vault (1.0) modeling book Super Charge Your Data Warehouse. It is a great reference book to have on hand (you can get it on Kindle too). Might as well have the whole set.

P.P.S. I am also going to turn this series into a Kindle ebook for easier reference, so keep your eyes on this blog, my tweets, and my Author Profile for an announcement soon!

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler 4.1.2

Kent Graziano:

#SQLDevModeler got a recent update with some major bug fixes. Read Heli’s post for the details, then go get the newest version.

Originally posted on HeliFromFinland:

The best news on Friday Oct 23rd was that version 4.1.2 of Data Modeler came out! We were really waiting for this release because of some bugs on 4.1.1 that made our lives quite difficult. Thank you development team for fixing everything so quickly and releasing 4.1.2 so fast!

If you have not downloaded it yet, this is the place to do it:

Some bug fixes (

This list contains only a selection of higher priority bugs, customer bugs and issues raised by the community on the OTN Forum since the release of version 4.1.1.

21310122 Interactive DDL for automatically generated Indexes contains an invalid semi-colon
21436619 Different formatting causes Table Check Constraint to be marked as changed
21450718 Missing check constraint ddl (arc constraint) during merge
21471733 Save doesn’t remove deleted foreign keys
21627534 Grant flashback on an oracle table not supported
21617909 Domain can’t be locked without…

View original 165 more words

SALE: Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler Jump Start

So in honor of the upcoming #OOW15 and User Group Sunday Symposiums, I decided to put my video workshop for #SQLDevModeler on Sale!

Why use #SQLDevModeler?

If you were an Oracle Designer user and are looking for a replacement data modeling tool, or you are using one of the other mainstream, expensive modeling tools and want a more cost effective alternative, then you owe it to yourself to look at Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler (SDDM). Data Modeler has been around for years now and is up to version 4.1. It really is an industrial strength data modeling tool that can be used for any data modeling task you need to tackle. (And it works with MS SQL Server and DB2, not just Oracle.)

#SQLDevModeler is a fully functional tool provided for FREE by Oracle. It has many features built in that can be leveraged to capture the design of an existing (probably undocumented) database and re-engineer it or you can use it to design a new database, even a data warehouse from scratch. There are features to apply standards, and then generate DDL to implement your newly standardized design. You can even use one logical model to develop multiple physical models that can be deployed to different RDBMS. You also have options on the type of notation used in the diagrams (i.e., Barker, IE, etc.).

Workshop? What Workshop?

I’m so glad you asked! ;-)

Since there was no one around teaching classes on SDDM, I figured I should build one that would be easily accessible and show you exactly how to use the tool for the most common data modeling tasks.

This workshop will start from a totally blank page and walk you through all the major features and options of the tool to show you how to design build and deploy a database. I provide lots of examples and tips on how to do all this so that you can quickly be productive.

In this workshop, I introduce you to the tool and show you how to use some of the cool features I use almost daily. I provide step-by-step instructions on how to use these features.

In this 4+ hour long workshop you will see:

  • How to create new objects from a blank page
  • How to build a logical ERD (with sub-types!)
  • How to reverse engineer and document existing databases
  • How to reverse engineer logical models from physical
  • How to use the visual view builder
  • How to use the interactive view testing tool
  • How to reconcile a model to the database or the database to a model
  • How to generate DDL for multiple RDBMSs (Not Just Oracle!)
  • How to generate a script to change an existing database

Tips, tricks and features I will demonstrate:

  • Modifying the delivered reporting templates
  • How (and when) to use the abbreviations utility
  • How to use and apply domains
  • How to create and applying object naming templates
  • How to add audit columns to every table
  • How to add custom design rules for model quality checks
  • How to use the built in quality checks
  • How to use the newest find and extract feature to enable updating table and column comments by end users
  • How to generate a simple data dictionary

As an added bonus, in addition to step by step slides, I also give you a live demonstration of important aspects of the tool.

By the end of the workshop you will be able to effectively use Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler for all your data modeling tasks.

So how about a sample?

