Release Notes 4.10.X

Release 4.10.0

New Features

  • License Warnings - We have added warnings when your license is going to expire for both admins and other users, and improved the ability to install an updated license file.


  • Updated Catalog pages for Business Intelligence Tools - Catalog pages for Business Intelligence tools have been updated to the latest components from our design system. This improves consistency and readability.

  • Enhancing LDAP User Information with Departments - With LDAP authentication, we now are extracting the user’s department from LDAP in addition to email, title, photo, and more. The attribute is configurable under the authentication page. If the information is pulled successfully (i.e., there is a department info in LDAP), the department of each user should show up in the user profile page, right after the title. Otherwise, nothing will change.

  • Streamlining the Statement Template Catalog Page - On the Run details of a statement Template Catalog page, we now only list statements with execution statistics.

  • All Compose Sidebars Reload on Refresh - Compose should load a little more quickly and take a little less memory when many query tabs are open. More improvements to come!

  • View SQL Now Captured for a MySQL View - Added support for view definition SQL for MySQL data sources. This also enables lineage for MySQL views.

  • Comments in Excel Live and Scheduled Queries - Previously, Alation ran the entire query, including comments, so if a comment preceded the SQL statement users might not get their actual results. Now, Excel live reports and scheduled query execution skip comments in the SQL to streamline your results.

  • Relevant Articles - @-mentions from custom text fields on Articles now cause the Article to be included in the Relevant Articles section of the mentioned object. Previously, this functionality was only available for mentions in the body of an Article.

Bug Fixes

Default Hat Needs Page Reload - When default hat is set to a particular value, new users in Alation will see articles on the home page that is targeting the correct hat on first page load, not requiring a refresh.

Custom Field Permissions Not Respected in Search - Previously during search, we were showing values in custom field facets that the user may not have permission to see. Now, we exclude custom field values from search faceting if there is any view restriction at all (even though the individual user who is querying may have permission).

@-Mention Notifications - Previously, the notification of @-mention in an article used to say the @-mention was done by the original author. Now, it correctly says the @-mention was done by the editor of the change.

@-Mention in Articles - @-mentions on UK (and other) keyboards now show icons for all BI servers, conversations, groups, and glossaries, and produces the dropdown in Articles.

Image Formatting in Articles - Previously, images aligned center or aligned right in the rich text editor were always aligned left in the view mode. Now they will be displayed with the alignment set in the editor. Furthermore, now, when you scroll down on a long rich text field (enough that the header sticks to the top of the screen) the insert menus in the toolbar will continue to work properly.

Tables Not Loading Completely - Fixed an issue that prevented sample column from rendering when it contains an uploaded description.

Title History in Query Search Opens Catalog Page - Now, clicking on the title history button in query search properly opens the title history modal.

Updated Catalog Child Tables - We updated the user interface (UI) for schemas in a data source and tables in a schema. The new UI has slightly reduced functionality, but much higher reliability. While this first iteration does not offer highlighting of filter matches, exporting, or expanding functionality, it does fix frustrating bugs:

  • Edits on the second or later pages of the results take effect immediately

  • Sorting after an edit works reliably and doesn’t revert to the pre-edited data

Copy/pasting schema.tablename from Table Catalog Page - Now, copying and pasting schema.table from the breadcrumbs on catalog pages will include the “.”

Incomplete Stewards Lists - Previously, lists of stewards would sometimes be incomplete if they included a group and a user with the same ID. Now, all stewards lists are complete.

Un-Parseable Compose Queries Cause Crashes - It is no longer possible for queries that take a long time to parse to cause a service outage. Previously, certain queries could take a very long time to parse. Computing warnings on compose queries requires parsing the query and would hold some web server resources while waiting. If this happened enough, it would lead to a temporary service outage until the parsing finished or timed out. Now, the web server only waits a few seconds for parsing and then gives up without parsing the query so it should not lead to any service outages.

Large Exports Get Cut Off - Previously, when a user clicks “Export” in Compose and their connection to the Alation server is slow, the export would sometimes cut out prematurely without any error message.

