What is Grai?

What is Grai?

Grai is an open-source and self-hosted Data Lineage Platform. With Grai, your and your engineering and data teams can validate your data, in git, without meetings.

Grai is based on five key concepts

  • Active Testing
  • Nodes
  • Edges
  • Metadata
  • Automatic Integrations

Active Testing

Passive tests, like unit tests, are a critical software development best practice. However, unit tests only run against your existing codebase, they do little to tell you how a change will affect others who depend on your software. In practice that means passive test will only alert you to an issue after the change has made it to production and caused an issue. Active tests on the other hand, alert you to breaking changes before they make it to production. This allows you to actively manage your pipelines, confident that every change has been vetted for impact across the entire organization.


Nodes are the first concept to understand about your data lineage graph. They can represent anything in your data pipeline from columns and tables to BI dashboards and API endpoints. By combining them together we can build a graph representing the relationship between data throughout your organization. Most out of the box integrations concentrate on representing tables, views and columns, however, they can represent whatever you need simply by using the client to communicate with the server.

This flexibility is, in part, the power of Grai - a node can be anything, limited only by your needs and imagination.


Edges are the second significant concept to understand about data lineage. At heart, edges simply connect two nodes. This might be a view which references an underlying table, a column that belongs to a table, or a foreign key relationship between two columns in a database.

Much like a node, an edge represent anything that connects two nodes, and can store any arbitrary data like a SQL script describing the conversion between two nodes.


Metadata is contextual information about your data. Grai does not store your data itself, whether in the open-source version or on the cloud, just the data about your data. For instance, what tables and columns you have, what format is your data stored in, or the date it was last refreshed and who changed it.

Grai operates a completely flexible structure which means you can add and manage any fields you like, or update them however and whenever you need.

Automatic Integrations

We provide automatic integrations to access metadata from common sources. Like many other open-source projects, some of our integrations are built in house by our team, while others are built by the community. Anything contributed back to the core project will receive maintenance and support by the Grai team. Come and join us in Slack (opens in a new tab).