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Aleph is a business analytics platform that focuses on ease-of-use and operational simplicity. It allows analysts to quickly author and iterate on queries, then share result sets and visualizations. Most components are modular, but it was designed to version-control queries (and analyze their differences) using Github and store result sets long term in Amazon S3.


Build Status


If you want to connect to your own Redshift or Snowflake cluster, the follow instructions should get you up and running.

Database Configuration

Configure your Redshift or snowflake database and user(s).

Additional requirements for Snowflake
  • Snowflake users must be setup with default warehouse and role; they are not configurable in Alpeh.

  • Since Aleph query results are unloaded directly from Snowflake to AWS S3, S3 is required for Snowflake connection. Configure an S3 bucket and create an external S3 stage in Snowflake. e.g.

    create stage mydb.myschema.aleph_stage url='s3://<s3_bucket>/<path>/'
      credentials=(aws_role = '<iam role>')

Docker Install

The fastest way to get started: Docker

  • For Redshift, run

    docker run -ti -p 3000:3000 lumos/aleph-playground /bin/bash -c "aleph setup_minimal -H {host} -D {db} -p {port} -U {user} -P  {password}; redis-server & aleph run_demo"
  • For Snowflake, run

    docker run -ti -p 3000:3000 lumos/aleph-snowflake-playground /bin/bash -c "export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=\"{aws_key_id}\" ; export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=\"{aws_secret_key}\" ; cd /usr/bin/snowflake_odbc && sed -i 's/SF_ACCOUNT/{your_snowflake_account}/g' ./ && ./ && aleph setup_minimal -t snowflake -S snowflake -U {user} -P {password} -L {snowflake_unload_target} -R {s3_region}  -B {s3_bucket} -F {s3_folder}; redis-server & aleph run_demo"

    snowflake_unload_target is the external stage and location in snowflake. e.g. @mydb.myschema.aleph_stage/results/

Open in browser
  open http://$(docker-machine ip):3000

Gem Install

For Redshift

You must be using PostgreSQL 9.2beta3 or later client libraries

For Snowflake

You must install unixodbc-dev and setup and configure snowflake ODBC. e.g.

apt-get update && apt-get install -y unixodbc-dev
curl -o /tmp/snowflake_linux_x8664_odbc-2.19.8.tgz && cd /tmp && gunzip snowflake_linux_x8664_odbc-2.19.8.tgz && tar -xvf snowflake_linux_x8664_odbc-2.19.8.tar && cp -r snowflake_odbc /usr/bin && rm -r /tmp/snowflake_odbc
cd /usr/bin/snowflake_odbc
./  # and following the instructions to setup Snowflake DSN
Install and run Redis
brew install redis  && redis-server &
Install gem
gem install aleph_analytics
Configure your database

See Database Configuration above

Run Aleph
  • For Redshift

    aleph setup_minimal -H {host} -D {db} -p {port} -U {user} -P {password}
    aleph run_demo
  • For Snowflake

    export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID="{aws key id}"
    export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY="{aws secret key}"
    aleph setup_minimal -t snowflake -S snowflake -U {user} -P {password} -L {snowflake_unload_target} -R {s3_region}  -B {s3_bucket} -F {s3_folder}
    aleph run_demo

Aleph should be running at localhost:3000

Aleph Gem

Aleph is packaged as a Rubygem.

To list gem executables, just type aleph --help

Find out more about the gem executables here.



For a proper production installation, Aleph needs an external Redis instance and operational database. The locations of these services can be configured using environment variables. More detailed instructions on configuration can be found here. Example configurations can be found here.

The app

There are a number of ways to install and deploy Aleph. The simplest is to set up a Dockerfile that installs aleph as a gem:

FROM ruby:2.2.4

# we need postgres client libs for Redshift
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y postgresql-client --no-install-recommends && rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

# for Snowflake, install unix odbc and Snowflake ODBC driver and setup DSN
# replace {your snowflake account} below
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y unixodbc-dev
RUN curl -o /tmp/snowflake_linux_x8664_odbc-2.19.8.tgz && cd /tmp && gunzip snowflake_linux_x8664_odbc-2.19.8.tgz && tar -xvf snowflake_linux_x8664_odbc-2.19.8.tar && cp -r snowflake_odbc /usr/bin && rm -r /tmp/snowflake_odbc
RUN cd /usr/bin/snowflake_odbc && sed -i 's/SF_ACCOUNT/{your snowflake account}/g' ./ && ./

# make a log location
RUN mkdir -p /var/log/aleph
ENV SERVER_LOG_ROOT /var/log/aleph

# make /tmp writeable
RUN chmod 777 /tmp

# bundle install inside the aleph gem
RUN gem install aleph_analytics

# copy our aleph configuration over to the image
COPY aleph_config/. /etc/aleph/.

# install the aleph dependencies
RUN aleph deps

You can then deploy and run the main components of Aleph as separate services using the gem executables:

  • web_server - aleph web_server --worker-process 2
  • query workers - aleph workers
  • clock (used to trigger alerts) - aleph clock

At runtime, you can inject all the secrets as environment variables.

S3 is required for Snowflake.

We highly recommend that you have a git repo for your queries and S3 location for you results.

Advanced setup and configuration details (including how to use Aleph roles for data access, using different auth providers, creating users, and more) can be found here.


The default maximum result size from Snowflake queries is 5 GB. This is due to the MAX_FILE_SIZE limit of Snowflake copy command. If Snowflake has changed the limit, update the setting in snowflake.yml


Aleph is Rails on the backend, Angular on the front end. It uses Resque workers to run queries against Redshift. Here are few things you should have before developing:

  • Redshift cluster
  • Postgres and Redis installed
  • Git Repo (for query versions)
  • S3 Location (store results)

While the demo/playground version does not use a git repo and S3 is optional for Redshift, we highly recommend that you use them in general.



createuser -s -P postgres
initdb --encoding=utf8 --auth=md5 --auth-host=md5 --auth-local=md5 --username=postgres --pwprompt /usr/local/var/postgres
  • development password should be "password"
  • Restart Postgres


bundle exec rake db:create db:migrate
RAILS_ENV=test bundle exec rake db:setup db:test:prepare


npm install


export PATH="$PWD/node_modules/karma-cli/bin:$PATH"
RAILS_ENV=test bundle exec rspec spec
bundle exec rake karma:run


bundle exec foreman start

You can manage your env variables in a .env file


Unless otherwise noted, all Aleph source files are made available under the terms of the MIT License