Get Started with ALTR and Snowflake

This Quick Start Guide is written for Data Scientists, System Administrators, Data Engineers, and other individuals in Data Governance roles.

It is written to provide step-by-step instructions to help you get started with using ALTR. The objective of this guide is to get you up and running quickly to help you begin protecting your sensitive Snowflake data.

Prerequisites for using ALTR

In order for ALTR to connect to Snowflake, two prerequisites must be met. These include:

  • A Snowflake Enterprise Edition account (or higher)
    ALTR requires Snowflake features such as Dynamic Data Masking Policies to enforce data governance, which are not available on Standard Edition Snowflake accounts.
  • Networking rules that allow ALTR to communicate with your Snowflake Account
    If you’ve restricted your Snowflake account to only be accessible from certain IP addresses, then you will need to add ALTR’s IP addresses to your Snowflake network policies.   

    ALTR’s IP addresses are:

  • and

Joining ALTR through Snowflake Partner Connect

ALTR participates in Snowflake’s Partner Connect Ecosystem, enabling users to get up and running as easily as possible. Snowflake Partner Connect can be accessed by ACCOUNTADMIN users in Snowflake through Snowflake’s Classic Console and the new Snowsight UI.

Accessing Partner Connect from Snowflake’s Classic Console

  1. Log into Snowflake’s legacy UI as an account with ACCOUNTADMIN Privileges.
  2. Change your active role to ACCOUNTADMIN on the top right.
  3. Select the Partner Connect Icon towards the top right.
  4. Select ALTR from the list of partners.

Accessing Partner Connect from the Snowsight UI

  1. Log into Snowsight as an account with ACCOUNTADMIN privileges.
  2. Change your active role to ACCOUNTADMIN in the top left.
  3. Expand the “Admin” menu in the left navigation.
  4. Select Partner Connect in the navigation menu.
  5. Select ALTR from the list of partners, under the 'Security and Governance' section.
Partner Connect

When you sign up for ALTR through Snowflake Partner Connect, Snowflake will auto-generate a Snowflake Warehouse and Service User for ALTR. ALTR uses these to communicate with your Snowflake account. Snowflake also asks you to select the databases you want to grant USAGE to for ALTR. You can ignore this step. We help you configure these permissions when onboarding onto ALTR.

Connect to ALTR

After clicking Connect, ALTR will send you an email to create your ALTR account, set your ALTR password, and start onboarding. ALTR uses the email address associated with your Snowflake account as your username and as the default method for two-factor authentication when logging into our platform.

Once you set your password, you will be greeted by ALTR’s onboarding wizard. The rest of this document will cover how to finalize configuration of your ALTR account, connect your Snowflake databases, and start governing data.

Logging into ALTR

This section explains the process for you to log into ALTR and other details to guide you with the log in process.

Currently, all users are required to log into ALTR with a:

  • Username as your login
  • Organization ID
  • Password
  • and 2FA Code

The username and organization ID listed above are the two newly-established tenant-based login requirements for our security control measures.

Login screen

The reason for this new 'tenant-based' login change is to enable us to align with the System for Cross-Identity Management (SCIM) standard and also integrate Single Sign-On (SSO) to authenticate each of our users.

About Usernames, Passwords, and Two-Factor Authentication

As stated above,  you currently need to provide your email address (as the username), password, and a six-digit two-factor (2FA) authentication code to log into ALTR.  However, soon a 'username' will be required as a login instead of an email address.

All usernames must be unique within each organization and is how ALTR identifies users.


  • If you're an EXISTING USER who has already been using ALTR before this new change goes into effect, then your username will default to your email address and your password is the same that you've already been using.
  • If you're a NEW USER that began using ALTR after this new login change goes into effect, then your username will be your email address.
  • If you're a USER WHO HAS RECEIVED AN INVITE TO ALTR FROM YOUR ADMIN, then that person will create your username in any format that they choose. After they click Add Administrator, then you will receive an invite to your email. See the screenshot below that shows the Add Administrator page they will use to create your username, provide other required info, and send an invite.
Add Administrator page to send an invite

If you have forgotten your user name (or Organization ID which is explained below) then ALTR will prompt you for your email address. If the email address exists in that ALTR environment, then ALTR will send an email that includes the organization ID and username for every account associated with that email address.

NOTE: Usernames can not be changed in ALTR. To update your email address, you will need to email  ALTR support.


All passwords should be strong and meet the following requirements:

  • Contain 8 to 64 characters
  • Contain a capital letter
  • Contain a symbol
  • Contain a number

If you need to update it, this can be done on the ALTR Login or in Settings page shown in the screenshot below.

Update Your Password on the Preferences page under Settings

All existing multi-organization admins will be given separate logins for every organization that you have access to.

  • For example, if you are currently a multi-org admin in Organization A and Organization B, after these changes take effect then you will have a separate login for each of them. Your user name for both organizations will continue to be your email address. Once you're logged into ALTR you'll be unable to navigate between organizations; however, you will be able to log into multiple organizations at the same time in different tabs.

The Forgot Organization/ Username flow will email Organization and Username information for every single account associated to an admin. So, if your email address is associated with more than one account in ALTR, then this email will include the organization ID and username for each one.

2FA codes are available via email, SMS, or an Authentication App. 2FA settings can be managed within the Settings pages in ALTR. See the screenshot below.

Note: Although our Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) might work with other apps, it has been tested for Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authentication App, Okta, and Authy.

Update Two-factor Authentication preferences

About Organization IDs

An 'Organization' is a unique tenant (or account) in ALTR. An 'Organization ID' is a Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) that refers to an organization. Each organization will have its own specific subdomain to ALTR that will be based on your organization ID.

Example of how your Organization ID subdomain will appear: {orgid}
Organization ID page that will display if you forgot your org info

If you already have an organization-specific login page for ALTR then you will not need to re-enter your organization information; however, if you do not and navigate to our 'default' ALTR Login page at, then you will be prompted to enter your organization ID as shown in the screenshot above. Once that occurs, then you will be redirected to the Login page for your specific organization.

If you have forgotten your organization ID or user name, then ALTR will prompt you for your email address. If the email address exists in that ALTR environment, then ALTR will send an email that includes the organization ID and username for every account associated with that email address. See the screenshots below.

Organization ID Recovery page to enter your email
Message that will display when ALTR will try to recover your Org ID

NOTE: You can bookmark your organization-specific ALTR subdomain in your browser to avoid having to manually enter your organization ID each time that you log in to ALTR.

Configuring SSO for Identity Providers

Single Sign-On is an authentication service that will enable you to access ALTR with one set of login credentials.  For details about configuring SSO for OKTA and Azure Active Directory, read the guides that will walk you through the steps.

Configuring SSO for Okta

See the steps to configure SSO for Okta.

Configuring SSO for Azure AD

See the steps to configure SSO for Azure

Configuring SCIM for Identity Providers

SCIM is an open specification to manage identities across a wide number of software applications by easily creating, editing and managing accounts through a single IdP such as Okta. Our first release of SCIM is tested to work with Okta. We will support Azure Active Directory (AD) in the future. For details about enabling SCIM for Okta, read the guide that will walk you through the steps.

Logging Out of ALTR

If you have completed all activity and are ready to log out, then click on the Logout icon located in the top right corner of the screen.

Logout icon in the ALTR top right of the ALTR software

NOTE: If no activity is detected after 15 minutes, then the system will automatically log you out.

Configuring Snowflake Service User Permissions

The first step during onboarding is to grant ALTR’s service user access to create and enforce governance policies. Two options are available: an express configuration where you execute one line of code and ALTR permissions itself, and a manual configuration where you create an execute a Stored Procedure to grant specific permissions to ALTR.

