Differences between Publishing and Saving a Query

Alation Cloud Service Applies to Alation Cloud Service instances of Alation

Customer Managed Applies to customer-managed instances of Alation

Publishing and saving are different actions that have different effects on a query.

Queries are saved automatically as you edit, so there is no need to manually save a query. A new minor version of the query is created every time it’s saved.

Publishing a query indicates that the query is mature enough to be shared and used by others. Publishing a query has the following effects:

Publishing a query affects the following:

  • The query’s version history

  • The visibility of unpublished edits

  • The query’s visibility in search results

  • The visibility of the query overall

  • The ability to schedule the query

These effects are described in more detail below.

Version History

Compose keeps track of the history of your changes to a query. As you work on unpublished changes to a query, a new minor version of the query is created every time it’s saved. This enables you to easily revert back to an earlier version of the query while you’re working on it. Only query editors and owners can see these minor versions.

Publishing a query creates a new major version of the query in the version history. Anyone who has access to the query can see major versions in the version history. This lets you see what was different about a prior version of the published query, so you can anticipate and understand why it might generate different results.

Unpublished Edits to Published Queries

When you start editing a query that’s already published, the changes are only visible to those with edit or owner access. They become visible to users with view or run access once the query is re-published.


Publishing doesn’t affect the ownership of a query or its sharing and access settings. However, if your Alation instance is configured to hide unpublished queries, then publishing the query can make it visible to more users. The effects of this depend on what version of Alation you have.


Users who have access to your query can always clone it, and they will own the clone.


A query must be published before it can be scheduled. The execution of a scheduled query occurs offline, with no user attending to it. An immature (unpublished) query could generate execution errors that cannot be recovered from.