BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Aug 11, 2015

Azure Data Factory: Connecting Data to Insights

Mike Cornell Posted by Mike Cornell

Light BulbRecently Microsoft announced that Azure Data Factory moved out of public preview and is now generally available.  This is big news, as Azure Data Factory (ADF) is one of the key building blocks in the Cortana Analytics Suite

ADF is a cloud-based data integration and orchestration service.  It acts as the glue connecting many of the other Azure data services allowing for the development of highly available data-flow pipelines that are capable of ingesting, transforming, analyzing, and even publishing data and insights.  These pipelines can be developed, scheduled, and monitored all from within an intuitive interface within the Azure Portal.

ADF

One of the key features of ADF is the diversity of data sources and compute activities it supports.  The service is capable of connecting to a host of on-premises data sources including SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and Teradata.  It also seamlessly integrates with Azure data sources including Azure SQL Database, Azure DocumentDB, and Azure Blob Storage.  Once data is ingested into a pipeline, it can be processed and transformed by a variety of services including active or on-demand HDInsight clusters with Pig and Hive, stored procedures hosted on Azure SQL Database, and even Azure Machine Learning for predictive processing.

ADF going into general availability leaves only a handful of services from the Cortana Analytics Suite that are not publicly available (Data Catalog, SQL Data Warehouse, and Data Lake).  This means clients can begin taking advantage of these services today, ahead of the formal release of the Cortana Analytics Suite later this year.

Keep an eye on BlueGranite’s blog and academy for upcoming articles, technical presentations and how-tos for Azure Data Factory, as well as the business problems and use cases the service can help bring value to.

Want to learn how Azure Data Factory and the rest of the upcoming Cortana Analytics Suite might help your company transform data into insights?   Sign up for a free Ask the Experts Q&A Session with the BlueGranite team.

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Mike Cornell

About The Author

Mike Cornell

Mike Cornell is a Senior Consultant at BlueGranite who is passionate about helping clients to solve business problems of varying size and complexity using data and analytics. Mike's specializations include big data platforms, cloud data platforms, advanced analytics, and data visualization and exploration. His technology interests include the Azure Data Platform, Hadoop Data Platform, Spark, R and Python for data analysis, Power BI, and SQL Server. Check out Mike's blog at http://www.datamic.net.