Preparing to Load Data Using the Snowpipe REST API

This topic describes how to get started with Snowpipe when calling the REST API, including instructions for installing the required client SDK, creating a stage (if needed) and pipe, and the one-time security setup for each Snowpipe user.

In this Topic:


The instructions in this section assume you already have a target table in your Snowflake database where your data will be loaded.

Client Requirement (Java or Python SDK)

The Snowpipe service requires either the Java SDK or Python SDK. These SDKs are provided by Snowflake for your convenience.


The binaries are provided as Client Software under the terms of your master service agreement (MSA) with Snowflake.

Installing the Java SDK

  1. Download the Java SDK installer from the Maven Central Repository: (or

  2. Integrate the JAR file into an existing project.


The developer notes are hosted with the source code on GitHub.

Installing the Python SDK

Note that the Python SDK requires Python 3.5 or higher.

To install the SDK, execute the following command:

pip install snowflake-ingest

Alternatively, download the wheel file from PyPI and integrate it into an existing project.


The developer notes are hosted with the source code on GitHub.

Step 1: Create a Stage (If Needed)

Snowpipe supports loading from the following stage types:

  • Named internal (Snowflake) or external (Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, or Microsoft Azure) stages

  • Table stages

Create a named stage using the CREATE STAGE command, or you can choose to use an existing stage. You will stage your files temporarily before Snowpipe loads them into your target table.

Step 2: Create a Pipe

Create a new pipe in the system for defining the COPY INTO <table> statement used by Snowpipe to load data from an ingestion queue into tables. For information, see CREATE PIPE.


Creating a pipe requires the CREATE PIPE access control privilege, as well as the USAGE privilege on the database, schema and stage.

For example, create a pipe in the mydb.myschema schema that loads all the data from files staged in the mystage stage into the mytable table:

create pipe mydb.myschema.mypipe if not exists as copy into mydb.myschema.mytable from @mydb.myschema.mystage;

Step 3: Configure Security (Per User)

For each user who will execute continuous data loads using Snowpipe, generate a public-private key pair for making calls to the Snowpipe REST endpoints. In addition, grant sufficient privileges on the objects for the data load (i.e. the target database, schema, and table), the stage object, and the pipe.

If you plan to restrict Snowpipe data loads to a single user, you only need to configure key pair authentication for the user once. After that, you only need to grant access control privileges on the database objects used for each data load.


To follow the general principle of least privilege, we recommend creating a separate user and role to use for ingesting files using a pipe. The user should be created with this role as its default role.

Using Key Pair Authentication

Snowflake supports using key pair authentication rather than the typical username/password authentication. This authentication method requires a 2048-bit (minimum) RSA key pair. Generate the PEM (Privacy Enhanced Mail) public-private key pair using OpenSSL. The public key is assigned to the Snowflake user who will use the Snowpipe service.

To configure the public/private key pair:

  1. From the command line in a terminal window, generate a private key.

    You can generate either an encrypted version of the private key or an unencrypted version of the private key.

    To generate an unencrypted version, use the following command:

    $ openssl genrsa 2048 | openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -inform PEM -out rsa_key.p8 -nocrypt

    To generate an encrypted version, use the following command (which omits “-nocrypt”):

    $ openssl genrsa 2048 | openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -inform PEM -out rsa_key.p8

    It is typically safer to generate an encrypted version.

    If you use the second command to encrypt the private key, then OpenSSL prompts for a passphrase used to encrypt the private key file. We recommend using a strong passphrase to protect the private key. Record this passphrase in a secure location. You will input it when connecting to Snowflake. Note that the passphrase is only used for protecting the private key and will never be sent to Snowflake.

