What is Microsoft Fabric?
Microsoft Fabric is an end-to-end, unified analytics SaaS platform that aims to simplify and consolidate various data and analytics workloads. Fabric integrates various Microsoft tools and services such as Data Factory, Synapse branded data tools (Data Engineering, Data Science, Data Warehousing, Real-Time Analytics), Power BI, and the upcoming Data Activator service. It also incorporates AI capabilities, including Microsoft’s Copilot, to assist users in tasks like building data pipelines, generating code, and creating machine learning models.
It offers a unified compute infrastructure, a single data lake called OneLake, integration tools, a Spark-based data engineering platform, real-time analytics capabilities, and an improved Power BI for data visualization and AI-based analytics. The platform also includes a no-code developer experience for real-time data monitoring and trigger-based actions.
Microsoft Fabric is designed to address the fragmentation and complexity of the modern data stack by providing a unified experience for data professionals. It focuses on a unified compute infrastructure, a single data lake, cooperative governance, and a unified platform that both IT and business users can share. The platform aims to reduce the integration tax and simplify data infrastructure for enterprises without locking them into a single cloud vendor.
Key Components of Microsoft Fabric
1. Azure Data Factory
Microsoft Data Factory is an integration service that offers a wide range of pre-built connectors for data sources, along with drag-and-drop capabilities for data transformation and the orchestration of data pipelines.
2. Azure Synapse Data Engineering
Provides authoring experiences for Spark, instant start with live pools, and collaboration capabilities for data engineers.
3. Synapse Data Science
Offers an end-to-end workflow for data scientists to build advanced AI models, collaborate easily, and train, deploy, and manage machine learning models.
4. Synapse Data Warehousing
Delivers a converged lake house and data warehouse experience with industry-leading SQL performance on open data formats.
5. Synapse Real-Time Analytics
Enables developers to work with data streaming from IoT devices, telemetry, logs, and more, allowing analysis of massive volumes of semi-structured data with high performance and low latency.
6. Power BI
Power BI is a leading data visualization and analytics tool that enables business analysts and users to gain valuable insights from data. It offers AI-driven analytics capabilities and deep integration with Microsoft 365 applications, making it easier to uncover and apply insights within familiar productivity tools.
7. Data Activator (coming soon)
Data Activator, a forthcoming service in Microsoft Fabric, that offers real-time data detection, monitoring, and triggering capabilities. It allows users to define patterns in data and automate actions based on those patterns, providing a no-code experience for real-time data processing and response.
OneLake is a SaaS, multi-cloud data lake provided by Microsoft Fabric. It simplifies data lake management by providing a centralized storage system with an intuitive data hub, indexing for discovery and governance, and the ability to share data across clouds through virtualization and shortcuts.
9. Copilot in Microsoft Fabric
Copilot, an AI-powered feature in Microsoft Fabric, assists users in various data-related tasks such as building data pipelines, generating code, and creating machine learning models. By leveraging conversational language, Copilot streamlines the development process and enhances productivity.
Advantages of Microsoft Fabric
- Fabric is a complete analytics platform: Engineering tools to ingest, Cleanse, integrate, and reformat data. Data science and ML tools to model and transform data. Business intelligence and automation tools to visualize, monitor, and act on data
- Fabric is lake-centric and open data formats across analytics offerings: A single, lake-first foundation to unify data
- Copilot in Fabric (Advance AI): With Copilot in Microsoft Fabric in every data experience, users can use conversational language to create dataflows and data pipelines, generate code and entire functions, build machine learning models, or visualize results.
- Reduces Cost: Purchasing & managing different analytics resources has been simplified in Fabric letting you manage and reduce costs.
- Improved Security & Governance: Fabric includes robust compliance and governance capabilities to meet regulatory requirements and industry standards. It is much easy to manage the security of all your resources.
- Multi-Cloud Support: Fabric supports a multi-cloud approach and provides built-in support for data from Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Platform. It emphasizes open data formats, particularly the Apache Parquet format, for storage and retrieval of data.
When Microsoft Fabric will be Launched?
Microsoft Fabric is currently in public preview, allowing users to try the service without providing credit card information. Starting July 1, 2023, Fabric will be enabled for all Power BI tenants.
Microsoft Fabric Tutorials
1. Get started with Microsoft Fabric – Microsoft Learn
Microsoft created a complete Learning path to get Hands-on with Microsoft Fabric. The training consists of 10 Modules and can be completed in around 10 hours.
2. Microsoft Fabrics – Webinars Series
You can learn more about fabric from the webinar series developed by Microsoft. Microsoft added 6 videos in this webinar series detailing every Fabric Component.
3. Microsoft Fabric Blog
You can read more about Microsoft Fabric and all the latest information about features and use cases from the official Microsoft blog.
4. Free E-Book on Fabric
Download the official free e-book on Fabric from Microsoft.
5. Tutorial: Fabric for Power BI users
This tutorial will show you how to use Dataflows Gen2 and Pipelines to ingest data in a Lakehouse and create a dimensional model. You’ll also learn how to generate a beautiful report automatically to show the latest sales numbers from start to finish in just 45 minutes.
How to Use Microsoft Fabric for Free?
You can start your free trial, visit app.fabric.microsoft.com. Sign up by selecting start trial within the account manager tool in the Fabric app—no credit card is required.
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