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How does Airplane handle security concerns related to writing directly to production, given that it is a crucial aspect of the platform?

Ravi Parikh

Co-founder & CEO at Airplane

The level of security scrutiny that Airplane gets is next level compared to anything we had to deal with at Heap just because Heap just tracks client side data. The worst thing Heap can do is, I guess, mess up your website or something so you just uninstall it and it'd be fine. 

Airplane has write access to production resources. There's no way around that. That is definitely not a thing that you want to trust lightly to a third-party. Retool does this as well. As a result, Retool offers a fully self-hosted version.

We have a hybrid cloud approach, where you can self-host an agent on your own cloud that does the actual computation but the actual SaaS plane is still in Airplane's cloud. That kind of hybrid approach seems to work well for people. It gets the best of both worlds. You get SaaS level innovation speeds and a lack of maintenance, but there's this small thing that you host yourself and that gives you certain security guarantees about where the data's going to be processed. That helps a lot.

That allows people to use Airplane without having to expose databases or API endpoints to the public internet and mitigates a lot of the concerns. At the end of the day, we had to go through SOC II compliance a lot earlier than we ever had to at Heap. So, it's something that people do scrutinize. It's not been a major blocker, but it's just meant that we've had to take certain measures as a company sooner in the lifecycle than a typical SaaS company would.

Find this answer in Ravi Parikh, CEO of Airplane, on building an end-to-end internal tools platform
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