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Google Service Account Management

Dataprep by Trifacta uses service accounts to execute all its jobs on Dataflow. Access to Google Cloud Platform resources is governed by service accounts. This section describes the default service accounts available in the product and your available options for managing them.


Definition of a service account

A service account is used by the Trifacta Application to access services and resources in the Google Cloud Platform. In general, a service account is an identity that can be used by an application or service to make requests to resources or services in the Google Cloud Platform of your behalf. A service account can be assigned to multiple user accounts, enabling a set of users to access all resources defined within the service account.

  • A service account is authenticated using a private/public key pair.

  • A service account cannot be used from within the browser.

A service account is structured as follows:

  • Service Account

    • Role 1

      • Permission 1

      • Permission 2

    • Role 2

      • Permission 3

      • Permission 4

Service account types

Dataprep by Trifacta requires the following types of services accounts:

Account usage


Default service account

Other options

Design time

The design time service account is used by the Trifacta Application to make Google Cloud Platform requests as you are working within the application.

Dataprep Service Agent

Fine-grained access controls


When fine-grained access is enabled, access to platform resources are based on the user's defined identity within the platform. Dataprep by Trifacta has no governance over these permissions.


The runtime service account is used to execute jobs on Dataflow.

Compute Engine

Companion Service Accounts


Companion Service Accounts is the implementation of custom service accounts for Dataprep by Trifacta. Other custom service accounts are not supported.

Default service accounts

In the Google Cloud Console, select IAM > Service Accounts. The following service accounts are used by the product:

Service Account Name


Service Account Name

Compute Engine

Google, Inc.


Dataprep Service Agent




  • <project-number> is the numeric project identifier.

Dataprep service agent

When Dataprep by Trifacta is enabled in your project, the Dataprep service agent is automatically created. This service account is used on behalf of all project users for application-based interactions with Google Cloud Platform.

Key areas of permissions include:

  • BigQuery

  • compute

  • Dataflow

  • Cloud Storage


The required list of permissions is subject to change with each release. Any changes to the list of required permissions are captured in an updated definition of the role.

For more information on the list of permissions in the Dataprep service agent, see

Compute Engine service account

The Compute Engine service account is the default account for all project users to run jobs on Dataflow. A Compute Engine service accountenables the Trifacta Application to launch and manage compute engine instances where jobs are executed. When the product is enabled for your project, the appropriate compute engine service account is assigned at the project level. Automatically, all users of the project are assigned this account by default.

This service account has the following name:



  • <project-number> - identifier for the the project using the compute service account.


For all project users to use the default compute service engine account, no additional configuration is required.

Review Org policy

The Google Cloud Platform enables a wide range of organization policies, which can determine default behaviors across projects and services. Before you begin, you should review your organization policies. In particular, please review the following organization policy:

Disable Automatic IAM Grants for Default Service Accounts

This policy limits products and services that are enabled in a project from gaining access to the default service accounts that they need to work within the Google Cloud Platform. These service accounts must be managed using finer-grained controls within the enterprise.

When disabled:

  • Dataprep by Trifacta can use the two required service agents in any project where the product is enabled.

  • These service agents are:

    • Dataprep Service Agent: manages design time interactions between Dataprep by Trifacta and Google Cloud Platform

    • Compute Engine Service Account: manages runtime product interactions with Dataflow

When enabled:

  • You must manually assign these service agents or create them from scratch.


For effective use of Dataprep by Trifacta, it is recommended that you disable the above organization policy, at least while you are creating projects for use with the product.

Access models

The following are the primary access models based on service account types.

Access Model

Design time SA

Runtime SA



Dataprep Service Agent

Compute Engine SA

When a project is first enabled with Dataprep by Trifacta, these service accounts are automatically provisioned to each user of the project.

This default provisioning cannot be overridden. It can be changed after initial startup.

Companion Service Accounts

Dataprep Service Agent

Companion Service Account

This access model allows you to manage access to Dataflow resources when running jobs (runtime) using your existing IAM roles and permissioning structures.

  • Companion service accounts must have the minimum set of permissions to run Dataprep by Trifacta jobs in Dataflow.

  • Companion service accounts can be assigned to individual users for fine-grained access.

See "Companion Service Accounts" below.

Fine-grained access

Fine-grained access

Companion Service Account

In this access model, access to Google Cloud Platform is governed entirely based on your fine-grained permissions scheme for users.


When fine-grained access is enabled, access to platform resources are based on the user's defined identity within the platform. Dataprep by Trifacta has no governance over these permissions.

Using Service Accounts

During normal operations, end users do not have to interact with service accounts.

  • Design time: The assigned service account performs requests in the background on the behalf of the user.

  • Runtime: The assigned service account is used to make requests to Dataflow and other resources to perform the actions required by the job definition.

As needed, overrides to a user's assigned service account can be applied.


The service account that is used for a job is determined based on the following priority level, highest to lowest:




Job-level overrides: Individual users can override the default service account or their companion service account when executing individual jobs. Scheduledjobs use job-level overrides.

For more information, see Runtime Dataflow Execution Settings.


User preferences: If defined here, these service accounts are applied to individual users.


If preferred, project owners can require the use of individual service accounts for each user of the project. Companion service accounts are described below.

See User Execution Settings Page.


Compute Engine service account: If no other service account is specified, then the project default service account is used.


When the product is enabled, the default Compute Engine service account is provisioned for each user of the project.

User preferences

Users can specify the service account to use for all of their jobs. For example, if a user is invited into multiple projects, that user may be required to submit jobs in all projects using the same service account.


A service account assigned to a user's preferences takes precedence over the project-level service account.

For more information, see User Execution Settings Page.

