OneLake to rule them all: introducing Microsoft Fabric at Microsoft Build 2023

The mind-blowing tech event Microsoft Build 2023 is over, and the company unveiled its pioneering solution, Microsoft Fabric. It emerges as an end-to-end, unified analytics platform that seamlessly integrates all the essential analytics tools into a single Software-as-a-Service offering. Microsoft Fabric integrates technologies like Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Power BI into a single product.  

Microsoft Fabric encompasses a range of seven essential services: 

  1. Data Factory – a library of over 150 connectors, facilitating seamless connectivity to diverse cloud and on-premises data sources. It offers intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces for effortless data transformation and the ability to orchestrate data pipelines. 
  2. Synapse Data Engineering – authoring experiences tailored for Spark, enabling instant initialization through live pools, and promoting collaboration among team members. 
  3. Synapse Data Science – an end-to-end workflow designed to streamline the process of building advanced AI models, foster collaboration, and facilitate the training, deployment, and management of machine learning models. 
  4. Synapse Data Warehousing – a lake house merged with a data warehouse, providing an unparalleled experience. With industry-leading SQL performance and support for open data formats, it delivers efficient data storage and retrieval. 
  5. Synapse Real-Time Analytics – tools to seamlessly handle real-time data streams from IoT devices, telemetry, logs, and more. It facilitates the analysis of massive volumes of semi-structured data. 
  6. Power BI is a fundamental component of Microsoft Fabric, so it includes numerous well-known tools and services, such as workspaces and capacities. Fabric workspaces and administration core function in a similar manner to Power BI ones, but with an expanded range of items. Powered by AI-driven insights, Power BI components empower business analysts and users to extract valuable information from data. Moreover, its deep integration into Microsoft 365 ensures that relevant insights are readily available within existing workflows. 
  7. Data Activator (coming soon) will introduce real-time data detection and monitoring capabilities. By identifying specified patterns within data, it triggers notifications and actions, all without the need for coding expertise. 
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OneLake to rule them all  

Apart from the familiar components in Microsoft Fabric for those experienced in Power BI and Azure data, there is an entirely new significant aspect: OneLake. It is built on top of Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2. 

All data is stored in OneLake in delta parquet format, which allows using different analytical engines (T-SQL, Spark, Analysis Services, etc.) suitable for various roles: 

  • Data engineers may use the T-SQL engine and all the power of T-SQL to create tables, transform, and load data to tables. 
  • Data scientists can utilize the full power of the Spark engine and its open-source libraries directly over the data. 
  • Business users can build Power BI reports directly on top of OneLake using the new direct lake mode in the Analysis Services engine. 

OneLake provides open access to all of your Fabric items through existing ADLS Gen2 APIs and SDKs. 

OneLake takes some concepts from Power BI, namely workspace and capacity: 

– Workspaces enable different parts of the organization to distribute ownership and access policies. While within a tenant you can create a number of workspaces, there is one shared OneLake in Microsoft Fabric for the entire organization. 

– Capacity provides dedicated resources for the workspaces in your organization. 

Every workload seamlessly integrates with OneLake, much like how Microsoft 365 applications are wired to OneDrive. OneLake introduces a crucial feature called “Shortcuts,” enabling effortless data sharing among users and applications without unnecessary duplication or movement of information. By virtualizing data lake storage in ADLSg2, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and soon Google Storage, OneLake empowers users to compose and analyze data across multiple cloud environments.  

Microsoft Fabric, with its groundbreaking and revolutionizing solution, such as OneLake marks a significant leap forward in the world of unified analytical platforms. But it’s not the only star at Microsoft Build 2023. Stay tuned for our next article! 

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