Release Notes V R3 (General Availability)

Release V R3

New Features

  • Alation was susceptible to outage when the services that connect to data sources hit memory limits in the Alation code itself or in third party driver code. Now, Alation can detect when such an issue occurs and automatically recover. For customers with a DataDog dashboard, the dashboard now tracks these failures and recoveries.

  • Alation now supports pre-formatted block device mount support where bind mounting is infeasible.

  • Alation Analytics (Beta) is a new analytical service that provides complete set of usage data for customers to measure the success and increase adoption of the data catalog. Customers can query usage information and the metadata cataloged in Alation. They can create their own reports, measure completion of stewardship programs and create gamification systems to encourage contribution to the catalog. The Alation Analytics feature flag must be turned on for the feature to function.

  • Custom fields on Datasource, Schema, and Attribute will show the change history. A clock icon has been added to each field that will take you to the change history which includes time, contents and author for each change. Note: 1. Detailed history will only be tracked until after the upgrade to this release, any changes before this release are not recorded. There will be one item in the history to indicate the state of the field at the time of the upgrade. 2. Tags and Flags are not included in this change. Only custom fields will show history.

  • New facets to Advanced Search to filter by objects that have a specific tag or flag have been added. There will now be two new facets, “Tagged With” and “Flag Types”. These will appear after you have already chosen an object type to filter by and only if at least one of the results of your search have a tag or flag. The “Tagged With” facet will show a list of tags and choosing one will filter to only the objects that have that tag applied. The “Flag Types” facet will show a list of flag types (endorsement, warning, deprecation) and choosing one of those will filter to only objects that have at least one flag of that type. Existing objects that were tagged or flagged will be re-indexed before they are available in these new facets. This should happen automatically very shortly after the upgrade to VR3+.

  • Stewardship dashboard (beta) lets stewards see how well their area is curated and helps them prioritize the curation effort. Alation also introduce Curation Progress as a measure of how well a data object (schema, table, column) is documented/curated. The first version of the stewardship dashboard has two reports: - Curation progress report: Summary of how well the area is curated and also a way to prioritize the documentation effort based on popularity/usage of data objects (schema, tables, and columns) - Objects without stewards report: List of data objects that do not have stewards assigned, prioritized based on popularity/usage information and curation progress.

Admin Release Notes

New Features

  • A new home page is available in Labs which provides quick links for common actions in the catalog, plus configurable sections for links to articles, tags, business intelligence reports, or searches. Please contact your Alation Customer Service Manager or Sales Engineer to help you configure this new home page.

  • Auto-titling algorithm can now be “taught” from users adding or updating titles on catalog pages. Those user-added titles are considered as feedback for the auto-titling algorithm in addition to all the ways to “teach” it that existed before: feedback from terms/titles added on the Lexicon page and frequency and patterns of words seen in the catalog. This feature is currently behind the enable_lexicon_user_feedback feature flag in alation_conf.

  • The catalog administrator can now manually trigger the Lexicon job to re-compute the auto-title guesses from the UI and can monitor the status of the job. This can be accessed by clicking the Settings link on the Lexicon page.

  • Alation now supports new user role: Catalog Admin and has access to general Alation catalog setup and customization, which includes the following: - Manage custom fields & custom templates - Manage field level view and edit permissions on catalog pages - Create and manage catalog sets - Manage and update lexicon - Manage glossaries The Admin user role is renamed to Server Admin. Server administrators have full access, including Alation configuration (Example: User management, authentication, and server monitoring).

Improvements

  • Previously, when you share articles and execution results with non-alation users, email was sent in plain text format. Now, email is sent as an Alation template. The layout of email notification for sharing both articles and Compose results has also been improved.

  • Users will now be notified by email if they are added or removed as a data source administrator for a data source.

  • For Alation administrator accounts, Tableau permission mirroring is applied to ensure that the administrator will only be able to see the to see Tableau reports/workbooks/data sources in Alation for which they have access.

  • Alation can now run on AWS Linux 2.

  • The dockerized Alation installation streams upgrade messages to installer.log.

