If you’ve been working with open-source automation server Jenkins for some time or have worked with Jenkins in different organizations, then you know that, like other open-source tools, the experience can vary vastly based on how the team is maintaining the platform.

Based on my experience administrating Jenkins, here are the five most essential plugins that you need to make life easier for yourself and the users:

Photo by Xavi Cabrera on Unsplash

1. Slack Integration

If your organization uses Slack, you can have your post-build notifications sent directly to your Slack and avoid all the annoying automated emails when your inbox is already crammed.

This…


There is no doubt that SQL is the language of data engineering, while Python is the language of data science. For this reason, most database engines have begun to supplement their SQL capabilities by offering Python query support to allow their more data science inclined users to embed advanced statistics or machine learning code into query pipelines or data visualization tools like Tableau. Snowflake has been bucking that trend — until now.

Image by Simon from Pixabay

At the time of writing, Snowflake only supports SQL and JavaScript functions, with Python UDFs nowhere in sight anytime soon. Therefore, if we want to leverage the agility…


Since Tableau switched its release schedule to a quarterly cadence, there has been a steady and frequent flow of innovations. In this post, we will show two recently added features that elevate spatial analytics to the next level: Map Layers (2020.4) and Snowflake Geospatial Support (2021.1).

Before the release of Tableau version 2020.4, we had to go through time-consuming workarounds if we wanted to display multiple layers or different geospatial data within the same map. We could use dual-axis maps, prebuild some fixed geo layers in another tool like Mapbox or use extensions.

But those days are over because dynamic…


Azure Synapse Analytics (SA) went GA (general availability) last December, introducing a remarkable range of functionality that provides a PaaS database and a complete platform for data engineers, data scientists and business users with SQL or Spark capabilities.

Photo by Tobias Fischer on Unsplash

The feature set of SA is considerably richer than that of a “plain” old Azure SQL Database, but what benefits do we get from the smallest dedicated pool? With this question in mind, I decided to run a test to see if a very moderate-sized pool (DWH100c) can compete against an Azure SQL Database scaled to a similar price point.

Of course…


The COVID Tracking Project has been one of the most successful citizen-driven data collection projects in history. Driven by The Atlantic and supported by an army of volunteers, it has collected the nuggets of information about testing and case counts, often beating federal and state authorities to the race. Yet sustaining such a project over the long run, especially when primarily driven by volunteer engagement, is quite difficult. And so, after a year, the COVID Tracking Project is shutting down on 07 March.

The good news is that if you have been accessing the COVID Tracking Project’s data via the…


We’re happy to announce that, as part of our ongoing effort to democratize data, we’ve taken over as the provider of The Worldwide Address Data Set, a free and open global address collection on the Snowflake Data Marketplace.

Last year Highland Math — the original provider of the dataset — was acquired by Datavant — congratulations to all — and decided to look for a new provider to maintain and update the share. …


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The rollout of the numerous COVID-19 vaccines represents a significant milestone in our shared effort to fight the spread of SARS-CoV-2. In our effort to help organizations assess contingency plans and make informed, data-driven decisions in real-time as they respond to the global health emergency, we’ve added vaccine tracking from the University of Oxford to the Starschema COVID-19 Epidemiological Dataset. Over 1500 organizations worldwide rely on this dataset for timely and accurate data, and we‘re committed to keeping it updated as a reliable single source of daily unpivoted, analytics-ready data.

The Epidemiological Dataset is available for free on Snowflake’s Data…


Generic Snowflake functions to interact with web APIs directly from SQL statements.

Night sky over a snowy forest
Night sky over a snowy forest
Photo by Alessandro Viaro on Unsplash

Snowflake is an extremely SQL-friendly database: you can ingest, transform, and access your structured and semi-structured data directly from your SQL code. However, as a cloud-only data platform, it has some fundamental restrictions: all insecure operations like accessing local files or establishing network connections are unsupported from UDFs and stored procedures. There is no build function for calling external APIs or downloading web data from pure SQL. The only exceptions from this constraint are external functions, that allow calling AWS lambda functions, but nothing else.

This is why…


Tableau is a complex platform with tons of APIs for analysts, developers, and platform administrators. If you are a server admin, most probably you’ve already used REST API for basic stuff like managing users and contents. However, platform level activities such as starting and stoping the Server, creating backups, getting detailed status information about each service, changing topology, or retrieving license information rely on a different API: the Tableau Services Manager (TSM) API.

Tableau Services Manager’s API is still in alpha status with version 0.0

Usually, TSM API is used mostly from the tsm command-line utility, which is part of the Server installation. But you can use the TSM API to perform…


Concurrent VizQL Sessions from JMX in InfluxDB/Grafana

Telegraf is a great tool to collect information from thousands of different sources, but sometimes you need to complete it with other tools due to source limitations. One of these cases when we want to get monitoring and/or performance information from applications using Java Management Extensions API — an API exclusive for Java VMs — where the client must be written in Java too.

This the second part of the Grafana/InfluxDB monitoring series, focusing on collecting JMX metrics from 3rd party applications like Tableau Server. The previous post can be found here.

We have two options: use Telegraf’s Jolokia2 plugin…

Starschema Blog

Leveraging technology to support digital transformation across the enterprise.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store