Almarie Stander
Design, marketing & communications
July 6, 2021

How Snaplet works

Get a safe, minimized version of your production database on your laptop in four easy steps

Snaplet makes it super easy to set up a mock version of your production database for testing environments. Here we'll give you a quick run down of how our tool works, and how you go about tranforming your data.

Create your team on

create a team on
Join an existing team or create your own.

Step1. Connect your database

You start by connecting Snaplet to your production database with read-only access (we never write or modify your database and recommend you provide us with read-only access). First-time users can trial the process with a test database that we provide.

paste database connection string to connect database

Copy your database connection string to connect your database.

Snaplet verifies your database credentials and takes you to our "data editor", where you have the option to eliminate large or unnecessary tables. You generally don’t need tables that contain logs during development, for example. Excluded tables retain their schema, but the data will be removed, resulting in smaller snapshot sizes and reduced restoration time.

Step2. Transform your data

exclude tables

Select the tables you want to exclude.

replace sensitive information with mock data

Replace sensitive data with mock alternatives.

Whilst you’re shedding weight by excluding trivial tables, Snaplet looks for personally identifiable information (PII) in the remaining tables. We then provide mock alternatives for sensitive data for you to review and approve. You also have the option to manually edit or create your own mock data replacements.

approve transformation suggestions
We'll provide transformation suggestions. You simply need to approve them.

Step3. Install our CLI

When you’re happy with the transformations, you're ready to make a Snapshot. The Snapshot is a mock version of the original cloud-hosted production database. Snaplet makes a snapshot of that mock version every day so you can pull down a cleaned, up-to-date and anonymised version of that database (only available for Early Adopter & Enterprise Plans). To restore snapshots on your development computer you need to install and run the Snaplet CLI.

creating first database snapshot
CLI (command line interface) installation instructions
Follow the CLI installation instructions provided in the link.

access token
Paste your access token.

connect database

Step4. Restore a snapshot

Once you have done your setup, you can also make Snapshots directly through the CLI by typing [snapshot restore --new].

restore snapshot

create new database snapshot

On the Snaplet interface, you can navigate between teams and data sources (database connections) on the navigation tab on the left. From here you can also view snapshots, edit the tables and columns in the data editor and rename or reconnect a database in the settings tab.

rename database
You can rename your database in Settings.

By now, you might be wondering how we work with your data. It's quite simple. When we create a snapshot of your data, a containerized worker is launched. It decrypts your database credentials, connects to your database and grabs your schema. Your data is transformed row-by-row, in memory, according to the settings you provide in the data editor. The transformed snapshots are uploaded to an encrypted, and private bucket where they await restoration from the CLI. Afterwards, the container is shut down and destroyed.

As you can see, working with Snaplet is easy, fast and safe. This makes testing and debugging simpler and more robust–especially when working with databases that contain sensitive personal information. To guide you through the process, Snappy will be there to give you hints and instructions. You can also click on the support tab at the bottom and chat with us directly.

We’re always happy to help.

Nice, now you can have your pie and eat it. See you in the dashboard!

Almarie Stander
Design, marketing & communications