Oracle Analytics Desktop Doesn’t Connect To Snowflake?!?!

I recently downloaded Oracle Analytics Desktop (OAD) to check in on what’s new. The last time I used Oracle’s desktop tool, it was called Data Visualization Desktop; I figured they must have made some updates over the last few years. I was not terribly impressed with the original application (at least early versions of it), so I was pleasantly surprised that things have gotten much, much better with the newest version of OAD; starting with the fact that it downloads and easily installs much like other modern applications. There are, however, still some quirks to the application that require some troubleshooting and configuring yourself.

Spoiler: OAD does connect to Snowflake, it just isn’t as straightforward as it seems.
A relatively new feature of OAD is that it now includes a native connector to Snowflake Data Warehouse, which should make connecting a simple affair. To add the connection, just simply select Create > Connection and then select Snowflake from the menu.


From here, just input the credentials for the Snowflake environment.


Seems straightforward until…


What, there is no JDBC driver installed? Seems strange I would need to install a JDBC driver for a native connector, especially since the documentation says nothing about needing to install a driver. I guess old habits die hard, and Oracle wants to leave something for the end user to configure. At least the error tells me what I need to do…except I use a Mac and there is no <INSTALL_DIR>/lib. After a bunch of searching on this topic, here is what I eventually came up with. First, go to Snowflake’s website and download the newest JDBC driver.

I am not sure if you can simply place the jar file in <INSTALL_DIR>/lib on Windows and have it work since I didn’t test that. The following steps are what worked for Mac and I assume could work similarly for Windows as well. Once the jar file is downloaded it will need to be placed in a directory, I believe any directory will work as what is important here is setting the environment variable to tell OAD where the jar file is. I happened to place mine in an existing Java folder structure /Library/Java/Extensions. Next, open a Terminal/Command Prompt session and run the following command:

export CLASSPATH=/Library/Java/Extensions/snowflake-jdbc-3.12.0.jar
set CLASSPATH=<file location>

Now that the path is set, restart OAD, input all the Snowflake credentials again, which should now successfully go through. To verify, navigate to Data, select Connections and the Snowflake connection should now be visible.


Knowing how to do this now will make any occurrences like this in the future quick to remediate; however, this seems like a simple oversight to not ship the application with the necessary jar file(s).

Red Pill Analytics, an Innive Company, is a Snowflake Consulting Partner. From proof-of-concept to implementation to training your users, our consultants can help. Or, if you are interested in guidance while working with Looker, Snowflake, Fivetran, or any of your data or analytics projects, feel free to reach out to us on our website or find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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