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4 min read

How Microsoft Fabric can transform your data analytics for the era of AI

Published on
June 16, 2023
How Microsoft Fabric can transform your data analytics for the era of AI

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Data is the lifeblood of any organization that wants to thrive in the digital age. But data alone is not enough. You need to be able to analyze it, extract insights from it, and use it to power your AI applications. That's where Microsoft Fabric comes in.

Microsoft Fabric is a new end-to-end, unified analytics platform that brings together all the data and analytics tools that organizations need. Fabric integrates technologies like Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Power BI into a single unified product, empowering data and business professionals alike to unlock the potential of their data and lay the foundation for the era of AI.

What are the benefits of Microsoft Fabric?

Microsoft Fabric offers several advantages over other data and analytics solutions in the market. Here are some of them:

- Fabric is a complete analytics platform. You don't need to stitch together multiple products from different vendors to handle your data integration, engineering, warehousing, science, real-time analytics, and business intelligence needs. Fabric provides all these capabilities in one product with a unified experience and architecture.

- Fabric is a multi-cloud platform. You can store and access your data in any cloud storage service, including Microsoft OneLake, Amazon S3, and Google Cloud Storage (coming soon). Fabric uses Parquet as the standard data format, which ensures compatibility and interoperability across different platforms.

- Fabric is a SaaS platform. You don't need to worry about installing, configuring, or managing any infrastructure or software. Fabric is delivered as a software as a service (SaaS) solution that you can sign up for within seconds and get started within minutes.

- Fabric is an AI-powered platform. You can leverage Microsoft's AI Copilot to help you build data pipelines, generate code, create machine learning models, and more. AI Copilot uses natural language processing and understanding to guide you through your data analytics tasks and provide suggestions and recommendations.

- Fabric is a collaborative platform. You can work with your team members across different roles and disciplines on the same platform. Fabric empowers every team in the analytics process with the role-specific experiences they need, so data engineers, data warehousing professionals, data scientists, data analysts, and business users feel right at home.

What is OneLake?

OneLake is the built-in multi-cloud SaaS data lake that comes with every Fabric tenant. OneLake allows you to store and access your data in a single virtualized location that spans across different domains, clouds, and accounts.

OneLake supports shortcuts that point to other storage locations such as Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 or Amazon S3. Shortcuts enable you to unify your data across different sources without having to copy or move it.

OneLake also supports direct-lake mode that allows analytical engines such as Power BI or Azure Analysis Services to read data directly from the shortcuts without having to import it into memory or cache. This reduces latency and improves performance for your queries.

OneLake provides a unified namespace for all your data sources that can be accessed by any Fabric experience or service. OneLake also manages permissions and credentials for all your data sources so you don't have to configure them separately for each experience or service.

What is Direct Lake?

Direct Lake is a feature of Fabric that allows you to connect directly to your existing cloud storage accounts such as Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 or Amazon S3 without having to create shortcuts in OneLake.

Direct Lake enables you to leverage your existing investments in cloud storage while still benefiting from the unified experience and capabilities of Fabric. Direct Lake also allows you to use your own encryption keys and policies for your cloud storage accounts.

Direct Lake supports both read-only and read-write access modes for your cloud storage accounts. You can use read-only mode to query and analyze your data without modifying it. You can use read-write mode to create new tables or files in your cloud storage accounts using Fabric experiences such as Synapse Studio or Power BI.

Direct Lake provides a seamless way to integrate your cloud storage accounts with Fabric without having to migrate or duplicate your data.

Microsoft Fabric will be a part of BI Book

To use Microsoft Fabric's full capabilities, you need to have access to a Premium Power BI subscription, which can be too big of an investment for a lot of companies.

We are working hard to implement Microsoft Fabric as a part of BI Book, so all of our customers will have access to it via their BI Book subscription in the future. We're really excited to bring all the new Microsoft Fabric functionalities as part of BI Book and make the environment even more powerful for our customers!

If you are interested in trying out Microsoft Fabric for yourself, you can sign up for a free trial here: