Alation Launches New Partner Program to Expand Reach of Data Intelligence Platform

By Todd Beauchene

Published on January 11, 2023

A focused shot of a business handshake taking place.

We are excited to announce the new Partner Program for Open Connector Framework. The purpose of this program is to build a network of development partners to accelerate the development of connectors that expand the reach of Alation’s data intelligence platform. The Open Connector Framework supports connectivity to extract metadata from data tools and platforms so that our customers can gain insight about every piece of their data stack. Our partners bring both programming expertise and specialized knowledge of systems across the data landscape, which combine to offer a powerful benefit for our customers.

A platform approach to data intelligence

Data intelligence delivers trustworthy, reliable insight about all of the data within an organization. Alation empowers users to discover the right data via search, understand that data through detailed metadata, and trust that data based on governance and lineage. This ability is enhanced when you include information from all of the tools that interact with the data in all your data platforms.

The Open Connector Framework (OCF) supports not only traditional databases and data platforms, but also provides connectivity to a wide variety of data integration and business intelligence tools. This program will rapidly increase the connectivity options available while responding to our customers’ input on which sources are most important to them.

Architecting an open framework

Broad connectivity to data sources is a core pillar of Alation’s data intelligence platform. To extend our open platform, Alation Engineering built a framework with an SDK that standardizes the exchange format. This balances the need for simplicity with the need for scalability and dependability.

At the core of this framework are two engineering tenants: separation of responsibility and creation of a runtime environment that executes integrations efficiently and securely.

The all-encompassing SDK provides simple-to-understand interfaces that seamlessly support metadata extraction patterns for varied data sources and offers tooling that makes development, deployment, validation, and feedback effortless. The OCF, meanwhile, simplifies management of these connectors. This includes deployment and scheduling within each Alation customer environment, including cloud-based deployments on Alation Cloud Service. Ultimately, this means the framework is engineered to handle the scale of metadata generated by modern applications – without exposing that complexity to our development partners.

This architecture and configuration-driven integration enables new developers to quickly and consistently integrate new data sources into the data catalog, pulling in valuable metadata for wider consumption.

The OCF was released in early 2021 and now handles all core connectors currently in use, including Snowflake, Databricks, AWS, and Tableau. This program began by training a select group of partners on how to build OCF connectors, and the power and flexibility of this framework have been essential to their success.

Leveraging partner expertise

Alation has selected partners who have deep experience working with a wide variety of data systems. These expert consultants implement robust data platforms for clients across all industries, as well as build customized integrations. These specialized teams will partner with our customers to build on the foundations created by Alation’s product and engineering teams, delivering a world-class solution within the data ecosystem.

“The inventory of an organization’s data assets is greatly diverse,” said Krishna Kodeboyena, President, Logan Data. “The amount of data produced from many different data sources cultivates an organization’s need to connect and integrate to the deepest and broadest data ecosystems. Our partnership with Alation, and their broad and growing partner network, enables joint customers to access critical context about governed data from many data sources through a single pane of glass.”

Scaling for success

One of the greatest benefits of partnerships is the ability to scale quickly and effectively to better meet the needs of customers. This program enables Alation customers to connect new sources faster as new needs arise and their ecosystems evolve. With the OCF, Alation can address new, cutting-edge data sources more quickly to support our customers’ unique goals.

“Bringing more data sources to Alation is vital in today’s highly connected technology ecosystem,” said Sanjeev Varma, CEO, Information Asset. “Joining the Open Connector Framework Program was an easy and highly strategic decision that adds significant value to our joint customers.”

The OCF will continue to evolve as customer needs change over time, with the Alation product and engineering teams driving that innovation based on feedback from our customers. This evolution will allow Alation customers to continue to gather metadata from all to the key systems that interact with their data and give them a complete picture of their data ecosystem within the catalog.

We have put together an Open Connector Framework page to provide details on this program. If your organization has strong development resources and significant experience with leading data solutions, please visit that page to apply. If you are an Alation customer, or interested in learning more about our data intelligence platform please reach out to our sales team to find out how this program will benefit your organization.

  • A platform approach to data intelligence
  • Architecting an open framework
  • Leveraging partner expertise
  • Scaling for success


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