Release Notes 4.8.X

Release 4.8.0


  • To Search:

    • Disambiguation: Quick-search now groups together identically named items in search results with an interface to help tease out the differences between them (for instance, multiple tables with the same name in different schemas or data sources).

    • You can now find titled saved Result Tables without having to facet specifically to just Result Tables.

  • To Compose:

    • Users can now set a preference for using “Run and Ignore Errors” as the default run mode

    • Compose automatically updates the catalog when a CREATE TABLE statement is run on certain data source types—including Sybase as of this release.

    • When scheduled queries fail while establishing a connection, the error details are included in the email notification.

  • To Lineage:

    • Lineage from Tableau workbooks (TWBs) back to Tableau data sources (TDSs) will now work on workbooks created with Tableau 9.

    • Previously, lineage did not populate for Greenplum databases. Now it does.

  • To general User Experience:

    • The Hat Selection screen has been improved to be more clear and less confusing for users.

    • The query catalog page has been updated to our new design system and now includes information about whether the query is published and when it was last updated.

    • SQL Snippets in query catalog page and other views wrap better when they overflow the window.

    • The Save/Cancel buttons remain visible when a text field is in edit mode even if you mouse away and the filter box stays visible when you are filtering a table, even if you mouse away.

Bug Fixes

  • In Search:

    • Advanced search can now properly facet columns and column values by schema. Previously the schema faceting would not take effect.

    • Titles displayed in search result previews will now match what appears when users visit the actual catalog pages, even when titles are automatically guessed by Allie/Alation. Previously, low confidence guessed titles would sometimes display differently in the two places.

  • In Compose:

    • It will always be possible to scroll to see the last rows of results in Chrome.  Previously, the final rows sometimes rendered off the screen even when scrolled to the bottom of the result pane; seeing the last rows required dragging to enlarge the result pane.

      • In 4.8.1, this fix is extended to other browsers and to the Compose Desktop app.

    • When connecting to Hive with Kerberos in Compose, you are now properly prompted to re-enter credentials if the login fails

    • If Compose can’t connect to the Alation server (due to an internet outage, for example) it will display an informative “retrying connection” message. Previously, the app would just hang indefinitely.

    • Users with Mac Excel 2011 can now change their user settings to optimize CSV downloads for import. Without this preference, downloaded CSVs include a special character necessary for import into Windows Excel, which shows up as strange characters in Mac Excel 2011.

  • With the Data Uploader:

    • Data Uploader now breaks up imports for Teradata into smaller chunks. Previously it would sometimes fail for large files (over sixteen thousand rows) with an error from Teradata.

    • Data Uploader now more consistently detects non-UTF-8 encoded CSVs properly.

  • And more:

    • You can now peek at descriptions by mousing-over Columns listed on the Overview tab of Table pages in Catalog. In some earlier versions, this did not work.

    • Saving a user’s title and description on first login should work more consistently now. Previously, it would fail with a permission error in some scenarios.

    • Rich text fields now save properly when you click save while in HTML edit mode. Previously you needed to switch out of HTML edit mode before saving or you would lose your changes.

    • Previously, selecting “all” rows on a Business Glossary page showed no rows. Now it shows all rows.

Admin Release Notes

We’ve just completed a Beta implementation of an exciting new feature:

  • “Catalog Sets” over Columns defined by Regular Expressions: It is now possible to annotate many columns at once using “Catalog Sets” defined by regular expressions. Previously this was only possible down to table-level granularity, or at the column-level using less-expressive rules. Finding and updating objects at this scale may have negative performance impacts; we’re working on more efficient algorithms for the next release.

If you’d like to try out this features, contact your Alation Solutions Engineer.


  • You can now choose to limit which Tableau projects are extracted to Alation, beyond permission restrictions on the Tableau Server.

  • We’ve upgraded system administration with

    • significant robustness improvements to replication configuration

    • and the ability to configure Alation to redirect to HTTPS in a configuration where it is running behind a load balancer that terminates the SSL connection.

Bug Fixes

  • To Extraction:

    • MicroStrategy extraction now extracts projects at any depth in the folder hierarchy. Previously it would stop at five folders deep.

    • The Metadata Extraction Settings page now runs smoothly even when the data source has tens of thousands of schemas.

    • Previously, attempting to fetch all schemas on a Teradata server configured to use custom system tables for metadata extraction would result in an error. The schemas can now be fetched without error from the configured custom table.

  • To LDAP Groups:

    • When changing an Alation group to be synced to LDAP, non-LDAP members are now removed from the group.

    • Alation groups can now be synced to LDAP groups even when the LDAP configuration does not include a group membership attribute.

Release 4.8.1

New Features

  • New Beta Feature:  Catalog Pages for File Systems:  Alation can now display information on directories and files and allow data curators to annotate them. Automatic crawling and cataloging are coming soon…


  • Custom Fields will always be displayed alphabetically on Catalog pages within their two respective columns (of rich text fields and others—Date, Picker, Reference, List, etc.). This means you can achieve the orderings you want by prefixing letters or numbers (e.g. “3. Retention Policy”, “4. Keep Until [Date]” will appear in that order). In the future, we’ll offer the ability to order fields more elegantly, without resorting to changing their names.

    • In earlier versions, fields would often display alphabetically, but that behavior is only guaranteed in 4.8.1+

Bug Fixes

  • It will always be possible to scroll to see the last rows of results in Compose, everywhere.  In 4.8.0, we fixed this bug in Chrome only; here we extended the fix to other browsers and to the Compose Desktop app.

Release 4.8.3


  • You can now choose to limit which Tableau projects are extracted to Alation, beyond permission restrictions on the Tableau Server.

Bug Fixes

  • Users can now always open, run, and load queries that have been deprecated or warned.

  • The Remove button now appears on individual flags, enabling Admins to remove other people’s flags.  Individuals can only remove their own by toggling in the “stoplight.”

  • Endorsements no longer render as “propagated” when they are actually “native” to the object itself.

  • When you select decimals from a Postgres database (including implementations of Postgres like Greenplum), the results are rounded to integers.

Release 4.8.4


  • For Teradata sources, admins can configure to extract metadata from a more limited databasesV view instead of dbc.dbase system table.

  • Closing a window/tab in Compose now attempts to close all non-shared connections (since the connection type is dependent on the data source, some tabs may be shared and others may not). This will reduce the likelihood of hitting connection limits in the database.

Bug Fixes

  • After running Tableau extraction, multiple data sources (servers) no longer show the same extraction history. Previously, the extraction history on any Tableau Server page would show the history of extractions across all Tableau Servers combined.

  • Typing ‘@’ now triggers inline search properly on internal keyboards. Previously, it was not possible to use the @-mention functionality when using certain keyboards.

  • Now the notification users receive when they are @-mentioned in an Article correctly attributes the edit, rather than ascribing it to the original author.

  • When a user’s default Hat is set to a particular value, new users in Alation will see panes on the homepage reflecting that Hat.