  • SmartSuggest offers more than just auto-completion, it also proactively suggests SQL snippets based on usage patterns on your data. Previously, this caused users to accidentally insert suggestions when trying to insert a newline or tab. Now, the interaction is improved to avoid those accidental insertions. We hope this tweak will bring you the best of both worlds: proactive suggestions that will only be inserted when you want them. Note: You may have disabled “Eager Suggest” in Compose settings previously to avoid this problem. If you did, we recommend you to enable them again to see if you like it better. Let us know!

  • Custom Field Value Format page will no longer have three sections explaining format for three different APIs (Articles API, Find Objects by Custom Field API, Upload Logical Metadata API). Now, each of the API will have a separate page that explains the custom field format for that respective API. This new page can be accessed by clicking the custom field format links on each of the API documentation page.

  • Upload logical metadata API can now be used to update custom field values for API Resources and API Resource Fields.

  • Alation supports cataloging Databricks instances (version 4.6), which complies with the Apache Spark standard. Users will be able to add Databricks to alation, extract metadata, run queries on the Databricks cluster, sample data from Databricks. Alation also supports Lineage and Popularity by parsing and ingesting the Databricks query logs stored in AWS S3.

  • iotop utility has been added to Alation. System administrators can now monitor disk I/O by process and print summary reports using this tool.

  • New option is added to disable permission enforcement from the settings page of Tableau Server.

  • The Tableau workbooks can now be sorted by popularity on the catalog page. Sorting by popularity is set as a default option.

  • Previously, the object equivalence page used to take 50 seconds to load. The page load time for object equivalence under admin settings has been improved and it now takes only three seconds.

Bug Fixes

  • Alation ensures that the backup folder exists before running backup. If the backup folder does not exist, Alation creates a new folder for backup. Alation updates the existing backup folder with the timestamp.

  • Previously, the query search page can execute the user-uploaded Javascript. Now, the script has enhanced security and the query search page will never execute the user-loaded Javascript.

  • Alation now supports Hive servers configured with Kerberos and HTTP transport mode. Previously, compose and profiling would fail when attempting to run them on Hive data sources in this configuration.

  • Users previously were unable to create Python UDFs in Compose because the white space between new lines for a single statement was not preserved. Compose has now been updated to preserve the formatting of the entire statement when query is sent to the database and properly interpret UDFs of languages that care about whitespace formatting.

  • Previously, large articles on the ‘Getting started for analyst’ used to overflow the container for Internet Explorer 10. This issue has been resolved and the content now appears inside the container.

  • When hovering over a TrustCheck highlight in Compose, you can now see if it was added by a catalog set.

  • Previously, when you add Sybase ASE as a data source, Kerberos connectivity was provided as a config option. Sybase ASE does not support Kerberos connectivity and the option has been removed.

  • Facet selection search has been improved to display valid results.

  • Use TLS parameter can now be configured from the Admin Settings > Email Server screen (Email Notification section). Previously, the Test & Save button would not properly pass the Use TLS parameter. If the test failed, it would not save the parameter.

  • Metadata extraction was failing for Greenplum due to a filter value in the metadata extraction query. To resolve this issue, the pattern to exclude the system schema has been corrected to ensure that user schema names with prefix “pg” do not get excluded during metadata extraction.

  • On the General Settings tab of the data source settings page, you can select which JDBC driver to use to connect to the data source. Previously, the end of the driver name was not seen because they were cut off. This made it impossible to pick the correct driver when two drivers have nearly the same name, but a different suffix without guessing and checking. Now, the dropdown selector should expand to show the full name for all the builtin drivers.

  • “SELECT INTO” statements written using SQL Server are now correctly categorized as CREATE statements. So, the following features will work correctly:

    1. Table level lineage from source to target table.

    2. The target table inside the SELECT INTO statement will immediately appear on the catalog page.

  • Previously, the insert date button would not bring up the calendar popover to insert a date in Compose desktop. Now, the insert date button works properly.

  • Previously, Article title containing unicode characters caused a 500 error. Article titles can now contain unicode characters.

  • In 5.3.0, a bug was introduced that prevented users from being able to form new database connections from the query form screen. Now, users can connect properly from any query form.

  • Multi-picker field values on an article page were replaced with other picker/multi-picker field values when the ‘Show Empty Fields’ button was used. The fix now shows correct values for all multi-picker fields when the ‘Show Empty Fields’ button is used on an article page.

  • ArrayIndexOutofBounds exception error occurred when the number of reports to be fetched was set to zero under Extraction Settings in MicroStrategy. This has been resolved and the user now needs to set the number of reports greater than zero.

  • Previously, the Query search and Compose pages would fail to load in Safari private browsing mode due to a dependency on local storage browser feature support. Now, these pages load in Safari private browsing mode.

  • TrustCheck markers now update properly when commenting and uncommenting blocks of code with the comment shortcut.

  • Previously, resolution of partially qualified tables was failing for Query Log ingestion of Google BigQuery. Now, Alation can resolve partially qualified Table name that appear in queries collected from query log ingestion. The queries will appear in the tables’ query history.

  • Previously, if a user deprecates an object, and then un-deprecates it, it is possible that the job to remove propagated flags completes before the job to propagate flags to descendants, causing propagated flags to persist. This issue has been resolved.

  • The Job Detail parameter in the job status dropdown on the sources/manage_settings page now shows the updated job state message. Previously, if a job failed, the job detail parameter would still show an outdated job running state.

  • For certain database types (Sybase ASE), analysis of the view definition could cause self loop in the lineage graph. This issue has been fixed where the view name was interpreted as a source table.

  • Previously, the time for scheduled queries always displayed the Pacific Time in Query Search. Now, the time displays the browser’s time zone.

  • Previously, a 500 error would occur when you visit a deleted Catalog set page. This issue has been resolved. Now, 404 error occurs when you visit a deleted Catalog set page.

  • Previously, an error message ” Value is too long for character type” occurred in metadata extraction when the table name was greater than 1000 characters. This has been resolved. Alation can now ingest tables that have names bigger than 1000 characters.

  • Previously, Query aborted error occurred when user-defined column type queries were run in Compose for Oracle data source. This has been resolved. Queries can now be run for user-defined column type for Oracle data source.

  • Previously, the CHECK partition index was not getting ingested during metadata extraction for Teradata and the Query log ingestion was unable to parse it. This issue has been resolved. Alation parses the CHECK constraint now.

  • The version of the Data Source API in Alation V R2 omitted a field necessary to set up a data source with scheduled metadata extraction. Now the disable_auto_extraction field can be set to false to make extraction run.

  • Previously, Query aborted error occurred due to long insert SQL statement. This has been resolved and Alation recommends the length of the SQL statements to be less than 100k characters. Alation will not analyze SQL query larger than 100k characters to protect the Java process against out of memory situation.

  • Previously, the column order was not preserved when profiling was carried out for Teradata. This has now been resolved. Now, on the ‘Samples’ tab of a table catalog page, the columns will appear in the order as they appear in the table definition.

  • When article was referenced (added as a custom field value) from other catalog pages, the article page load was extremely slow, sometimes causing a timeout. After this fix, articles that are referenced will load properly.

  • Previously, the “include” or “exclude” path could be incorrectly removed when it was edited for HDFS Filesystem. This issue has been resolved.

  • Inviting users to conversations about articles no longer throws 500 error.

  • Conversation sidebar closes when navigating to catalog pages that do not support conversations, as opposed to being stuck in an open state with no content.

  • Previously, partitions were showing up as separate tables when metadata was extracted for Greenplum. This issue has been resolved.

  • Previously, if there are more than 100 catalog sets, only the first 100 catalog sets were shown on the Catalog sets page. This issue has been resolved.

  • Now, ‘select all’ on a multi-picker field will select all the filtered options if any filter is on. When the multi-picker dropdown is closed, the filter clears.

  • Now, long source comments wrap inside the bounding box, instead of extending over.

  • Previously, the action of removing server admin themselves from the server admin group was not disabled in the UI of group object page. The group object page used the old object list component. Now, the Server admin cannot remove themselves from the server admin group. The old object list component has been replaced with new group member list component and is used in the groups page.

