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What’s New in Alation 2020.4?

Released 11/2020


Learn about what’s in our latest release. Alation 2020.4 features data profiling and table privacy management. You can learn more about the new features in Alation 2020.4 at Alation University.

Data Profiling for Faster Data Quality Insights

Data profiling is an important way of assessing data quality. In addition to being able to sample data, Alation will now natively perform deep column level profiling for CustomDB connectors. Standard data profile statistics will include: minimum, maximum, median, average and number of empty values or NULLs for non-numeric values. These statistics can be customized to suit your requirements. A distribution chart for numeric data types is displayed for a visual representation of the data.

Table Privacy Management for More Granular Privacy Controls

Sensitive data tables that you don’t want users to see can be made private through fine-grained permissions. This means you can feel comfortable in adding all data sources in Alation, because you control exactly which tables are searchable or viewable from within Alation.

Search Optimizations for More Comprehensive and Quicker Search

To make it easier to find business intelligence assets, we have added the ability to search for BI dimensions and measures. In this release, we have added support for BI tools, DataIku and SAP Business Objects. This makes Alation a more robust catalog for your BI tools.

We have made several optimizations to Search that will remove friction from the search experience. SpellCheck will auto-correct misspelled search terms. Quoted search can be used to return exact match results. We have also upgraded the back-end to ElasticSearch 7, resulting in a better, faster search experience that saves on disk space.

New Enhanced Analytics Visualizations for More Insight into Catalog Usage and Adoption

In 2020.3 we launched a new Enhanced Analytics dashboard to measure and track catalog usage and adoption. In 2020.4, we have added two new charts: Popular Tables and Popular Queries. This helps Alation admins and owners answer questions about which tables and queries are used the most, and which ones are used less frequently.

Lineage Improvements for Better Visualization

As data environments become more complex, lineage graphs can also become more complex. To improve the clarity of lineage, we have added the ability to filter out temporary objects, helping to de-clutter the lineage graph. Additionally, we have added the ability to view and interact with the lineage graph in full-screen mode.

Azure Databricks SSO with our SQL Editor for a More Convenient and Secure User Authentication

A major advantage of Alations’ intelligent SQL editor, is the ability to query multiple data sources. In this release, we added Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication for Azure Databricks. This makes it more convenient for users because they rarely need to re-type their password and more secure for your organization, because credentials are entered outside Alation and temporary tokens are stored encrypted.

New Certified Connectors for a More Comprehensive Data Catalog

One of Alations’ core pillars is broad and deep connectivity to different data sources. This is what makes a leading enterprise metadata management platform useful.

In 2020.4 we have added six new sources, including:

  • Applications: Salesforce and ServiceNow
  • BI/Viz: Dataiku and SAP Business Objects
  • Cloud: Presto EMR with Glue and Cloudera