Snowflake Installation Instructions
  • 09 Feb 2024
  • 3 Minutes to read
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Snowflake Installation Instructions

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Article Summary

1. Overview

Ursa Studio supports Snowflake implementations in both its AWS and Azure deployment scenarios. The Snowflake database should be set up in the same datacenter (cloud provider and region, e.g. AWS us-east-1) as the Ursa Studio app and the storage containers. The following instructions should be combined with either the AWS Cloud Installation Instructions or the Azure Cloud Installation Instructions to complete a Snowflake implementation.

2. Provision Database

When provisioning objects like databases and warehouses, you should be working in the SYSADMIN role, not the ACCOUNTADMIN role.

To set up a database, go to the pertinent account and use the “Create” button in the Databases tab.

Next, create a warehouse for the app service account, under the “Warehouses” tab. Small is a perfectly fine place to start, and the defaults are otherwise fine.

Next, create a role via the query editor:

create role ursa_app_role;

Next, create a user that represents the app service account. Default warehouse should be the one you just set up. Default role should be the role you just set up. Default namespace should be the name of the database. Do not give the user a (different) login name. For the sake of these examples we’re calling the database ursadb but you can call it whatever you want.

grant role ursa_app_role to user URSA_SERVICE_ACCOUNT;
grant usage on database ursadb to role ursa_app_role;
grant all on schema ursadb.ursa to role ursa_app_role;
grant usage on warehouse URSA_APP_WH to role ursa_app_role;

3. Hook up Ursa Studio

CLIENT_DBMS should be snowflake

CLIENT_DATABASE_URL will be in the format snowflake://

Make sure that you use a strong password!

Set URSA_ADMIN_ROLE to none, or to e.g. ursa_human_role if you’ve set up a role for human users.

Access to users without MFA (= the service account for the app) should be limited to a set of whitelisted IP addresses. In Azure, you can find a list of outbound addresses for the App Service in the Networking tab. In AWS, the outbound IP address is the EIP for the customer’s VPC. Copy this value(s) into a new Account->Policy, called e.g. URSA_APP_POLICY, then run


4. Create Stages

During the installation process, manually create a stage for each storage container that will be used. It should be the same name as the container, but uppercase. You need to add quotes around the name of the stage (but not the schema) if the container name has dashes or similar characters.

You’ll furthermore want to create a stage, called URSAHEALTH-STANDARD-REFERENCE-FILES, which will point to our standard reference files. Ursa Health can give you the appropriate stage URL name for your cloud provider and region. This stage name might not be the same as the name of the storage container.

4.1 Create Stages in AWS

We recommend you use Snowflake's storage integration feature to securely link Snowflake stages to S3. First create an IAM role with trusted entity type “AWS Service” -> S3 -> S3. Add the bucket policies. Copy the ARN to clipboard.

In a Snowflake worksheet run the command

CREATE STORAGE INTEGRATION name_of_s3_integration
STORAGE_ALLOWED_LOCATIONS = ('s3://your-import-bucket-name', 's3://your-export-bucket-name', 's3://ursahealth-standard-reference-files');

Updating the region of the standard-reference bucket appropriately. Once that’s successful, run

desc INTEGRATION name_of_s3_integration;


Now go back into the new role’s Trust Relationships tab and update the JSON policy. Replace

"Principal": {
    "Service": ""


"Principal": {
    "AWS": "<the user ARN>"

And after the “Action” attribute add

"Condition": {
  "StringEquals": {
     "sts:ExternalId": "<the external ID>"

Then in snowflake run

URL = 's3://ursahealth-standard-reference-files/
STORAGE_INTEGRATION = name_of_s3_integration;

And so forth for all the stages you’ll need, then grant access to those stages to your app role:

grant all privileges on stage ursa."URSAHEALTH-STANDARD-REFERENCE-FILES"  to role name_of_app_role;

If you prefer not to use storage integration it's possible to create these stages by passing in the AWS Key ID and AWS Secret Key of an appropriately credentialed AWS IAM user during the create stage command.

4.2 Create Stages in Azure

From within the “Shared Access Tokens” blade of the Azure Storage Container, create an HTTPS-only account key with the appropriate permissions (read + list for import containers, all for export containers).

create stage ursa."URSA-SNOWFLAKE-IMPORT"

Next, grant the appropriate privileges for these stages to the app_role:

grant all privileges on stage ursa."URSA-SNOWFLAKE-IMPORT" to role ursa_app_role;

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