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Set up the dbt Semantic Layer

With the dbt Semantic Layer, you'll be able to centrally define business metrics, reduce code duplication and inconsistency, create self-service in downstream tools, and more. Configure the dbt Semantic Layer in dbt Cloud to connect with your integrated partner tool.


Before you set up the dbt Semantic Layer, make sure you meet the following:


Some important considerations to know about using the dbt Semantic Layer during the Public Preview:

  • Support for Snowflake data platform only (additional data platforms coming soon)
  • Support for the deployment environment only (development experience coming soon)

Set up dbt Semantic Layer

Before you continue with the following steps, you must have a multi-tenant dbt Cloud account hosted in North America.

  • Team and Enterprise accounts can set up the Semantic Layer and Metadata API in the integrated partner tool to import metric definition.
  • Developer accounts can query the Proxy Server using SQL but won't be able to browse dbt metrics in external tools, which requires access to the Metadata API.

You can set up the dbt Semantic Layer in dbt Cloud at the environment level by following these steps:

  1. Login to your dbt Cloud account
  2. Go to Account Settings, and then Service Tokens to create a new create a service account API token. Save your token somewhere safe.
  3. Assign permissions to service account tokens depending on the integration tool you choose. You can review the integration partner documentation to determine the permission sets you need to assign.
  4. Go to Deploy and then Environment, and select your Deployment environment.
  5. Click on Settings on the top right side of the page.
  6. Click Edit on the top right side of the page.
  7. Select dbt version 1.2 or higher.
  8. Toggle the Semantic Layer On.
  9. Copy the full proxy server URL (like to connect to your integrated partner tool.
  10. Use the URL in the data source configuration of the integrated partner tool.
  11. Use the data platform login credentials that make sense for how the data is consumed.

Note - It is not recommended that you use your dbt Cloud credentials due to elevated permissions. Instead, you can use your specific integration tool permissions.

  1. Set up the Metadata API (Team and Enterprise accounts only) in the integrated partner tool to import the metric definitions. The integrated partner tool will treat the dbt Server as another data source (like a data platform). This requires:
  • The account ID, environment ID, and job ID (visible in the job URL)
  • An API service token with job admin and metadata permissions
  • Add the items above to the relevant fields in your integration tool
Set up dbt Semantic Layer in dbt CloudSet up dbt Semantic Layer in dbt Cloud
  • Integrated partner tools for info on the different integration partners and their documentation
  • Product architecture page for more information on plan availability
  • dbt metrics for in-depth detail on attributes, properties, filters, and how to define and query metrics
  • dbt Server repo, which is a persisted HTTP server that wraps dbt core to handle RESTful API requests for dbt operations