  • On the Labs tab of the admin settings, the label text appeared to be clickable, but it was not. Now, the style of the cursor when hovering over the label text indicates that it is not clickable.

  • The appearance of search results when searching for a filter value in Advanced Search has been improved. Previously, the results were spaced badly with large white space making them hard to read.

  • Previously, incremental metadata extraction(MDE) triggered from the insertion failed for a Kerberized impala data source. Incremental MDE now works as expected for the Kerberized Impala data source.

  • An issue in ingesting psql metadata was causing most column types to be displayed as N/A for Greenplum data source. This also caused failure in uploading data to table from Alation. This has been fixed.

  • Warnings upon query execution due to mandated filters and/or joins will now be generated dynamically to include mentions of either filters or joins depending on which are actually mandated. Previously, only the word “filters” was used even when joins were mandated, leading to confusion.

  • Scheduling information in query search results no longer incorrectly show the last run as having been successful following a schedule modification made since the last attempted scheduled run which actually had failed validation.

  • The Alation-setup tool provided via pip now provides more helpful and descriptive error messages and hints. This also ensures that the Alation query API python client now works on Python 2.6.

  • On running extraction for Cognos BI, some folders were not getting extracted previously. This issue is resolved and now all the folders/projects will appear on running extraction.

  • Previously, when the user had loaded a very long query into compose, upon returning to the home page, the compose query preview section would slow down drastically depending on how large the query was. This slow-down would affect the entire page and render the home-page unusable if the query was too big. Now, the query content becomes truncated in the preview window, cutting off at 5000 characters, at which point the user may simply click the window to open up the compose page to view the full contents.

  • ADLS metadata extraction was failing due to authentication type getting set to default (kerberos) on saving connection parameters. This issue has been resolved by adding an extra check to ensure authentication type is not updated on saving connection parameters.

  • Teradata datatype issue has been fixed. Previously, all datatypes except char and varchar were not displayed properly.

  • Currently, there are issues if a report contains more then one required prompt in Microstrategy, then, metadata cannot be extracted. This issue has been resolved and now, we are able to extract the metadata for these reports as well.

  • Previously, the connection timeout was 18000000 ms for Google Big Query and caused the code to keep running even if the connection was not formed. This made it difficult to locate the error. Now, if the connection takes more than 60 seconds to form, then, it will time out and connection will fail.

  • Previously, the test connection failed and metadata extraction failed when Salesforce was added as a data source. This issue has been resolved.

  • The Report link is now configurable when you extract reports in Microstrategy. The customer can provide the web server or load balancer name for the report URL re-direction. If the name is not provided, then, the default value (URI) specified in the URL is picked up. Alation now supports Java-based server for report URL.

  • Previously, the column datatype size was missing for tables created in Compose for Sybase ASE. This issue has been resolved and the column datatype size is now displayed.

  • Previously, indexes were not getting extracted for DB2 zOS datasource. This is resolved and now metadata extraction of schema can be done on the Settings page and indexes will also be extracted.

  • Deprecation propagation was re-enabled with v4.17. Before v4.17, there was a feature flag and only if it was turned on, the user can see propagated deprecation flags. In versions greater than 4.17, the feature flag itself was removed, and the flag propagation works automatically. A possible confusion that can happen is, if there are deprecation flags created before the update, their children will not have propagated flags, whereas new deprecation flags added after the update will get propagated to children. A migration has been added that propagates flags from those objects deprecated before Flag propagation feature was re-enabled.

  • Generic BI system, a unified framework to accommodate various BI server types, was built for v4.18 to enrich physical metadata extraction and to provide the Alation rich curating capabilities to BI sources. This has been hidden behind a feature flag, but now the flag is turned on by default, so that any new imported BI server of a supported type will use Generic BI system.To check if Microstrategy is supported by Generic BI system, check the one of the following URLs,

    • old Microstrategy url: <your home>/bi/microstrategy/<server_id>

    • new Microstrategy url: <your home>/bi/gbm/server/<server_id>

    This change is not applied to Tableau.

