Community docs

Snowflake and DWCC


The steps to catalog the metadata from a data source using DWCC and Docker are as follows:

  1. Read over the DWCC FAQ to familiarize yourself with the DWCC collector.

  2. Verify that your installation meets the prerequisites below.

  3. Validate that you have a ddw-catalogs (or other) dataset set up to hold your catalog files when you are done running the collector.

  4. Write the collector command and run it.

  5. Upload the resulting file to your ddw-catalogs dataset (or other dataset as configured for your organization).

  • The computer running the catalog collector should have connectivity to the internet or access to the source instance, a minimum of 2G memory, and a 2Ghz processor.

  • If you are using Docker, it must be installed. For more information see

  • The user defined to run DWCC must have read access to all resources being cataloged.

  • The computer running dwcc needs a Java Runtime Environment (JRE), version 11 or higher. (OpenJDK available here)


The account used to authenticate needs to read the information schema of the databases it is collecting metadata about. It does not need read access to the data within the tables.

Writing the DWCC command

The easiest way to create your DWCC command is to:

  1. Copy the example below

  2. Edit it for your organization and data source

  3. Open a terminal window in any Unix environment that uses a Bash shell (e.g., MacOS and Linux) and paste your command into it.

The example command includes the minimal parameters required to run the collector (described below)--your instance may require more. A description of all the available parameters is at the end of this article. Edit the command by adding any other parameters you wish to use, and by replacing the values for all your parameters with your information as appropriate. Parameters required by the collector are in bold.

Detailed information about the Docker portion of the command can be found here. When you run the command, run will attempt to find the image locally, and if it doesn't find it, it will go to Dockerhub and download it automatically:

Basic parameters

These are the basic parameters needed to run the collector. A list of all parameter options is at the end of this article. Where available, either short (e.g., -a) or long (--account) forms can be used.


Snowflake is case-sensitive so database and schema names need to be specified with the same case as they are in Snowflake.

Catalog connector runtime

The catalog collector may run in several seconds to many minutes depending on the size and complexity of the system being crawled. If the catalog collector runs without issues, you should see no output on the terminal, but a new file that matches the *.dwec.ttl should be in the /tmp directory from where you executed the command. If there was an issue connecting or running the catalog collector, there will be either a stack trace or a *.log file. Both of those can be sent to support to investigate if the errors aren’t clear. You can find a list of common issues and problems encountered when running the collectors here.

Upload the .ttl file generated from running the collector

When the DWCC collector runs successfully, it creates a .ttl file in the directory you specified as the dwcc-output directory. The automatically-generated file name is theDatabasename.catalogName-M-D.dwec.ttl. You can rename the file or leave the default, and then upload it to your ddw-Catalogs dataset (or wherever you store your catalogs.

Automatic updates to your metadata catalog

Keep your metadata catalog up to date using cron, your Docker container, or your automation tool of choice to run the catalog collector on a regular basis. Considerations for how often to schedule include:

  • Frequency of changes to the schema

  • Business criticality of up-to-date data

For organizations with schemas that change often and where surfacing the latest data is business critical, daily may be appropriate. For those with schemas that do not change often and which are less critical, weekly or even monthly may make sense. Consult your representative for more tailored recommendations on how best to optimize your catalog collector processes.