Summit 2024 Recap: How Honeydew is Rethinking the Semantic Layer in Snowflake with a Native App

Learn how Honeydew is harnessing a Native App to drive insight on demand and accelerate decision-making through the semantic layer in Snowflake.
June 10, 2024
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At its most essential, a semantic layer serves as a bridge between raw data and meaningful insights, providing a structured framework for interpreting, organizing, and accessing data assets within an organization. By encapsulating complex data relationships, definitions, and business logic, the semantic layer abstracts away the intricacies of underlying data structures, enabling users to interact with data in a simplified and intuitive manner.

While a crucial aspect of any insight-driven data strategy in their own right, semantic layers become that much more powerful when an offering like Honeydew is integrated into directly into a central data environment like Snowflake, effectively putting insights at the fingertips of key stakeholders and improving the user experience while curtailing time to insight.

In this blog, we will talk about the release of Honeydew Semantic Layer, a Snowflake Native App that makes semantic layer in Snowflake easier to use by integrating it directly into Snowsight, the Snowflake web interface. We’ll also highlight the chief benefits of this integration, which allows other Native App users and developers to generate queries from any application built on Snowflake.

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The “Why” of the Semantic Layer in Snowflake

Before diving into the unique functionality made possible by Honeydew’s decision to bring their semantic layer offering into the Snowflake Marketplace, it’s worth a quick recap on what exactly  semantic layers help enterprises accomplish. The benefits are myriad, and include: 

  1. Unified Data Access: As businesses accumulate data from disparate sources such as databases, applications, and external systems, a semantic layer acts as a unifying force, harmonizing diverse data sets into a cohesive whole. This unified view of data streamlines access and enhances collaboration across departments, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions based on a comprehensive understanding of the business landscape.
  2. Consistent Reporting and Analysis: Inconsistent data definitions and terminology can impede effective reporting and analysis efforts, leading to discrepancies and inefficiencies. By establishing a common semantic framework, businesses ensure consistency in data interpretation and analysis, thereby fostering trust in insights derived from the data.
  3. Agility and Scalability: As businesses evolve and expand, so do their data requirements. A well-designed semantic layer provides the flexibility and scalability needed to adapt to changing business needs and accommodate growing volumes of data. This agility empowers businesses to respond swiftly to market dynamics and seize new opportunities without being encumbered by data silos or structural limitations.
  4. Empowered Decision-Making: At its core, the purpose of a semantic layer is to empower decision-makers with timely, relevant, and actionable insights. By abstracting away technical complexities and providing a user-friendly interface for data access and analysis, businesses can democratize data access and enable stakeholders at all levels to make informed decisions that drive business growth and innovation.

Unlocking Business Advantages with Honeydew’s Native App

At its heart, the Honeydew Semantic Layer is a testament to the business advantages inherent in embracing the Snowflake Native App model. By developing and deploying their offering as a Native App, Honeydew simplifies the complexities of the semantic layer in Snowflake and fosters agility in decision-making processes while improving the trustworthiness of dashboards and reducing the manual process burden on analytics engineers. 

The transition to a Snowflake Native App marks a strategic pivot for Honeydew. While retaining essential logic for authorizations and meta-operations in backend cloud applications, Honeydew harnesses the capabilities of Snowpark external access within its Native App infrastructure. This strategic integration enables seamless communication with external REST APIs directly from Snowflake, eliminating the need for intermediary tools like Streamlit. Other key functionalities of Honey Semantic Layer include:

  1. Intuitive Access to Business Metadata: Streamlining governance and cataloging processes while empowering users with metric and relationship information.
  2. Query Generator: Powering ad-hoc data access by leveraging shared semantics.
  3. Management APIs: Facilitating automation and management capabilities.
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The Power of Snowflake Native Apps

This transformation underscores two fundamental principles driving modern application development:

  1. Bringing Code to Data: In an era defined by the imperative to optimize resources and accelerate outcomes, the concept of bringing code to the data emerges as a compelling strategy. By relocating code that interacts with data to Snowflake, Honeydew demonstrates a pragmatic approach to cost efficiency and expeditious results delivery.
  2. Expansive Possibilities: The advent of native apps unleashes a realm of possibilities limited only by imagination. With the ability to seamlessly integrate APIs from various cloud-hosted services, coupled with the versatility of tools like Streamlit, the native app ecosystem becomes a catalyst for innovation. The amalgamation of Native Apps, Snowpark external access, and Streamlit heralds a paradigm shift, empowering organizations to abstract complexity and elevate user experiences within the Snowflake UI.

Building and Deploying Native Apps with Hakkōda

As we reflect on Honeydew’s journey to join the ranks of organizations harnessing the power of Snowflake Native Apps, it is clear that the future of data product development and deployment is intrinsically linked to the convergence of data, code, and a more seamless user experience. 

At Hakkoda, we believe in bringing together best-in-class offerings from across the modern data stack to create strategic and responsive data architectures that can scale with your organization’s needs. By embracing innovation and leveraging the ever-expanding capabilities of the Snowflake AI Data Cloud, organizations can chart a course towards unparalleled efficiency, agility, and success. And we’re here to help.

Whether you’re looking to more closely integrate the benefits of a semantic layer in Snowflake using a Native App like Honeydew, or are looking to monetize your own data offerings by way of the Snowflake Marketplace, Hakkoda’s data teams have the industry experience and technical expertise to help you get more value out of your data investments.

Native Apps are unlocking a host of opportunities for business like yours. Talk to one of our consultants to get started today.

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