  • Alation has migrated datasource to LMS and datasource uses Mark as star value. To get the correct star value, is_faved_by method is replaced with Mark.is_marked method.

  • Previously, there was no space between Cancel and Save buttons to differentiate them as different buttons for custom fields in Articles. This issue has been resolved. Now, there is a space to differentiate between the Cancel and Save button.

  • Previously, expressions were not shown for reports extracted using Microstrategy. With this fix, the customer will be able to see the expressions for all the report measures.

  • For DB2, the columns were not displayed for tables created using Compose. This issue has been resolved. However, there is a limitation. The quoted schema or tables created using compose does not work.

  • Previously, the measure and dimension was not getting displayed for reports extracted using Microstrategy. This issue has been resolved. Now, the user will be able to see all the available measures of object prompt.

  • Data source cannot restore deleted data source on the data source settings page. Alation has now enabled Add/Remove/Update members action on deleted data source settings page and added some notice to let administrators know how to manage deleted data sources. The Data source administrator is able to restore deleted data source on the general settings page now.

  • Previously, some invalid SQL could cause Trust Check to show flags for a column in a different table than the one mentioned in the query. Now, when a column is used that does not appear in any mentioned tables, Trust Check will ignore it.

  • Previously, the glossary titles were truncated to a maximum of 20 characters in the Glossary drop-down. This is changed and now the drop-down expands according to the length of the title.

  • Previously, the Completed Tasks tab of the Monitor page would not load for some instances of Alation. This could happen when a task name was missing. Now, even if a task name is missing, the UI will load and show the task name as ‘unknown’.

  • Fixed a bug where the filter on Sites/Projects in Tableau Extraction would disappear.

  • While Alation administrator upgrades Alation or restore from backup, post version 5.3.0, users at times would see “unexpected EOF …” errors in the `installer.log`. These false positive errors would no longer be appearing in the log files.

  • Users of Google BigQuery can run long queries (up to five hours runtime) through Compose without timeout issue.

  • The style of dropdown with filtered search result in advanced search has been changed now. Previously, results were spaced badly between the result title and subtext. The space has been rearranged and the search result looks better now.

  • Fixed a bug where the auto-title was not displayed when clearing the existing title on a schema, table, or column.

  • Previously, if one drags and drops a file into an article while editing it, it was temporarily saved in a storage outside of Alation. Now these files are stored inside Alation. It is allowed to drag and drop files not larger than ALATION_MAX_UPLOADED_ATTACHMENT_FILE_BYTES size. This limitation is enforced now for images inserted into an article using corresponding widget.

  • Previously, there was a possibility that the job to propagate deprecation flags from the parent object to descendants crashes if a Compose query mentions the parent object, but such a mention is not correctly registered. This issue has been resolved.

  • Previously, when asked to title an object in Compose in the Dusk theme on Internet Explorer, the text in the text box was not visible. Now, it is visible.

  • Qubole and Teradata JDBC URI are different from the standard JDBC URI format dbtype://hostname:port/. From this release, you will be able to add Qubole and Teradata through CustomDB in Alation.

  • User defined column types can now be viewed in Compose for Oracle.

  • Previously, when you update an article with the bulk_metadata API, its “last_updated” would not change. This is fixed so that any change in the article’s title or description/body using the bulk_metadata API would update its last_updated field.

  • The network connection check on the Tableau settings page has been resolved. For instance, if the URI uses HTTPS protocol, then the test checks against port 443.

  • “Refresh feature labs page after the requests of changing alation_conf value finished, but some flags’ value are not updated correctly because the auto reload conf interval in Alation is 60 seconds. To get the latest conf value, reload all conf since the conf value might get updated.

  • Previously, sorting worked only on title column in Glossaries. Now, sorting is applied to all the columns in the glossary, ordered from left to right.

  • Users will get `Permission Denied` warning while editing title/description on object catalog pages, if their permissions are revoked by admin at the same time. For updating title/description fields on object catalog pages, the “Edit”” button is deactivated for users not having edit permissions. So if the admin revokes permission of any user and that user does not refresh the object catalog page, they would still be able to edit the field. From now on, they would get `Permission Denied` warning instead.”