The platform that we used to deliver the video is pretty darn good, but I figured you might want to see what the content looks like so here are two modules taken right out of the class. The first one talks about using sub views in SDDM, and the 2nd one talks about creating Entities.




Sale Coupon!

So ready to sign up?

Great. Go here to get right in!

Normally the price is $1299  (which is MUCH less than you would have to pay me to come to your office and teach you myself), but for a limited time, I am giving a big discount so that even more folks can afford it.

Use coupon code KentSDDM to get $300 off the regular price.

I am sure you will find this a very useful workshop with examples you can use (yes there are a few downloads when you finish the class). The examples alone will save you a bunch of time and money.

But don’t take my word for it:

So sign up today, start watching, then you can ask me questions at #OOW15!



The Data Warrior

P.S. The sale will not last long, so be sure to jump in now to save $300 while you can. Go on, sign up here (you know you should).

The Data Warrior Goes to Oracle Open World 2015 (#OOW15)

Yes boy and girls, it is that time of year again. Time for the BIG show in San Francisco – OOW15

I will as usual, attend, but only for a few days this year (been away from home too much).

My Talk

I will be presenting my session Worst Practices in Data Warehouse Design (UGF9985) on Sunday at 10:00 AM in Moscone South, room 274 (courtesy of ODTUG!).  This will be a quick one as I only have 45 minutes to do a one hour talk. Yikes!

If you will be in SF by Sunday, be sure to come by and say “hi.”

Morning Chi Gung?

As usual, I will try to gather some folks near either Union Square or maybe by Yerba Buena Gardens for a little morning relaxation with some Chi Gung (Qigong) . Most likely around 7 AM for 30 minutes. Probably Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday, Follow me on twitter @kentgraziano and look for #MorningChiGung #OOW15 for final time and location.

Monday for sure though, I will be doing a shortened session on the beach at the 4th Annual OOW SF Bay Swim around 9:15 AM or so. Nothing like a little chi movement to warm you up before and after jumping in the bay.

The Rest of My Schedule

Much shorter than usual but here is what I plan to see so far:

Session Title Session Code Date Start Time End Time Room
Oracle Database 12c-Data Redaction UGF1513 10/25/2015 8:00 8:45 Moscone West-3011
Oracle Business Intelligence Best Practices: the Bad, the Worse, and the Really Ugly UGF7409 10/25/2015 9:00 9:45 Moscone South-301
Worst Practices in Data Warehouse Design (ME) UGF9985 10/25/2015 10:00 10:45 Moscone South-274
Oracle Database Security: Frustrating the Patient Intruder UGF10016 10/25/2015 11:00 11:45 Moscone South-274
Improving Analytics: Experiences Testing Oracle Database In-Memory 12c Feature UGF9936 10/25/2015 13:30 14:15 Moscone South-303
Fennia Two Years in Production with Oracle Exadata UGF5105 10/25/2015 14:30 15:15 Moscone South-305
Managing the Changes in Database Structures (Heli) UGF6317 10/25/2015 15:30 16:15 Moscone South-306
Oracle OpenWorld Welcome Keynote KEY10818 10/25/2015 17:00 19:00 Moscone North-Hall D
Oracle OpenWorld Monday Keynote Swim The Bay!
KEY10819 10/26/2015 9:00 10:00 Moscone North-Hall D The Dolphin Club
Oracle SQL Developer Tips and Tricks (Jeff Smith) CON8721 10/26/2015 16:00 16:45 Moscone South-304
Database Development for the Cloud and On Premises (Kris Rice) CON8779 10/26/2015 17:15 18:00 Moscone South-304

Other Fun Stuff

Along with the educational sessions is of course the opportunity to network with folks. I expect I will be doing that as much as possible. There is the annual Oracle ACE dinner, and who know what else. I am sure I will find plenty to keep me busy.

Since I arrive early for the Oracle ACE Directors annual briefing at HQ, I know I will be downtown Friday evening and all day Saturday. Drop me a note if you will be there too and want to hang out and see some of the sites and eat some top notch grub.



The Data Warrior

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