Admin Release Notes

New Features

Now you can control which sites and projects Alation should index during Tableau metadata extraction. We added site/project picker to Tableau Settings Page (similar to schema picker for data source metadata extraction). This feature was introduced in Release Notes 4.7.1 as a beta feature and is now available to all. Furthermore, this version includes updated:

  • Extractions: This release includes several improvements to extraction of Tableau metadata, both improving speed and reliability as well as fixing issues we noticed with beta customers;

  • Permissions: We improved the mirroring of Tableau permissions on Alation. Now Alation respects more detailed permission model, that includes server/site admin privileges, deny privileges and other types. To use this feature, Alation must use the same authentication mechanism as Tableau (e.g. LDAP) and Alation service account needs additional privileges.

Admins will now see a redesigned the user management interface including:

  • More consistent and readable UI components;

  • Ability to distinguish between pending users and suspended users;

  • UI updates without a refresh when you make changes;

  • Usernames and email addresses for users;

  • Ability to filter users by name, username, and email;

  • Ability to sort users by last login time;

  • One-click approve all pending users;

  • Ability to reject pending users and remove them from the list;

Restore Fails if Alation Not Started - Previously, attempting to restore a backup of Alation while the Alation instance was not running would fail. Now the restore script starts all necessary processes before attempting to restore data.

[BETA] Surfacing Top Departments - Alation already lists the individual users who’ve most often queried a data object under Top Users. With this extension, we look at LDAP information about departments (if present) to summarize which departments most often query the data. So if the top users are all in Finance or Operations, that will be surfaced. This can turn a list of individuals’ names that a given viewer might not recognize into actionable insight about the use-cases for a data set. With the feature flag enable_top_departments, we offer functionality to:

  • disable adding/removing top users; thereby separating the manually-curated content on the page from the behavioral information gleaned directly from logs;

  • enable hiding top users and departments;


  • Increased Security - We modified a Flash Parameter, AllowScriptAccess, to prevent a SWF file hosted from one domain from accessing a script in an HTML page in another domain.

  • Microsoft Exchange Email Compatibility - Reply-by-email can now be configured with a Microsoft Exchange Email account.  Choose the recommended “Intent Tracking Mode” under “Email Interactions” in the “Email Server” tab of Admin Settings.

  • Shorter Log Level for Long Statements - Alation no longer logs every single ingested query event that was skipped because it was too long. The Query Ingestion settings page will continue to show the total number of skipped events for each ingestion to streamline your results. Previously, the log would show one line for each query that was too long and also send an error report.

Release 4.10.1

In this update, we fixed bugs that we discovered in 4.10.0.

Bug Fixes for Admins

  • Upgrade Failure - Upgrades to 4.10 sometimes failed because of a new feature, that failure has been fixed.

  • Tableau Extraction - Fixed a bug regarding failure in Tableau extraction.

  • Tableau Setting Page Password - We fixed a bug where the Tableau setting page dropped the first character in password.

Release 4.10.2

In this update, we fixed bugs discovered in 4.10.1.

Bug Fixes

  • 403 Errors When Using IE - Fixed a 403 error that was seen on many pages when using Internet Explorer. Now, Internet Explorer works again.

  • ‘Download Excel Live Report’ Option in Share Dropdown Not Working - Previously, clicking on ‘Download Excel Live Report’ option in share dropdown did not show the Download Excel Live Report modal box. Now, the modal box shows.

  • License Lockout Screen Shown Incorrectly - Users were redirected to lockout screen when their browser became disconnected from the server even though the server had a valid license (see 4.10.1 for more on Licenses).  This no longer happens.

  • [Admins] Tableau Fix: New users created if not present on Alation - Previously, we created users for each of the Tableau workbook owners if they were not a user on Alation yet, but these accounts were often not desired as Alation accounts.  Now, user accounts are no longer created during Tableau extraction.

Release 4.10.3

Bug Fixes for Everyone

You can now set Excel export options for specific environments (for instance, to optimize for Mac or Windows) in the “Other” tab in your User Preferences.

The list of projects on the Tableau settings page now lists all projects, rather than a partial list.

On some versions of Internet Explorer …

  • …typing into many text boxes on the site did not work; now all text input boxes should work.

  • …placeholder text was difficult to distinguish from inputted text. Now filled-in fields and placeholder text are easily distinguishable.

  • … Catalog page content would sometimes overflow the boundaries of the page. Now that overflow should no longer occur.

  • … some pages did not load properly. Now they do.

Bug Fixes for Admins

  • Now an upgrade will work even if the dumps directory is absent. Previously upgrades would fail if that folder could not be found.

  • Now if a license file can’t be found during an attempted upgrade, Alation will display a clear, actionable error message. The earlier message was confusing.