  • Previously, Tableau workbook pagination used to break on servers behind improperly configured load balancers. Now, it should correctly paginate.

  • In version 5.5.0, a new bug is introduced causing Alation Analytics feature’s database setup failure. This bug has been resolved and the database should now be available as soon as the labs flag is turned on.

  • Previously, public datasource browsing API (catalog API) returned tables/schemas/columns from deleted datasources in the API response. Datasource browsing API will no longer return objects from deleted datasources.

  • Previously, Data Source Settings Per-Object Parameters checkboxes were clickable even when changes were not yet saved. Now, checkboxes are disabled when changes to Per-Object Parameters are pending.

  • Previously, for certain types of objects (schema, table, filesystem, BI objects), saving a large text (longer than 2000 chars) to a Rich Text type custom field, either from UI or from API, could have caused 500 error. This has now been resolved.

  • Error reporting for clicking Test and Save Email server settings has been improved. Previously, the Email server page would not load.

  • Previously, when a Data dictionary gets uploaded and an unexpected network error occurred, the user would see a blank green text box. This has been resolved. Now, a proper text message appears and asks the user to retry when the upload of Data dictionary is not successful.

  • In version before 5.4.5, profiling failed for Azure Data Warehouse. This has been resolved in version 5.4.5. Profiling is now supported for Azure Data Warehouse.

  • Previously, (versions before 5.4.5), the column profiling failed for SAS causing a null pointer exception to occur. This issue has been resolved in version 5.4.5 of Alation and the user can now successfully profile individual columns for SAS.

  • Previously, if you hit the next button on a page-able list of data and the request failed for some reason, you would not get any indication of the failure. Now, a message will pop up letting you know what went wrong.

  • On the Query Log ingestion (QLI) settings page of Presto, auto ingestion allows daily/weekly/monthly scheduling. Since Presto QLI reads from a cache that can be overwritten with a short life time, these options could be too coarse. So, Alation has changed this to hourly and daily scheduling.

  • Previously, ‘Presto on Hive’ data source threw an error when query was executed that requested a Decimal type column. Users can now profile and query for columns that are Decimal type.

  • Previously, when null values were present in a table and table profiling was performed, the null value distribution was not displayed on the table catalog page and column catalog page. This issue has been resolved and the null values are now displayed.

  • Previously, if a customer upgrades from earlier versions of Alation or v5.2 to v5.4.6 and higher versions, and has added a rich_text type custom field to the table and the length of the text exceeds 3000 characters, then, the upgrade would fail. This has been resolved.

  • Previously, compose stopped functioning when the result had more than 1000 columns. This has been resolved. Now, the query results that have more than 50 columns in compose make use of column pagination.

Known issues

  • SmartSuggest does not work for Databricks, since it is based on CustomDB.

  • Invalid SessionHandle errors occurs intermittently when Compose is run for Databricks.

  • Upload Data does not work for PostgresSQL and Databricks.

  • Column id# is displayed as ‘0’ for all columns for Hive AWS Glue.

  • Alation migration will fail when there are huge amounts of objects in object equivalence.

  • After upgrading to Alation v5.4.6 and navigating to the Sources tab, the following error message ” There was an error connecting to the server” occurs and connection to the data sources will fail.

Release 5.6.1

Bug Fixes

  • In version 5.6.0, a search on the Query Search page that would return results with at least one query associated with a data source with literal obfuscation turned on would hang and would not return results due to a server-side error. Now, such searches return results as expected.

  • Alation can now extract Tableau workbook and datasource created using Tableau 2018.

  • Previously, (version 5.4.1 to 5.4.6), users were unable to connect to SQL Server data source using NTLM authentication protocol. Despite using valid database credentials, the Service Account Test failed. This issue has been resolved.

Release 5.6.2

Bug Fixes

  • Previously, metadata extraction failed with an error serializing dbobjects when the data type was null for Oracle data source. This issue is now resolved.

