To Snowsight or Not to Snowsight – TAKE #2

To Snowsight or Not To Snowsight – TAKE #2 – May 2022:

Back in October 2021, I published my original take on reasons why to move to Snowsight.  [Snowflake’s Preview “next gen” web front end interface for a long time!  Now Snowsight is GA but based on my LinkedIn Polls and other DSH chatter, Snowsight is still not being embraced by many experienced Snowflake users it seems.  I think if some of these changes below are made then users will begin to embrace the interface!

ORIGINAL POLL ON LINKEDIN:   MAY 2022 POLL ON LINKEDIN: 

Snowsight vs Classic Console Poll October 2021
Snowsight vs Classic Console Poll October 2021

Snowsight vs Classic Console Usage Poll May 2022
Snowsight vs Classic Console Usage Poll May 2022
October 2021
102 Votes – Classic Console wins at 54% to 46%
against Snowsight
May 2022
53 Votes – Classic Console wins at 55% to 45%
against Snowsight – 8 months later

See original *Snowsight Original Article -Mainly differentiators that make it compelling to use.

At that time, I made a case for that the new functionality in Snowsight makes it much better to use now versus the Classic Console.   (Autosuggest/AutoComplete, Versioning, Sharing Worksheets and Dashboards)  These features really take Snowflake ease of use related to query and code collaboration to a much much higher level of efficiency and collaboration.

All of that being said, I still see “huge” resistance in the Data Superhero (DSH) community and many experienced Snowflake Internal Sales Engineers to use Snowsight.  I guess part of the reason is … humans have a tough time with change.  The other issue though is there are some MAJOR “inefficiencies” and “transparency” issues with Snowsight as it has been for the last few months.

So, this grid below goes in depth on the Snowsight issues where the Classic Console from my view and many others still “outperforms” [maybe …  “out” features …hah..] Snowsight as it is today.  I know those product guys at the Sflake are working hard so I hope Kleinerman and all that massive team below him…. puts some real focus on improving these issues.

Snowflake versus Classic Console [May 2022]

Web Interface Functionality Classic Console Snowsight Comments
Show SQL based on GUI Form WINNER One of the great features of the Snowflake Classic Console was you could start creating just about any object in the GUI and then get the code syntax by using the Show SQL functionality.  Why this was left out of Snowsight seems like a tragic miss.
Create Procedure Example

Listing Procedures

WINNER Since the Classic Console doesn’t have this functionality, Snowsight is the clear WINNER.
Create Function Example

Listing Functions

WINNER Since the Classic Console doesn’t have this functionality, Snowsight is the clear WINNER.
Create Task Example
Listing Tasks
WINNER Since the Classic Console doesn’t have this functionality, Snowsight is the clear WINNER.
Create Pipe Example
Listing Pipes
WINNER Since the Classic Console doesn’t have this functionality, Snowsight is the clear WINNER.
Create Stage Example WINNER Since the Classic Console doesn’t have this functionality, Snowsight is the clear WINNER.
Create Table Example WINNER Since the Classic Console doesn’t have this functionality, Snowsight is the clear WINNER.
Create View Example WINNER Since the Classic Console doesn’t have this functionality, Snowsight is the clear WINNER.
Usage Reporting WINNER While Snowsight has many more screens and better reports, the fact that it has default misleading reports and bugs makes the Classic Console the winner here.
Dependability WINNER Sadly, Snowsight still has weird bugs that happen all the time and you often come to a screen with an endless spinner.
New Worksheet Navigation WINNER One nice new feature of Snowsight is you can open worksheets in new windows.  This was not possible in the Classic Console.  Also, you could not share links with others.
Worksheet Sharing WINNER This is one of my favorite features of Snowsight.  This is not possible within the Classic Console.
Dashboards and Dashboard Sharing WINNER Dashboards are not in the Classic Console
Auto-Complete WINNER This is another one of my favorite features of Snowsight. 
Executing highlighted code correctly WINNER Sadly, Snowsight often takes code above or below the highlighted code and tries to execute it which results in errors.  It becomes really annoying.
Failure Reporting WINNER Sadly, Snowsight within the query history does a horrible job of surfacing the error while the Classic Console easily displays an error with 1 click.  So so so much better and makes troubleshooting on Snowsight …  pretty much suck …

There you have it.  This is just a highlight of features that I care about.  Let me know what you think and what features that you still love on the Classic Console that work better there than on Snowsight.

To Snowsight or Not to Snowsight

To Snowsight or Not To Snowsight:

Back in June 2021, I was writing a chapter for our new Snowflake Essentials Book on the Snowflake Web User Interface.  I had been delaying writing that chapter, assuming that Snowsight would be released as the main Snowflake Web User Interface as part of Snow Summit 2021.  That didn’t happen so I realized given the situation and the Snowflake Essentials book timelines I had to actually write two separate chapters in the book to cover both the Snowflake Classic Console UI and the Preview App (Snowsight).  

As I was writing Chapter 5 – Snowsight (Preview App) I kept asking myself the question, is Snowsight ready now to be used as the primary interface with the new changes?  The new Snowsight changes which came in June/July 2021 finally made it the better UI for the first time.  Prior to June 2021 it was missing just too many features and the navigation was incredibly inefficient. [it still has some problems today which hopefully will be fixed soon!]

The new functionality in Snowsight makes it much better to use now versus the Classic Console.   (Autosuggest/AutoComplete, Versioning, Sharing Worksheets and Dashboards)  These features really take Snowflake ease of use related to query and code collaboration to a much much higher level of efficiency and collaboration.  While I think many of us who worked with the Classic Console for years are so used to it that it is hard to switch but I think it’s time for old dogs to learn new UIs because while we loved the Classic Console, it does have its limitations, especially around sharing code and versioning.  That being said, Snowsight still has a few clunky problems as of October 2021 which you need to be aware of when switching over.  We are working directly with the Snowsight Product Management team to get these fixed so hopefully it will come sooner than later.

Let’s cover the amazing new features in Snowsight first and then cover the gotchas with BOTH the Classic Console and Snowsight.

Top New Features in Snowsight.  Let me list what I think are the best improvements:
[Also, if you don’t trust me – check out Veronica – she beat me to the punch on “some” of this]

https://medium.com/snowflake/gaining-clarity-in-the-preview-app-with-snowsight-perfect-vision-into-snowflake-8bd1d619449f

Snowsight Awesome Improvement #1/4

My vote by far is that the combination of what I call AutoSuggest and AutoComplete is a huge improvement and probably has already saved thousands of hours of errors and misspellings of tons of functions, tables, views, procedures, schemas, etc. etc. etc.  This is huge and not in the Classic.

Snowsight Awesome Improvement #2/4

Collaboration.  It’s the future.  While my habits still love the Classic Console, it has NO collaboration capabilities.  Now with Snowsight, the functionality to share Worksheets especially is huge for me and allows me to easily collaborate on queries or helping others on their Snowflake work [***Assuming we are in the same account 🙂 ]. I’m hoping at some point that we will be able to share to other accounts as well.

Snowsight Awesome Improvement #3/4

Visualizations and “Collaboration – Part 2” with Dashboards.   To be honest when Snowflake first previewed Snowflake in 2020 and had the fancy dashboards I personally didn’t love it.  I mean, I already have tools like Sigma and Tableau that could do all of that for me so it just was confusing to me to see this BUT not have and  core features of administration.  The Preview App back then until roughly I think June 2021 wasn’t fully functional for anyone doing real Snowflake administration.

Snowsight Awesome Improvement #4/4 – It’s awesome – Join our Community!

Versioning of all Queries.  Very Cool!