In this post I want to share my thoughts about the Microsoft Fabric journey to becoming Generally Available (GA). Which was announced by Microsoft today during the Ignite conference.
Like others I was involved in the private preview. So, I am very happy with this announcement.
Which is why in this post I want to share my thoughts about its journey so far. In particular, I want to focus on the below parts of the journey.
Along the way I share some additional knowledge. In addition, this post contains plenty of links and some interesting graphics.
Microsoft Fabric recap
Before I go any further, I just want to do a recap about Microsoft Fabric. Since that it what made me so enthusiastic about working with it in the first place.
Due to the fact that I believe in the premise of Microsoft Fabric. I think the premise of working with all the experiences within one Software of a Service solution by going to a single website is great.
Below is a very quick overview of the different experiences that you can see above within Microsoft Fabric.
|Power BI to deliver Business Intelligence.|
One key point I want to highlight here is that Microsoft Fabric introduces a new Power BI mode called “Direct Lake” mode. Which allows Power BI to use the data that is stored locally in OneLake.
|Data Factory to ingest data using either Data Pipelines which are based on Azure Synapse Analytics Pipelines or Dataflows which are based on Power Query.|
|Data Activator to allow you to be more data driven by providing capabilities to gain insights into your data faster.|
I tend to explain it as allowing you to be data driven++.
|Data Engineering for those who want to work with Lakehouses at scale. Using similar experiences that you may have used with other services.|
|Data Science capabilities. Including the ability to work with spark clusters and machine learning models.|
|Data Warehousing which allows you to work with a powerful compute engine based on a serverless SQL relational engine.|
|Real-Time Analytics, which provides a complete streaming solution inside Microsoft Fabric based on Kusto. Including a KQL Database engine and a capability called eventstream. Which can be used to ingest streaming data.|
Microsoft Fabric workloads and other services
What makes it even more appealing is when you consider the well-known workloads diagram below. Which highlights the fact that all of the data can be stored within OneLake and shared across the experiences.
Making storage solutions simpler and making it a more desirable solution for enterprises that want to take advantage of data virtualization.
In reality, even though Microsoft Fabric has numerous data experiences you should work with some other services as well to get the most out of it. Especially if you want to work with it at an enterprise level.
One key point to remember is that eventually Copilot experiences will appear in the product. You can read more about the workloads becoming Generally Available in a great post by Ryan Majidimehr.
During the Microsoft Fabric public preview
Anyway, the Microsoft Fabric public preview announcement during Microsoft Build 2023 created a lot of interest in the product.
Especially with so much functionality being available straight away. For example, elements for all the experiences apart from Data Activator. Which was introduced afterwards.
In addition, Microsoft made a vast number of learning resources available online right from the start. Which shows just how much Microsoft has invested in the product.
Right after the announcement people were putting it through its paces. It soon became very evident that it appealed to Data Platform professionals from a variety of backgrounds.
Because I noticed that individuals from various backgrounds were all keen to share their knowledge during the public preview. Including specialists who are well-known for either Power BI, Data Engineering or SQL Server.
Which made me happy because I have advocated both in posts and sessions that it appeals to all. Like in my ‘Spreading your SQL Server wings with Microsoft Fabric’ post that I published when the public preview was first announced.
Another thing I found truly staggering during the public preview was the sheer number of updates done to Microsoft Fabric. Which appeared to be due to a combination of their scheduled updates and product feedback.
You can see for yourself the number of updates last month in the official Microsoft Fabric October 2023 update blog. It shows a serious commitment to Microsoft Fabric by Microsoft.
Personal public preview experience
Personally, I have been working with Microsoft Fabric in multiple tenants. Including my own personal one that I created at home. In addition, I connected both Microsoft Purview and Azure DevOps with it. I shared how to do all of this in a blog post which became fairly popular.
Anyway, during the public preview I have done various things within my own tenant. As well as some things within a work tenant.
For instance, testing lots of different CI/CD related scenarios within Microsoft Fabric. Including performance testing an Azure Pipeline that performs Continuous Integration for a Power BI project. Something that I thought I would never do.
I have published numerous Microsoft Fabric blog posts and spoken about it often. Which is why I am so excited about this announcement.
Microsoft Fabric is now Generally Available announcement
With such a large amount of interest in the product it was only a matter of time before a GA announcement was made.
In reality, even though the GA announcement has been made you can expect a lot more updates coming to Microsoft Fabric in the future.
Just like the updates you have been getting with services like Power BI over the years. But with the updates having more velocity and impact. Which is why the arrow on the right in the diagram below does not show a final product.
As you can see in the diagram, there is a Microsoft Fabric release plan where you can view planned updates there.
Plus, you can keep up with any further announcements during Microsoft Ignite via the Microsoft Ignite Book of News. As sure more will be revealed during the event.
For example, a while ago I shared my Microsoft Fabric certification thoughts. Earlier today details about the new DP-600 exam were revealed. Which you will need to pass to gain the new Microsoft Certified: Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate certification.
I am certain after today’s announcement there will be a lot of interesting discussions relating to implementing Microsoft Fabric. Especially for those of us who work with other technologies such as Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Databricks.
Which is why I am glad Microsoft already offers documentation to help explain things. For example Microsoft has produced a guide that explains Microsoft Fabric for existing Synapse users.
Another key point to remember when entering discussions about pricing is that the details about the Microsoft Fabric Capacity reservations are now available.
I hope my thoughts about the Microsoft Fabric journey to becoming Generally Available (GA) has given you food for thought.
Because this announcement is a significant step for a service that I personally think has a lot of potential.
Of course, if you have any comments or queries about this post feel free to reach out to me.