  • Previously, custom picker fields would throw an error when unicode characters were added when configuring their values. Now, unicode characters in supported.

  • Alation now enforces Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) signature validation to avoid potential privilege escalation attack in SAML authentication.

  • For administrators connecting to Hive, Alation now correctly handles Hadoop clusters configured for encrypted RPC calls. Previously, Alation connections would fail if “hadoop.rpc.protection” was set to anything beyond authentication.

  • Previously, there was a persistent XSS attack on the user profile page. This allowed a user with a valid Alation account to execute JavaScript in the browser of another Alation user. Any user with an Alation account could create an article and put a script tag in the title of that article. Anyone who browses to the user’s profile page would trigger the execution of the script. The link to the page to trigger the script could be sent to other users. Now, the Article titles will not be executed on the user profile page.

  • Invitation is sent to users to participate in Alation user research testing as part of the NPS survey.

  • Previously, metrics and attributes were not getting extracted for reports using object prompts in Microstrategy. The report metadata now gets successfully extracted for Microstrategy reports using object prompt or hierarchy prompt.

  • Previously, the upgrade process from v5.0.3 to v5.4.7 of Alation could fail due to the migration of custom field data. The upgrade process from v5.0.3 to v5.4.7 is now successful.

  • Previously, the upgrade process may destroy customer dataset when /opt OR /opt/alation are symlinks. This issue is now resolved. All upgrades to V R3 release must use build 5.6.2 or above.

Release 5.6.3

Bug Fixes

  • Previously, the customers’ upgrade (version lower than 4.18 to higher version) might have failed during the migration of object equivalences to catalog sets if the object equivalence had huge amounts of objects (in the order of 100k) . This fix resolves the migration error.

  • The lineage for Tableau was incomplete for a workbook created using a  published data source. This issue has been resolved.

  • Previously, Tableau extraction would fail if exceptions contained unicode characters. This issue has been resolved.

Release 5.6.4

Bug Fixes

  • Previously, the HTTP REDIRECT binding method was only supported for Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) authentication. Now, the HTTP REDIRECT and HTTP POST binding methods are supported for SAML authentication.

Release 5.6.5

Bug Fixes

  • Tableau data source certification is now supported for Tableau 2018.

  • Tableau workbook and data source badging is now supported for SSL-enabled Tableau Server.

  • Previously, Alation restore might fail due to the missing recovery Postgres file. This issue is now fixed.

  • Previously, Alation would ignore the Hive/Hadoop configuration. Alation will now read the “core-site.xml” and “hive-site.xml” files placed in “/opt/alation/site/site_data/pre_added_jars/”.

Release 5.6.6

Bug Fixes

  • The Alation backend database has a default limit of 1G characters on the length of SQL query that can be run. Previously, the Metadata Extraction job used a single INSERT query which could grow over this limit and cause the job to crash. This issue has now been resolved.

  • Alation V R3 backup process did not respect the retention configuration settings. As a result, the backup disk might run out of space due to the large size of backup archive. This issue is now resolved.

Release 5.6.7

Fixes Referenced by Support Tickets

Support Ticket #

Description

7040

9164

9449

Fixed an issue where some users could not log in after update when using SAML SSO for authentication. Alation recently added support for using HTTP POST binding with SAML SSO. All customers were previously using Redirect binding because Alation did not support POST binding. Many configurations allow for automatically selecting POST binding if available. This caused existing instances to switch over and in some cases caused authentication failures blocking users from logging in. Now, Alation has changed SAML SSO support to always force defaulting to Redirect binding. So existing installations integrated with SAML SSO should work in the same way they did before. Those customers wanting to use POST binding can change the configuration alation.authentication .saml.force_redirect_binding to False.

8086

For Hive users, the Data Uploader will now work over Kerberos and HTTP Transport Mode. Previously, this combination would cause the Uploader to time out after 20 minutes. Note that a valid WebHDFS endpoint must be provided for this combination to work.

9044

Fixed an issue where in some environments the replication service on the secondary server would not start. This prevented replication of configuration files. If your replication started without error this does not impact your installation.

