A new Azure Purview permission level – Policy authors

I’ve spotted a new Azure Purview permission level – Policy Authors. This new permission level is connected to the new Data Access Policy Management in Purview (as of today 2021-12-30 in preview; https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/purview/how-to-access-policies-storage)

One may ask: Why Wolfgang, why no blog post about that feature? Well, the answer is easy: it’s in preview and the preview limitations are strict – the enforcement side of the policies are limited certain Azure regions. And therefore, I am planning to try it (and blog about it) when it will be available in more regions.

Posted in Azure, Azure Purview, Data Governance | 1 Comment

Add a root collection admin to your Azure Purview account (not in Purview Studio)

Some time ago, the permissions scheme in Azure Purview changed and the collection level was introduced as a level of permission. (documentation – Access control in Azure Purview)

With that, the root collection and its assigned administrators get more and more important. The permissions in Azure Purview are configured in Purview Studio (Collections -> select a collection -> Role assignments).

Azure Purview role assignments in Purview studio

What I found out today, is that you can add a Purview Root Collection Admin directly in the Azure Portal. Open you Purview account, and select the Root collection permission menu entry.

Purview Root Collection Admin

Select one member account and add it to the list of collection administrator.

Successfully added an additional root collection admin

Happy permission management,

Wolfgang

Posted in Azure, Azure Purview, Data Governance | Leave a comment

Azure Synapse Analytics – Success by Design Documents

Today, I stumbled upon a very interesting link – the Azure Synapse Analytics – Success by Design site (follow this link).

If you need guidance, best practices links, POC playbooks, links to blogs & videos, tools, .. THIS is the site you need to bookmark.

One section I really like and definitely will have a closer look at is the Implementation Success. It guides you through the process of setting up the ground for a successful POC project. Even after going through several Synapse POCs & projects, I already spotted some additional things to consider.

The content is provided and maintained by the Azure Synapse Customer Success Engineering (CSE) group.

Additional links:

Posted in Azure, Azure Synapse Analytics, Best Practices | 1 Comment

SQLBits 2022 – My Training Day about Data Governance and Azure Purview

I am happy. More than happy that I can share the news now…

Next March, in London, I am allowed to conduct a full day training at SQLBits 2022. About one of my highlight topics in the past months – Azure Purview and Data Governance.

The list of Training days is already published, registration will open early next year. If you are not sure if the content of the workshop titled Data Governance in a Nutshell – From Theory to Hands-On with Azure Purview is suitable for you, here are some details:

Data is important for every organization. To know your data estate (systems), their dependencies, the responsible people and processes takes your company’s data literacy to the next level.
This topic is called Data Governance, which includes two main streams: a) the organizational processes and policies and the b) the technical tools to support the organizational processes.

Many of us think, that Data Governance is a technical problem to solve, but I would start the Data Governance day with an explanation what DG is. We will talk about the people involved, the processes needed, policies that should be in place and the technology so support the processes.
The overall Data Governance vision and strategy will also be discussed.

After the DG theory part, we will dive into a Data Governance tool – Azure Purview. In the Hands-On lab we will connect to data sources, configure scans, see how Purview classifies data, assign and work with a business glossary, work with & analyze data lineage and see the Purview data catalog in action.
In the last part of the day, we will see Purview integration in action – the Apache ATLAS API will be presented as well the integration into Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse Analytics.

At the end of the day, attendees should have a feeling about what Data Governance is, the organizational requirements as well as a first look into Azure Purview and how a technical answer to these questions can look like.

https://sqlbits.com/information/event22/Data_Governance_in_a_Nutshell__From_Theory_to_Hands-On_with_Azure_Purview/trainingdetails

In short: the day will guide you through the foundation patterns of Data Governance, the way how Azure Purview can solve (some) of the challenges for Data Governance and get you an idea how you and your organization can start/move further on with Data Governance.

The full list of training days can be found there: https://sqlbits.com/information/trainingday

Posted in Azure, Azure Purview, Data Governance | Leave a comment

Complete Analytics Fabric – Azure Synapse and Power Query (Power BI) better together

As a follow up of todays PASSDataCommunitySummit keynote, in which Arun Ulag mentioned a new phrase – the Complete Analytics Fabric, I would like to write more about a new option to really get a complete picture of your Azure Synapse Analytics artifacts in your Synapse workspace in one got – in one Power BI dataset – with one connection option only. Sounds interesting? Yes.. it is a nice way..

The new Azure Synapse Analytics Workspace Connector for Power Query

Announced at Ignite 2021 (source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/azure-synapse-analytics/supercharge-bi-insights-with-the-new-azure-synapse-analytics/ba-p/2929352) , the new Azure Synapse Analytics Workspace Connector allows you, as a Power Query / Power BI user to directly connect to all the data artefacts in a Synapse workspace. Prior to this new connector, you needed to connect to the SQL Pools and/or Spark database separately.

