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Snowflake object naming conventions

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A Snowflake object naming convention is a framework for naming objects in a way that describes what they contain and how they are used, following a standard naming convention helps to formalize expectations and to promote consistency with its users. It’s a good practice to introduce these naming conventions when starting a new implementation, but if you already have an environment without a standard naming convention, it’s better late than never. Objects in Snowflake can be classified into account level objects and schema level objects. Here are some common account and schema level objects

Account level objects

We will see how to name account-level objects, i.e. non-database objects such as users, roles, warehouses, database, etc.

In the Snowflake world, often multiple environments are hosted in the same account. We will add an environment prefix to differentiate them. Having the prefix will group the objects by environments. Some common environment prefixes are DEV, [SIT, UAT, TEST, QA, STG], CICD, PRD. Having a prefix is recommended for database names and on the rest of the objects you can add them based on your use case.

Alternate option instead of using prefix to differentiate environments would be creating multiple accounts, but this also mean

  • Multiple accounts requires user and authentication setup for each account
  • Some of the key benefits of Snowflake like cloning can’t extend across multiple accounts
  • Opt this option only if strong isolation is required between your production and non production environments

User

User name is the unique identifier for the user in Snowflake. It is not the user’s login name (i.e. the name the user enters when logging into Snowflake). Snowflake allows users to have different user names and login names, if desired. We can classify accounts as , user accounts are used by real users, service accounts are used by system services.

User accounts

Naming Rule [EMAIL]
Description Preferable to use email address for creating the users as it will be unique within an organization
Example user@example.com
Required Privilege USERADMIN

Service accounts

Naming Rule [ENV]_[PROJECT/PROGRAM]_[APP_CODE]_USER
Description Environment prefix followed by project/program short code, application name or short code and _USER postfix
Example DEV_ENTECHLOG_ATLAN_USER
Required Privilege USERADMIN

Role

Roles are the entities to which privileges on securable objects can be granted and revoked. Roles are assigned to users to allow them to perform actions required for business functions in their organization.

In roles we will not have the environment prefix. Idea here is to have minimal roles and to control the access to different environments using grants.

Naming Rule [PROJECT/PROGRAM]_[ROLE_NAME]_ROLE
Description Project/program short code, role an user will play in the project and _ROLE postfix
Example ENTECHLOG_ANALYST_ROLE
ENTECHLOG_DEVELOPER_ROLE
ENTECHLOG_DBT_ROLE
Required Privilege USERADMIN

Warehouse

A virtual warehouse, often referred to simply as a “warehouse”, is a cluster of compute resources in Snowflake. A warehouse provides the required resources, such as CPU, memory, and temporary storage, to perform the following operations in a Snowflake session.

It’s good to have a one to many relation between roles and warehouse, by that way for each role so there is at least one default warehouse and no shared resource usage/limits. Currently it’s not possible to assign a default warehouse to a role, so this is not enforced automatically rather a practice that should be followed. This also helps to give a better breakdown for each warehouse usage. The key here is to make sure only the corresponding roles have access to the warehouse to avoid roles sharing warehouses unless that is something you need by design to save cost and to reduce the overhead in managing multiple warehouse.

Naming Rule [ENV]_[PROJECT/PROGRAM]_[ROLE_NAME]_[WH_SIZE]
Description Environment prefix followed by project/program short code, warehouse size identifier and role which uses the warehouse
Example ALL_ENTECHLOG_ANALYST_WH_S
ALL_ENTECHLOG_ANALYST_WH_M
ALL_ENTECHLOG_ANALYST_WH_L
DEV_ENTECHLOG_DBT_WH_S
DEV_ENTECHLOG_DBT_WH_M
DEV_ENTECHLOG_DBT_WH_L
DEV_ENTECHLOG_DBT_WH_XL
Required Privilege SYSADMIN

Here user roles like ANALYST have warehouses which are shared for all environments, but system roles like DBT have different warehouses for different environments. Most often batch cycles in these environments will have schedule overlap and isolated warehouses ensure there is no impact on production processes because of a bad query from the user OR TEST environment is consuming all resources.

Database

A database is a logical grouping of schemas. Each database belongs to a single Snowflake account.

Naming Rule [ENV]_[PROJECT/PROGRAM]_[DATA_LAYER]_DB
Description Environment prefix followed by project/program short code, name for the data layer and _DB postfix
Example DEV_ENTECHLOG_RAW_DB
DEV_ENTECHLOG_CONFORMED_DB
DEV_ENTECHLOG_CURATED_DB
DEV_ENTECHLOG_SEMANTIC_DB
UAT_ENTECHLOG_RAW_DB
UAT_ENTECHLOG_CONFORMED_DB
UAT_ENTECHLOG_CURATED_DB
UAT_ENTECHLOG_SEMANTIC_DB
PRD_ENTECHLOG_RAW_DB
PRD_ENTECHLOG_CONFORMED_DB
PRD_ENTECHLOG_CURATED_DB
PRD_ENTECHLOG_SEMANTIC_DB
Required Privilege SYSADMIN

Schema level objects

Using environment prefix in object names can be limited to the account level objects only. In schema level objects, the same name can be used across all environments unless you have a strong reason to host multiple environments in the same database.

Schema

A schema is a logical grouping of database objects (tables, views, etc.). Each schema belongs to a single database.

Naming Rule [DATA_GROUPING]
Description The grouping could be by source name OR by normalization technique
Example DEV_ENTECHLOG_RAW.HUBSPOT
DEV_ENTECHLOG_RAW.SALESFORCE
DEV_ENTECHLOG_CONFORMED.STAGING
DEV_ENTECHLOG_CONFORMED.TEMP
DEV_ENTECHLOG_CURATED.DIM
DEV_ENTECHLOG_CURATED.FACT
DEV_ENTECHLOG_SEMANTIC.METRIC
Required Privilege CREATE SCHEMA

Schema objects

Object Type Naming Rule Example
Table [TABLE_NAME] DEVICE
View [VIEW_NAME] DATE
Integration [NAME]_[TYPE]_[SUB_TYPE]_INT MOCKAROO_API_AWS_INTG
MOCKAROO_STR_S3_INTG
MOCKAROO_NOT_SQS_INTG
MOCKAROO_SEC_SCIM_INTG
File Format [NAME]_[FORMAT]_FF MOCKAROO_XML_FF
Stage [NAME]_[TYPE]_STG MOCKAROO_S3_STG
Snowpipe [NAME]_PIPE MOCKAROO_PIPE
Stored Procedure [NAME]_SP MOCKAROO_SP
Stream [NAME]_STREAM MOCKAROO_STREAM
Task [NAME]_TASK MOCKAROO_TASK

Hope this was helpful. Did I miss something ? Let me know in the comments OR in the forum section.

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