Miscellaneous Other Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where Compose queries against Kerberized Hive data sources using HTTP transport would throw an error if the result set was longer than 999 rows. Now, there is no limit on the result set so query execution will be successful for all rows in the set.

  • Fixed an issue where email integration would stop working on HA Pair configuration after failing over to the secondary server. If a customer was using a custom email integration instead of the built-in email server and they failed over to the secondary server, then users would no longer receive emails.

  • Fixed an issue with offline usage data reporting where users accessing Alation via the latest version of Google Chrome would receive the “Unsupported Browser” error on Admin Settings > Reporting > Upload Alternatives page. This no longer is the case, and usage data can be successfully uploaded via the web browser in any of the supported browsers.

Release 5.6.8

Fixes Referenced by Support Tickets

Support Ticket #

Description

#7648

Fixed an issue where the projects list was cut off in UI and not all projects were displayed for Selective Extraction in Tableau data sources. The projects list for Selected Extraction now will display all the projects - as expected.

#7976 #9118 #9201

Fixed an issue with Tableau extraction where it would fail with a “unicode encode error” in Alation. The problem was in unicode character processing, and as a result, Alation would not generate any Lineage. Now, unicode characters are handled correctly and do not cause any problem during Tableau extraction.

#9004 #9342

Fixed an issue with Tableau extraction and Lineage where Alation would not extract all available published data sources, and if that happened, Lineage for some of the reports could not be derived. The problem revealed itself when the number of published data sources extracted by Alation did not match the number of all published data sources on the Tableau server (which was greater). Because of a bug, Alation did not paginate through all available data sources. After this fix, if a workbook uses a published data source, it will be successfully extracted and displayed under the Workbook Connections section, and Lineage will work as expected.

#9201 #9434

Fixed a problem with Tableau extraction with “Permissions Enforcement” setting enabled. Because of this issue, Alation would not save newly extracted permissions, which led to Tableau workbooks to be inaccessible in Alation by any user. This should no longer be the case, and workbook extraction is expected to work correctly.

Release 5.6.9

Fixes Referenced by Support Tickets

Support Ticket #

Description

7546

There is now ability to configure Alation to use X-Frame-Options response header to prevent rendering the Alation application in an iframe for the sake of added browser security. Please be advised that enabling the X-Frame-Options response will cause the DataOS integration to stop working because it relies on ability to load Alation in iframes. For details on enabling X-Frame-Options, see How to Enable XFrameOptions Settings for Alation.

Release 5.6.10 - Security Patch

This patch is a critical fix that addresses the security vulnerability with logging which has been described in the recent Security bulletin:

  • April 17, 2019 - Important Security Alert: PII on Customer Servers

Summary

In order to assist with debugging, the Alation application writes exceptions to log files. Alation’s codebase includes an open-source third-party exception-logging library called Raven. We recently discovered that Raven has an undocumented bug such that it sometimes logs usernames and passwords stored in the application memory to the Alation log files in cleartext.

In this patch we completely deactivate Raven.Originally,we included the Raven capabilities into Alation to have the richest possible logs for rapid issue resolution. Although without Raven certain issues may be more difficult to diagnose, we will continue to have other logging information. There are no plans on adding those exception-logging capabilities back, presently; we will rely on other kinds of logs and monitoring for diagnosis of issues.

It is of paramount importance that this security patch is installed by all customers.

Note that this patch does NOT remove any of the existing logs from your Alation instance. If you have not purged the existing logs as part of the security bulletin recommendations, please consider doing so after you install the patch. For instructions, see Section IV-B of the security bulletin April 17, 2019 - Important Security Alert: PII on Customer Servers.

 Release 5.6.11 - Security Patch

We have discovered that in certain scenarios, service account credentials may have been logged in taskserver.log files. The details have been described in our June 4, 2019 - Patch Alert/Security Bulletin: Data Source Credentials in taskserver.log Files. The patch fixes this logging problem.

Once you upgrade, please follow the instructions outlined in the bulletin to delete any existing Taskserver logs from your Alation instance.

Customers on release V R2 please work with your CSM on the upgrade path.