Express Configuration

In 'Express Configuration”' you grant ALTR’s service user ACCOUNTADMIN permissions and ALTR uses ACCOUNTADMIN to grant itself all of the permissions it requires to create and enforce governance policies. ALTR only uses ACCOUNTADMIN to permission PC_ALTR_ROLE during this step of onboarding; all other actions are performed as PC_ALTR_ROLE. If you are uncomfortable granting ALTR ACCOUNTADMIN permissions to your Snowflake account, then use the Manual Configuration option.

Manual Configuration

In Manual Configuration, you manually execute grants to PC_ALTR_ROLE required for ALTR to create and enforce governance policies across all of your databases in Snowflake. To make the process easy, ALTR provides a Stored Procedure that automates these permissions. For a list of these permissions and what ALTR uses them for, read the details.

If you prefer to limit ALTR’s access to particular databases or have questions about particular permissions, then reach out to and we are happy to help you configure your service user.

Not comfortable connecting your Snowflake account right away? Click Request access to a sample Snowflake account and we’ll work with you to get a sandbox Snowflake Account spun up and connected.

After competing either service user setup, ALTR will reach out to Snowflake and run a test to ensure that PC_ALTR_ROLE has the correct permissions.

Connecting Snowflake Databases During Onboarding

After you successfully configure your service user, then our Free Tier offering will allow you to connect ONE database to ALTR. Connecting a database is as simple as selecting it from the dropdown and clicking Add Databases.

After you've done this, then  ALTR will reach out to Snowflake and make the necessary connections to create and enforce data governance. For more information on what exactly ALTR creates when connecting to Snowflake databases, read the details. Once your database is connected, then you can continue to connect columns to ALTR for governance and create governance policies on those columns.

Managing Columns in ALTR

Before creating governance policies, you need to connect columns to ALTR. ALTR uses Snowflake’s Dynamic Data Masking Policies to govern data in Snowflake, and connecting columns to ALTR creates those Dynamic Data Masking Policies.

Columns can be connected on the 'Data Management' page. To connect a column, click Add New.

This opens the form where you can specify a column to connect, as well as a 'Column Name' which is the label ALTR will use for that column in our UI. Complete this process for each column you want to include in governance policies.

Don’t want to create governance policies per column? ALTR enables creation of Column Access Policies in bulk through the use of Data Tags, which is an Enterprise feature. Upgrade to Enterprise, or reach out to, to learn more.

Once columns are connected to ALTR, they will become available when creating Column Access Policies. Connecting columns in ALTR will also enable all queries against that column to be monitored in ALTR’s Query Log.

Creating Column Access Policies

Column Access Policies enable users to control which Snowflake roles can access which columns. Column access policies can be configured to completely block access to non-permissioned roles, where a column will be NULLed, as well with Masking Policies, where the column values are partially or fully replaced with substitute values. More information on masking policies can be found here.

To create Column Access Policies, navigate to the Column Access Policies Tab under the 'Locks' page. From here, you can define how particular Snowflake roles can access particular columns. There are four aspects to each Column Access Policy:

  1. A name for the policy
  2. The User Groups (Snowflake Roles) affected by the policy
  3. The columns affected by the policy
  4. The masking strategy (if applicable) for the each column

If a User Group is not included in a Column Access Policy, any attempt to query that column will result in NULL values for the affected columns. If you create conflicting Column Access Policies - where there are multiple different masks defined for a particular role, ALTR will resolve the conflict by enforcing the most permissive policy.

Once Column Access Policies are defined your data is governed. Feel free to explore querying the affected columns in Snowflake with various roles. Now that you’re onboarded to ALTR, check out our other features such as Data Usage Analytics, Data Classification, and the Query Log.

If you’d like to access any of our Enterprise level governance and security tools, such as Tag-Based Column Access Policies, Row-Access Policies, or Tokenization, reach out to

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