Viewer Role

Alation Cloud Service Applies to Alation Cloud Service instances of Alation

Customer Managed Applies to customer-managed instances of Alation

The Viewer role allows for browsing the Alation Catalog in read-only mode. Viewers can use the Catalog Browser and Search to find and view catalog objects that they are granted access to.


The Catalog Browser is the navigation panel on the left of a catalog page that lists the catalog content by category.

Viewers cannot use Compose, Connected Sheets, or Analytical Stewardship features and cannot create new objects or edit pages of the Catalog. To Viewers, catalog pages are displayed in read-only mode and the editing capabilities are disabled.

Refer to the table below for details about what Viewers can and cannot do in the catalog:


Can Do

Cannot Do

Catalog Browser

Can use the Catalog Browser to find objects to view


Can use Search to find catalog objects to view

Data Sources

Have view-only access to data sources from the Sources page, Catalog Browser, and Search results

Can view:

  • Public data sources

  • Private data sources with Viewer access explicitly granted to this user

  • File systems

  • BI sources (BI server permissions apply if permission mirroring is turned on)

  • API resources

  • Cannot edit Title, Description or any of the custom fields

  • Cannot set the data quality flags

  • Cannot access the settings of a source

  • Cannot open Compose from the page of a data source

  • Cannot run table and column profiles

Data Dictionaries

Can download


  • Can find and view the content of the articles with access set to Everyone can edit

  • Can find and view articles where access is explicitly provided to this user

  • Can share the articles they can view

  • Cannot edit any of the custom fields on articles

  • Cannot be assigned as Reviewers

Glossaries and Terms

Can view glossaries and terms on the Glossaries page

  • Cannot edit glossaries or terms

Document Hubs

Can navigate and search all document hubs. Can view folders and documents by default, although individual folders and documents may be hidden based on permission settings

  • Cannot create, edit, or delete hubs, folders, or documents


Can find and view published and unpublished queries on public data sources and on private data sources the user was granted access to

  • Cannot use Compose or query forms to run queries

  • Cannot edit Title, Description, or any other custom fields on query objects

API resources, functions

Can view

File systems

Can view

BI sources

Can view

Users, groups

Can view in Search results

Catalog sets, tags

Can view

Watching and starring

Can use


Can use


Can create


Can view

Policy Center and policies

Can view

Workflow Center and workflows

Can view

Cannot approve or reject


Not available

Connected Sheets

Not available

Analytical Stewardship reports and dashboard

Not available

Alation Analytics

Not available

Catalog Customization

Not available

Admin Settings

Not available


Users with the Viewer role cannot be assigned as article reviewers. If a user with the Viewer role created an article before the Viewer role enforcement flag was turned on, they will lose the edit access to their articles. If these users require edit access to articles, their role needs to be upgraded.