The November Release of Power BI Desktop includes a preview version of this new connector (Nov 2021 release blog post)

Let’s see how this connector works and which options you get by using it. In my demo example, I am using Power BI Desktop and as a first action, use the Get Data dialog to connect to a Synapse Workspace.

There are (as of today) two options to connect to Synapse Analytics – the “old” Azure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW) connector and the new Synapse Workspace connector. Select the new one and move on to the next step..

The new Azure Synapse Analytics workspace connector

Which is a warning that this is a development connector and third-party software is used to connect. I’ll continue …

The warning when using the connector the first time

Up next – Authenticate using your AAD user that has access to a Synapse Analytics workspace.

The next dialog lists all the Synapse workspace your user has access to

The list of Synapse workspace the authenticated user has access to

Whenever I expand one of the workspace nodes, the available data artifacts (databases) are listed. In my demo workspace, the following objects are available. The question that comes up now is: What are all these objects? SQL Dedicated Pools? Serverless databases? Spark databases?

The data artifacts in my Synapse Workspace

If we compare the list in Power BI Desktop and the objects in Synapse Studio, it will get clearer which objects are now available in the Power Query connection dialog.

Which objects are available in the Power Query connector?

As of today, Spark databases (now called Lake databases in Synapse Studio), SQL Serverless databases and Dedicated Pools are available for a connection.

The Synapse Analytics workspace connector now allows you to select tables (objects) from different sources and them in one connection and data access action.

Select different tables and use them in Power BI

In my example, Power BI did not ask if I want an Import or Direct Query connection – Import mode was chosen for me.

In my opinion, this new connector really makes our life as Synapse and/or Power BI developer easier – only one connector to use them all. Let’s see if the list of supported artifacts is extended (like it is mentioned in the announcement blog post) – this really would be very nice: SQL Pools, Spark databases and data lakes, and even linked services connected in one go.

Happy data set creation!

Posted in Azure, Azure Synapse Analytics, Business Intelligence, PowerBI | Leave a comment

How to change URL-copy&paste back to normal (URL only)

Some months ago I switched to Microsoft Edge as my default web browser. I don’t know when it started, but out of a sudden the copy&paste of URLs out of Edge ended strange in the destination application. A new feature in Edge changed the format of copied URLs in a more “user-friendly” format. Which is nice, yes, .. but…

User-Friendly Formatting for copied URLs

Just in case you do not know how this user-friendly URL does look like:

User-friendly URL copy & paste

How to change it back to URL only

For my job, I often have to write documentations and other documents and in those I want to see the real URL. So I started to do a little research and there are several options to the back to the URL only:

  • Change the Paste mode in Word (Keep as Text only)
  • Change the default way, how Edge copies URL

This is my preferred way – change the default setting how MS Edge copies URLs. Short way: open Edge and enter edge://settings/shareCopyPaste into your address bar (or you open Edge settings and navigate to the Share, copy and paste section).

This opens the settings page for URL sharing. Choose the link option if you want the user-friendly information, choose the plain text version if you want the link only.

I hope you liked this tip – otherwise this post is another reference for future Wolfi 😉

Happy copy&paste,

Wolfgang

Posted in Best Practices, InformationSharing, Office, Tips, Tools | Leave a comment

PASS Data Community Summit – Keynote

The PASSDataCommunitySummit 2021 kicks off with a Keynote presented by Rohan Kumar

  • Limitless cloud database services – choose the way / service that serves you best for your data
  • Unmatched analytics and insights – choose the technology / services to analyze your data and get insights out of it
  • Unified data governance – Rohan compares it to a shield around your data stores and analytic technologies to get the unified overview.

It’s the #DataCommunity

Community is about working together and for each other..

The #AzureDataCommunity has grown in the past months… >70k members, 130+ user groups around the world…

The Azure Data Communtiy grew within the last months around the globe – >70k members and almost 40 countries

Some events / initiatives from and for the community are presented:

  • SQLSaturday
  • DataSaturday
  • NewStarsOfData

SQL Server 2022 – Preview

The first (early access) private preview is announced – https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2021/11/02/announcing-sql-server-2022-preview-azure-enabled-with-continued-performance-and-security-innovation/

Overview about the SQL 2022 features

Bob Ward demos (and Connor joined 🙂 the “it just gets faster without code changes” in SQL Server 2022 (Parameter sensitive plan optimization)

Bob and Connor discussing 🙂
No code change required – only the compatibility level of the database is changed.. and the magic happens

More about the (Azure) SQL Family

The (Azure) SQL family

“Build once – deploy anywhere”

Azure Arc-enabled data services

Azure Cosmos DB

Announcement: Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra

The Azure Synapse Link family is extended to SQL Server (2022+) and will be available in the future. Synapse Link is more than “just a linked server” -> Synapse Link publishes changes to Synapse and can then be used for analytics in Power BI.

It’s GA. Do some of you remember the Export to DataLake functionality? yes.. Synapse Link for Dataverse is definitely MORE than that…

From Dataverse to Azure Synapse to your the reporting tool of your choice.

Data is pushed from Dataverse to the landing part in Azure Synapse. A Spark database (containing external table definitions to the linked tables) is created. You can use this tables in either Spark or SQL Serverless (using the shared metadata approach) ..

Intelligence Platform

Arun takes over the stage

Empower every individual / every team / every organization

Power BI + Teams integration

Power BI + Excel integration

Power BI Goals

The Complete Analytics Fabric => Power BI and Synapse

Announcements for Power BI

  • Patrick talks about Hybrid Tables and Automatic Aggregations.
Analyze the effects of Automatic Aggregations
Hybrid Tables – Import for historical data + Direct Query for the most up-to-date data.

Azure Purview – Data Governance

If you want to learn more about #AzurePurview – there is a video quickstart series available: https://workingondata.wordpress.com/2021/08/31/azure-purview-quickstart-series/

Data Lineage

Data Lineage is one of the key features required for a good understanding of your data landscape. Btw. if you want to learn more about data lineage, g2.com has a very good introduction: https://learn.g2.com/data-lineage

Integration of Purview and Synapse

Integration of Power BI and Purview

Integration of SQL Logic (Stored Procs…)

Posted in Azure, Azure Purview, Azure Synapse Analytics, Conference, SQL Server | 2 Comments

Ignite 2021 – Some of my Azure Data Highlights

This week is Microsoft Ignite 2021 week – virtual again! Three days full of content, mostly pre-recorded sessions and many announcements of new features.

Microsoft published – like for some other conferences in the past – a Book of News, which contains an overview about the features, products and options announced during the conference.

Those of you that know me, maybe 🙂 know my favorite topics – Azure Data, Power BI and Azure Purview. If you have a look at the Book of News, the section for Azure Data is not that long, BUT…

The section of Azure Data announcements at Microsoft Ignite 2021

Let’s dive a little bit deeper and look at some of the announcements (Full announcement text is found here https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/azure-synapse-analytics/ignite-2021-announcements-accelerate-time-to-insight-with-azure/ba-p/2912147).

Azure Synapse Analytics

The Azure Synapse team announced some features around a third, new type of analytic pools – Data Explorer pools. With this type of analytics runtime, we are able to query log and telemetry data.

thumbnail image 1 of blog post titled 
	
	
	 
	
	
	
				
		
			
				
						
							Ignite 2021 Announcements: Accelerate time-to-insight with Azure Synapse Analytics
source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/azure-synapse-analytics/ignite-2021-announcements-accelerate-time-to-insight-with-azure/ba-p/2912147

Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse is now GA. The concept of Synapse Link already an ETL-free extension of your analytic workspace into/ Cosmos DB and now is extended to support Dataverse. With this connection, selected tables out of a Dataverse database are replicated into a Synapse Workspace and are there exposed in a Spark database (which is – through shared metadata – accessible by the SQL Serverless runtime).

One of my overall highlights – Database templates – does not sound really interesting at the beginning. BUT – What I found out so far and if I understood it correctly, these database templates allow for a creation of a lake database based on data lake files. WITHOUT the need for coding – a UI-based editor is included in the first preview version. I am very curious to find out more about these lake databases.

Lake database overview
source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/synapse-analytics/database-designer/concepts-lake-database

Delta Lake support is now GA. The functionality of read-access to delta lake files through the SQL Serverless pool was already available in preview for some time, now this functionality got into GA state.

SQL Server 2022 is in Preview

Long live on-premises, long live SQL Server. The new version – SQL Server 2022 was announced in a preview version.

Many, many new features are mentioned in the blog post (https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2021/11/02/announcing-sql-server-2022-preview-azure-enabled-with-continued-performance-and-security-innovation/) , but one of them really found my attention – the Azure Synapse Link for SQL Server 2022. With that, the ETL-free connection between Azure Synapse Analytics and SQL Server 2022 will get into appearance. Think about (almost) real-time analytics by only connecting SQL Server with your Synapse environment – WITHOUT the need for ETL development! 🙂

SQL Server 2022: an industry-leader in performance and security, powered by Azure
source: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2021/11/02/announcing-sql-server-2022-preview-azure-enabled-with-continued-performance-and-security-innovation/

Azure Purview

As you might have noticed, Azure Purview is one of my newest friends in Azure Data town. During Ignite, the support for Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service), the Data Lake Data Asset Access Governance, and Microsoft Defender for Cloud Integration with Azure Purview was announced.

