Watch our latest Video: What are Enterprise Data Apps?
Enterprise data apps simplify IP management & licensing, allowing devs to focus on creating excellent data apps. Will it be game-changing or a side hustle?
Read the Whitepaper: Era of Enterprise Data Apps
Learn more about Truelty
Hi, I’m Jared Hillam.
In July of 2008 Apple released their Apps Store and in October of the same year, Google released their Play Store. These two platforms ultimately became the source of literally millions of apps which people use every day. Having a standard store for apps did something that app developers are awful at… and that’s transactions.
The apps store concept made it incredibly easy to ensure that users could buy the app by standardizing the transaction process. Users didn’t have to be experts in installations, suppliers didn’t have to be experts in collections, the presentation of the app had a standardized framework… it just worked.
Consequently, both of these platforms have generated billions of dollars in revenue for Apple, Google, and developers. Not to mention trillions of hours of useful content to users.
Now I bring this up because just this summer, Snowflake and Databricks both announced they were releasing similar functionality for their cloud data store customers. So the question is, what does this mean, and how is it any different from giant marketplaces managed by the big 3 cloud providers?
So first, what does it mean to have apps for a data platform? To answer this, it’s important to separate the data from the logic that interacts with that data. Apps are all about that logic. So for example, you may remember in 2021 Intricity created some products that pre-packaged some access control code for governing Snowflake content. In order for Intricity to deliver that product, we have to deploy it for clients manually. And when we deploy it, the client sees all that intellectual property that we deployed within their Snowflake instance. In addition to that, customers had to discover Intricity’s solution and buy it from us independently from their Snowflake experience.
This is obviously not ideal for Intricity because the client sees all our IP for Snowflake object governance. Additionally, we have no way of licensing our content without creating a separate application. So this lands all the burden of IP and licensing into a legal agreement. However, in the framework of an apps store, the licensing and IP management are all natively handled by the store host, which gives our teams the freedom to focus on excellent data apps.
On the customer side, the installation and execution of the logic is just a few mouse clicks away. The customer doesn’t see the intellectual property, yet the code is enabled to run on the client’s database instance. And this is really what separates this data app functionality from generic marketplaces. Enterprise Data Apps are designed to natively work within the database’s compute framework to get work done within the client’s own data.
So for example, we spun off a company called Truelty that does 1st party identity resolution inside of Snowflake. That application is currently being ported over to the native Snowflake app framework. The overall vision is that users will be able to select Truelty directly from their Snowflake instance and start immediately identifying duplicate customer records without ever sending their data outside their Snowflake instance.
The power of this concept is in the chaining together of application endpoints within the database framework. So imagine, Truelty gets used to ID duplicate customer records, and another application that emails customers gets flagged when Truelty’s processing is done to carry on with sending emails.
Now the enterprise data cloud vendors are hard at work deploying this type of framework. Their ability to deliver on the complexity of access and IP control will really determine whether this functionality is game-changing or whether it’s just a side hustle.
I’ve written a whitepaper about Enterprise Data Apps which you’ll find in the description below.