    Sample PEM private key

  2. From the command line, generate the public key by referencing the private key:

    Assuming the private key is encrypted and contained in the file named “rsa_key.p8”, use the following command:

    $ openssl rsa -in rsa_key.p8 -pubout -out

    Sample PEM public key

    -----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY-----
    -----END PUBLIC KEY-----
  3. Copy the public and private key files to a local directory for storage. Record the path to the files. Note that the private key is stored using the PKCS#8 (Public Key Cryptography Standards) format and is encrypted using the passphrase you specified in the previous step; however, the file should still be protected from unauthorized access using the file permission mechanism provided by your operating system. It is your responsibility to secure the file when it is not being used.

  4. Assign the public key to the Snowflake user using ALTER USER. For example:



    • Only security administrators (i.e. users with the SECURITYADMIN role) or higher can alter a user.

    • Exclude the public key header and footer in the SQL statement.

    Verify the user’s public key fingerprint using DESCRIBE USER:

    DESC USER jsmith;
    | property                      | value                                               | default | description                                                                   |
    | NAME                          | JSMITH                                              | null    | Name                                                                          |
    | RSA_PUBLIC_KEY_FP             | SHA256:nvnONUsfiuycCLMXIEWG4eTp4FjhVUZQUQbNpbSHXiA= | null    | Fingerprint of user's RSA public key.                                         |
    | RSA_PUBLIC_KEY_2_FP           | null                                                | null    | Fingerprint of user's second RSA public key.                                  |


    The RSA_PUBLIC_KEY_2_FP property is described in Key Rotation (in this topic).

Key Rotation

Snowflake supports multiple active keys to allow for uninterrupted rotation. Rotate and replace your public and private keys based on the expiration schedule you follow internally.

Currently, you can use the RSA_PUBLIC_KEY and RSA_PUBLIC_KEY_2 parameters for ALTER USER to associate up to 2 public keys with a single user.

To rotate your keys:

  1. Complete the steps in Using Key Pair Authentication to:

    • Generate a new private and public key set.

    • Assign the public key to the user. Set the public key value to either RSA_PUBLIC_KEY or RSA_PUBLIC_KEY_2 (whichever key value is not currently in use). For example:

      alter user jsmith set rsa_public_key_2='JERUEHtcve...';
  2. Update the code to connect to Snowflake. Specify the new private key.

    Snowflake verifies the correct active public key for authentication based on the private key submitted with your connection information.

  3. Remove the old public key from the user profile. For example:

    alter user jsmith unset rsa_public_key;

Granting Access Privileges

Using Snowpipe requires a role with the following permissions:




Named pipe


Named stage

USAGE (external stages) , READ (internal stages)

Named file format


Optional; only needed if the either the stage (see Step 1: Create a Stage (If Needed)) or the pipe (see Step 2: Create a Pipe) references a named file format.

Target database


Target schema


Target table


Use the GRANT <privileges> … TO ROLE command to grant these privileges to the role.


Only security administrators (i.e. users with the SECURITYADMIN role) or higher, or another role with both the CREATE ROLE privilege on the account and the global MANAGE GRANTS privilege, can create roles and grant privileges.

For example, create a role named snowpipe1 that can access a set of mydb.myschema database objects as well as a pipe named mypipe. Grant the role to a user.

 -- Create a role to contain the Snowpipe privileges
use role securityadmin;

create or replace role snowpipe1;

-- Grant the required privileges on the database objects
grant usage on database mydb to role snowpipe1;

grant usage on schema mydb.myschema to role snowpipe1;

grant insert, select on mydb.myschema.mytable to role snowpipe1;

grant usage, read on stage mydb.myschema.mystage to role snowpipe1;

-- Grant the OWNERSHIP privilege on the pipe object
grant ownership on pipe mydb.myschema.mypipe to role snowpipe1;

-- Grant the role to a user
grant role snowpipe1 to user jsmith;

-- Set the role as the default role for the user
alter user jsmith set default_role = snowpipe1;

Next: Learn how to call the public REST endpoints to load data and retrieve load history reports, in Calling Snowpipe REST Endpoints to Load Data.