A user's service account can be assigned by the user or, if companion service accounts is enabled, by the project owner, or both. See "Companion Service Accounts" below.

Job overrides

For individual jobs, a user can select the service account to use. This value overrides user preferences and project owner selections. For more information, see Run Job Page.

Using service accounts in your VPC

If you are running Dataprep by Trifacta in your enterprise Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), use of service accounts is different from above.

Design time:

To execute sampling or other jobs that are initiated from inside the Transformer Page, the project compute-engine service account or the user's credentials are used.


For any job that is batched and delivered to an external running environment for execution within your VPC, service accounts are used as follows:

  • If a Companion Service Account is available, it is used.

  • If a Companion Service Account is not available:

    • If a user-specified service account is available, it is used.

    • Otherwise, an auto-provisioned service account for the project is used for batch job execution.


To run jobs in your VPC using a service account, you must enable the use of Workload Identity in the Google Cloud Platform and enable it for use in Dataprep by Trifacta. See Dataprep In-VPC Execution.

Companion Service Accounts


This feature may not be available in all product editions. For more information on available features, see Compare Editions.

A companion service account is a replacement for the single Compute Engine service account for submitting jobs to Dataflow on behalf of the user. For example, separate companion service accounts can be specified to enable access to different BigQuery tables between users. In this manner, a project owner can provide finer-grained access controls to individual users.


A companion service account is applied only to the execution of Dataflow transformation jobs. Other job types, such as ingestion, publishing, Trifacta Photon transformation, or pushdown, use the service agent account or the submitting user's permissions.

This service account must be specified in the Google IAM console and contain all of the permissions required to access a user's data and run jobs on Dataflow. For more information on permissions, see "Service Account Permissions" above.

When companion service accounts are enabled:

  • Companion service accounts must be specified for individual users of the project, instead of all users relying on the default Compute Engine service account in the project.

    • Project owners can apply them for each user.

    • Individual users can apply their own.

  • The default Compute Engine service account is no longer available for use.

  • Companion service accounts can be overridden for individual jobs when defining the job to execute.

  • Previously created scheduled jobs automatically inherit and use the companion service account specified for the user.


Before enabling the feature, you should create and specify the companion service accounts. Then, when the feature is enabled, there is no service disruption.


Changes to a user's permissions must be reflected in Dataprep by Trifacta and in the related companion service account.

Create companion service accounts

Like any custom service account, companion service accounts must be created in the IAM console and applied to the project.


Any companion service account or companion service account must meet the following requirements:

  1. Service account must be defined in IAM console.

    1. The minimum set of permissions to access Dataprep by Trifacta and any related datastores must be included in the custom service account. See "Service Account Permissions" above.

    2. Permissions in each user's IAM role must be reflected in any custom service account applied to the user's account. Changes in one must be reflected in the other.

  2. Service account must be applied to the project in IAM console.


After custom service accounts are specified in the IAM console and assigned to the project, they can be used in the product. Custom service accounts can be applied at the project level, user level, or job execution level.

Manage companion service accounts

After these service accounts have been created, you can assign a companion service account to each user of the project. For more information, see Service Accounts Page.


Individual users can also specify the companion service account through their user preferences. User preferences selections override any selections made by the project owner. See User Execution Settings Page.

Enable companion service accounts

A project owner must enable the use of companion service accounts.


If the use of companion service accounts is later disabled, all project users revert to using the Compute Engine service account.

For more information, see Dataprep Project Settings Page.

Service Account Permissions


A user may be able cancel a job from the Trifacta Application, even though the user is not permitted to cancel the job in the running environment. The service account associated with the user's Alteryx account may have the appropriate permissions, but the user's personal account does not.

General permissions reference

For more information on the Google Cloud Platform permissions required for Dataprep by Trifacta, please see Required Dataprep User Permissions.

Dataflow permissions

A service account that interacts with Dataflow must have the following permissions.

Minimum permissions

For the list of minimum required permissions for access Dataflow, see

The following sections are additional permissions required for Dataprep by Trifacta to interact with Dataflow.


These permissions must be included as part of any custom service agent.

Canceling jobs


The ability to cancel a job from within the Trifacta Application is temporarily disabled. When it is re-enabled, this permission will be required. You should leave this permission enabled, if possible.

To enable users to cancel Dataflow jobs, the service account must have the following permission:
actAs permission

To run Dataprep by Trifacta jobs on Dataflow, the actAs permission must be provisioned based on the following applicable scenario:

  • When not using companion service account: User must have iam.serviceAccounts.actAs permission specified at the project level or in the default compute engine service account.

  • When using companion service account: User must have iam.serviceAccounts.actAs permission on companion service account or granted explicitly to the user.

    • IAM disabled: If you are not using IAM roles and have enabled companion service accounts, the Dataprep Service account role, which is assigned to the default service account has the actAs permission for the project.

  • Project owners require no additional permissions on the projects that they own.

For more information, see

Data connectivity permissions


Any service account that is used to run jobs must have at least the same permissions that are available through the IAM role to connect to data through the Trifacta Application. For example, to run a job sourced from Cloud Storage datasets, the service account must have the ability to read those datasets accessed through a user's IAM role. The same applies to publishing datasets.

For more information on Cloud Storage and BigQuery permissions, see Required Dataprep User Permissions.

Optional permissions

Cross-project access to data

If users are permitted to access data in Cloud Storage or BigQuery that is owned by another project, additional permissions are required.

VPC-SC perimeter

If you have deployed a Virtual Private Cloud Security Controls perimeter, additional configuration is required to ensure that Dataprep by Trifacta can operate within the perimeter. For more information, see Configure VPC-SC Perimeter.