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Introducing Try Snowplow

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We are pleased to announce the release of Try Snowplow, the simplest way to get started with Snowplow! Sign up for free here and you’ll have Snowplow collecting data from your websites and mobile apps within 30 minutes. The video below will help to answer your initial questions about the Try Snowplow experience.

A new way to experience Snowplow

Try Snowplow is a small version of the Snowplow technology that can be setup quickly and easily. It’s the simplest way to trial Snowplow and experience its best-in-class data collection!

With Try Snowplow you can collect granular, well-structured data from your digital products and model, analyse and visualize it in your BI tool of choice. You can also explore the recipe library and see how Snowplow approaches common data use cases such as marketing attribution, product analytics or building a single customer view. You can try these recipes using real data from your digital products and pilot how Snowplow can empower you to solve your data use cases.

Why did we develop Try Snowplow?

We have known for a long time that there are a large number of people, especially data practitioners, who are interested in learning more about Snowplow and understanding how it was different to other approaches to collecting behavioral data. However, the only options for getting started were either long (Snowplow Open Source), expensive (Snowplow BDP) or very limited in what you can do with the data (Snowplow Mini and Snowplow Micro). Specifically, we wanted to create something small like Mini, but that would give the person trying the technology the opportunity to work with the data in SQL, to model the data and actually try out different use cases with it, to “bring the data to life”.

What do I need to get started?

Access to an AWS cloud account

Try Snowplow is deployed into your cloud account, so you’ll need access to an AWS account. We are working on making Try Snowplow available on GCP too. Please note that Snowplow does not have any access to your Try Snowplow infrastructure, or the data you collect through it. 

While the Try Snowplow technology is free of charge, you will need to pay for the associated cloud costs. We estimate these to be between USD 35-45 per week depending on how much data you collect. For more information on exactly what is installed in your cloud account check out the technical documentation

A website or digital product to instrument tracking on

You’ll also need to decide where you want to deploy the Snowplow tracking. There is a tutorial for setting up web tracking, but you can use any of Snowplow’s web, mobile or server side trackers! And once you are collecting data, you can then decide how you want to access the data;  you can use any BI tool of your choice or you can connect with a SQL GUI.

Setting up Try Snowplow

The whole setup should take less than 30 minutes and follows some simple steps that the experience will guide you through:

  1. Install the infrastructure – you’ll start by deploying Snowplow technology into your cloud account, this step is mostly automated and we’ll email you once it’s complete.
  2. Instrument tracking – add tracking using any Snowplow trackers to your website, mobile application or digital product to start tracking user behaviour.
  3. Connect to your database – next you’ll connect your BI or query tool of choice to your database to access your data.
  4. Run queries and model your data – finally run some sample queries to explore the richness and granularity of Snowplow data.
  5. Explore the recipe library – once your collection is up and running you can instrument further tracking and work through some of the Snowplow use-case recipes to learn more about the power of Snowplow data.

Understanding the difference between Try Snowplow and Snowplow BDP

While Try Snowplow uses the same core technology as Snowplow BDP and Snowplow Open Source, there are a few key differences. 

Specifically, it is a minified version of the Snowplow BDP technology that is:

  • fast to set up, 
  • cheap to run (minimal infrastructure costs) 
  • non-scalable (unsuitable for production workloads). 

An overview of the key differences is given in the table below:

Try SnowplowSnowplow BDP
Hosted in your own cloudAWS (GCP coming)AWS, GCP
First-party server cookies
Unlimited sources
Custom data structures
Available enrichments316
Custom enrichments
Bad rows(no UI)(with UI)
Load data into warehousePostgresRedshift, Snowflake, BigQuery
Load data into lakeS3, GCS
Data available in-streamKinesis, PubSub
Maximum throughput50 events per second*Unlimited
Time limit30 daysUnlimited

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Cara Baestlein
Cara Baestlein

Former Product Manager at Snowplow now Product-led Growth at Aiven

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