Amid the blizzard of new language support for Snowflake’s data warehouse this week, there was a plan to upgrade its data marketplace that promises users to buy, sell, and otherwise share data somewhere on the platform. The problem is, it’s nowhere near the only game in town.
By sheer coincidence, SAP also released a data market plan this week, a few weeks after Databricks announced its open standard for data sharing, in hopes of taking a more vendor-neutral approach to the tricky problem. The application giant and data lake flagship are joining other tools to crack the nut, including those from longtime data integration specialist Informatica.
The point of Snowflake’s Data Marketplace is to make it easier to add third-party data to the analytics environment, as all of this is built into Snowflake’s architecture. Last November, it announced that third-party vendors would have the ability to enrich data with risk assessments, augment a data set with behavioral assessments, or “simply outsource the more advanced analysis” without having to move the data, Snowflake told Die Zeit.
Now the marketplace is generally available, and the $ 33 billion IPO company has released new features, including a try-before-you-buy option that allows users to access and evaluate sample data. It also addresses new usage-based purchase options to allow businesses to buy and sell data entirely on the Snowflake Data Marketplace, which the vendor said would streamline the process of buying third-party data.
Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman told us last week that the marketplace is “very important to our overall strategy.”
Meanwhile, senior veep for product Christian Kleinerman explained that data providers used to have to process transactions outside of the platform when selling their goods. “With the monetization options on the platform, you can now implement one of several business models: usage-based, query-based, compute-time-based, or time-based. Customers will be able to browse the marketplace and evaluate the various data and buy through the platform. “
While Snowflake has made an impact with investors, it is relatively new to the corporate market. Here, SAP has more than 40 years of history with considerable amounts of business data in its enterprise applications. The German provider is now promising to make business data easier to share using the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, the public cloud system.
The plan is for customers to go live this year, “with just a few clicks, which today can take weeks or months if they integrate themselves,” said SAP.
Jan Gilg, President of SAP S / 4HANA, told us this week that the move would also enable partners to offer their customers “ready-made content” for data-driven applications. “[T]he new data marketplace for data is a turning point for partners because it is as easy as Spotify is for data exchange. “
Databricks took another look at the data sharing problem earlier this month and launched an open source project called Delta Sharing, which is donated to the Linux Foundation. Databricks said the open protocol would support the secure exchange of data between companies in real time, crucially regardless of the platform the data is on. The initiative is supported by AWS, Google Cloud and the BI and visualization company Tableau.
At that time, Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsisi said The registry that financial data providers like FactSet, the New York Stock Exchange and S&P Global had agreed to be part of the open sharing project, as had other data system providers like Starburst. “For the first time, you could create a dataset in Databricks and share it with another company that might not have Databricks, maybe Starburst. You can securely access the data, it is tracked and checked.
“The problem with Snowflake is that everyone has to buy Snowflake for [its marketplace] work. The truth is that only a very small fraction of the world’s data is in Snowflake. Even in the cloud, they have a very small fraction of the data. “
But Doug Henschen, Veep and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, said The reg Data sharing was more than just an open data format. “What I like about the Snowflake Marketplace is that it clearly faces the challenge of making it easier to share and monetize data. Managing the marketplace, facilitating transactions, and handling invoicing, billing and payments for both parties are of great value. “
But another senior analyst, who didn’t want to be named, was far more skeptical of Snowflake’s promise. “The idea that everyone will put everything in Snowflake is a nice claim for them. But Amazon, Google and Microsoft share it with their various data platforms.”
The Databricks approach will be more likely to appeal to data providers hoping to avoid being tied to a specific provider, he said. “The danger is that you can make yourself dependent on a data supply and then have to use a certain provider. People will want to have a choice, they don’t want to come via a certain product or a certain channel.”
At the same time, Snowflake’s lack of maturity in the enterprise market could hinder it as a de facto platform for data sharing, he said.
“Snowflake is a hot product right now, and if it can cross the threshold of a network effect then it could work, but it’s not obvious. Snowflake isn’t that big a company, it’s an order of magnitude smaller than, for example, AWS, which has its own data-sharing products. SAP now has the advantage that so many companies are already using its applications. “
Snowflake may be hot on the stock market, but cool heads should take a look at its company’s history before committing to its data exchange platform. ®