Fabric Down Under show 3 with guest Mark Pryce-Maher discussing SQL Warehousing in Microsoft Fabric

I had the great pleasure to get to spend time today, talking with Mark Pryce-Maker. We were discussing the SQL warehousing experience in Microsoft Fabric.

Mark is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, where he's working closely with the Microsoft Fabric team. He has a strong background in many areas of data, most recently prior to Fabric, with helping customers migrate to Azure Synapse Analytics. He has worked extensively with the dedicated SQL pools in that service.

SQL is one of the core experiences for data engineers in Microsoft Fabric. In an upcoming show, I'll discuss the other core experience with Spark notebooks.

In the show, Josh provides a solid introduction to what is present, and we dived into many areas of how it works, and how you might use it.

You'll find the show here: https://fabricdownunder.com

I hope you find it useful.

Fabric Down Under show 2 with guest Josh Caplan discussing OneLake

I had the great pleasure to get to spend time today, talking with Josh Caplan about OneLake.

Josh Caplan serves as a Principal Group Product Manager at Microsoft, where he's now leading product management for Microsoft OneLake. He has a strong background in managing products like Power BI, SQL Server Analysis Servers, and Azure Analysis Services. Before his current role, Josh contributed to enhancing developer tools for Power BI and worked with Bing to harness its vast data resources.

OneLake is a foundational aspect of all things Fabric.

In the show, Josh provides a solid introduction to OneLake, and then we delved into many aspects of how it works, and what it means for organizations.

You'll find it here: https://fabricdownunder.com

I hope you find it useful.

Announcing the Fabric Down Under podcast – Show 1 available now

I've mentioned in a previous post how important I think Microsoft Fabric is going to be.

So, in addition to our existing SQL Down Under, and Cosmos Down Under podcasts, we have a brand new podcast called Fabric Down Under.

In the preview for Microsoft Fabric, one of the key participants from the product group has been Pawel Potasinski. I've known Pawel for many years and he's been the driving force behind many important things. It was great to see him driving community around Microsoft Fabric in preview.

So he was the obvious choice for the first podcast in the series.

I hope you enjoy it. You'll find all the shows and details on subscribing at our site: https://fabricdownunder.com

Welcome Microsoft Fabric – Most significant change in Microsoft BI

Microsoft has had a strong lead in BI and analytics for a long time now. The introduction of the tabular data models in 2012 was a watershed moment.

Today, they have announced a private preview of Microsoft Fabric. It's a bigger deal than the tabular model was, and will set the direction of BI tooling for a long time to come.

The opposition was already struggling to keep up, and in fact, hadn't managed to do so. Microsoft Fabric will up the ante much, much higher than where we already were.

What is Fabric?

First up, it's a licensing model. Similar to the way you can license Office as a bundle rather than as individual products, it's a product that includes a set of best of breed tools.

But it's not just a licensing model.

Microsoft Fabric delivers a single integrated experience for working with analytics, with widespread integration between the tools, which are known as experiences. At release, these are the experiences:

Data Integration – will be very familiar to anyone who's worked with Azure Data Factory

Synapse Data Engineering – if you love running Spark or Python notebooks and more, this will make you feel happy

Synapse Data Warehousing – this involves both data warehouses, and lake houses, and provides an interface that's familiar to SQL devs.

Synapse Data Science – want to create and run machine learning models across the data? This is for you.

Synapse Real Time Analytics – need to deal with telemetry, logs, etc. and query them for analytics at volume? This is the tooling you need.

Power BI – is enhanced to work with the new storage mechanism. As well as the previous import and direct query modes, there is now a DirectLake mode.

And I'd expect to see more experiences coming.

One Lake

One of the most critical aspects of Microsoft Fabric is that data for all the experiences is stored in One Lake. This is basically an Azure Data Lake type of storage that is used to hold Delta-Parquet files, but again it's much more than just a storage account.

Having this single copy of the data in a single format, means you can access the same data from within all the different experiences. I can't stress how important this is.

And contrary to what happens with competitors, the file format is a standard open format using Delta-Parquet.

Get Involved !

Importantly, you can now try this too. You'll find free trials as part of the public preview at https://aka.ms/try-fabric. I'd encourage you to get involved.

For a detailed introduction, watch the on-demand session from Microsoft Build: https://build.microsoft.com/en-US/sessions/852ccf38-b07d-4ddc-a9fe-2e57bdaeb613?source=sessions

And make sure to subscribe to our new Fabric Down Under podcast!