What I really look forward to test is the Data Asset Access Governance for Data Lake storages. Imagine a world that allows you to define permission on a central place and those permissions are brought to a storage account / system of your choice..

If you want to get a quick preview of the Data Access functionality, please have a look at the video published at channel 9 – https://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Azure-Videos/Azure-Purview-data-owner-provisioning-for-Azure-Storage

Power BI

Last in my list, but definitely not least – Power BI. The full description of the announcements can be found here (https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ignite-2021-enabling-data-driven-decisions-everywhere-collaboration-happens-with-enterprise-grade-analytics/)

Power BI and Teams are getting better together – the Power BI app for Teams is now GA and allows a deep integration of your Power BI environment directly in your teams application.

An animated GIF showing the Power BI app for Microsoft Teams. It shows New simplified navigation, datasets hub, create experience, goals hub, and built-in Teams usage analytics report.
source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/create-a-more-data-driven-collaboration-with-the-power-bi-app-for-microsoft-teams-ga/

Power BI Goals got some enhancements too, like a new Scorecard visual, permissions, Power Automate integration (triggers and actions), …

Power BI Premium Gen2 is now GA – allowing for a more enterprise grade and scalable analytics.

The concept of Hybrid tables allows a dynamic combination of in-memory caches of historical data combined with real-time data queried in DirectQuery mode.

Table Description automatically generated
Power BI Hybrid tables – source – https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ignite-2021-enabling-data-driven-decisions-everywhere-collaboration-happens-with-enterprise-grade-analytics/

Power BI integration in Azure Purview

Already featured in the Azure Purview launch event, the Power BI integration is now GA, allowing for a deeper integration and metadata scanning of your Power BI workspaces, datasets, reports and even dataset structures.

Power BI integration in Azure Purview – source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ignite-2021-enabling-data-driven-decisions-everywhere-collaboration-happens-with-enterprise-grade-analytics/

Summary

Although the Book of News section is not that impressive, a closer look at the new feature really makes me look forward to a bright future of Azure Data. One of my highlights are the announced Database templates and Lake database in Azure Synapse…

What is YOUR favorite feature?

Posted in Azure, Azure Purview, Azure Synapse Analytics, Cloud, Conference, Data Governance, Data Lake, InformationSharing, PowerBI | 1 Comment

DirectionsEMEA 2021 in Milano

Last week was a special one – I went to a conference, a real conference. 🙂

DirectionsEMEA 2021 took place at Milan from Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th October. It was a kind of unusual conference for me – No data focus, no majority of Azure data or Power BI sessions – it was a conference about Business Central (Dynamics). AND – I learned a lot. For me, now it is clearer what Business Central is capable of, how to get data into Business Central and how to get data out of BC to perform data analysis upon that data.

Right after the registration – Full mask mode during the conference

My Sessions: Power BI, Azure Synapse, PowerPlatform Dataflows

I had the chance to present two sessions about data anyway.

T-10 minutes before the first session
T-15 min before the PowerPlatform dataflows session

The first session was about the relationship of Azure Synapse Analytics and Power BI. During this session I compared the two tools and how they can be used in the flow of data – from the datasource to data visualization.

Session 1 – Power BI and Azure Synapse – better together?

The second session was about PowerPlatform dataflows. I described the concept of dataflows, why they are needed and why they have been introduced. Next I compared the possibilities of Power BI dataflows versus PowerPlatform dataflows.

Session 2 – What are the possibilities of PowerPlatform dataflows?

What I really liked at the conference was the corona-save health procedures – temperature check plus check of the “green pass” everytime you entered the conference center. Plus mandatory wearing a mask anytime within a building..

Some Impressions

Keynote on day one

Posted in Azure, Azure Synapse Analytics, Conference, Data Community, InformationSharing, Power Platform, PowerBI | Leave a comment

SQLDays 2021 in Erding

Sie gehören zum Herbst dazu – die SQLDays der PPEDV in Erding. Traditionell in der Stadthalle in Erding und heuer auch endlich wieder in-person oder genauer gesagt als hybride Veranstaltung.

Ein Teil der Teilnehmer war direkt vor Ort dabei und der Rest konnte per Teams-Meeting bei den Sessions dabei sein.

Nach der 3G Kontrolle am Eingang stand dann dem Vortragsvergnügen (hoffe ich mal) nichts mehr im Wege.

Ich war heuer mit meinen aktuellen Lieblingsthemen unterwegs

  • Azure Purview sowie
  • Azure Synapse und Power BI

Ein paar Impressionen von der Veranstaltung

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Posted in Azure, Azure Purview, Azure Synapse Analytics, Cloud, Conference, Data Community, Data Governance, Power Platform, PowerBI | Leave a comment