Microsoft Fabric overview

MS Fabric Logo

Microsoft Fabric is Microsoft’s newest innovation into the BI Market place. By what is special about it and why should I be interested? Here’s an overview from our Analysts, for whom Microsoft Fabric is now a core part of their consulting practice.

At Comset we’ve taken a huge interest in the development of Fabric. It is a major step forward from Microsoft, and is a genuine attempt to take data management and Business Analytics into a new era. Featuring Data Lake, data governance, machine learning, predictive analytics and a no-code / low-code approach. It deals with a lot of the challenges that have afflicted the data industry for years, and a number of Microsoft Fabric consulting teams have spring up in the few months since it went live.

This is Microsoft’s summary of their new product:

“Microsoft Fabric brings together the best parts of data mesh, data fabric, and data hub to provide a one-stop shop for data integration, data engineering, real-time analytics, data science, and business intelligence needs without compromising the privacy and security of your data.”

Fabric is also based on a number of existing popular data products, including Power BI, the Synapse data tools, and Data Factory integrations (from Azure). Each product has its own improvements, and Microsoft have brought them all together into a single data and analytics family.

Fabric Schematic

Here’s a visual Microsoft Fabric overview, showing the relationship between the 7 “Experiences”, One-Lake and its Workspaces, and the multitude of data sources which can feed the One-Lake.

Schematic Microsoft Fabric overview

The main elements of Microsoft Fabric

Attractions of Microsoft Fabric:

  1. How are Power BI and Microsoft Fabric related? Fabric is there to support the Power BI user to make beautiful, useful and accurate Business Intelligence reports and Dashboards. All the tools to help you get all the data prepared and cleaned are now included. Power BI is only the last step of the journey to making a perfect report. All the other steps involve getting the data ready in advance.
  2. We have data silos everywhere – it gets out of control. Fabric helps Organisations to reduce data silos, with its “One-Lake” architecture. It is common for organisational departments to replicate and manage their own data stores, but this often causes problems. These may include duplication of data, increased storage costs, lack of control of sensitive data, difficulty comparing data from different sources, and increasing potential for data leaks and security events. In Fabric, everyone can use the data, but there’s only one master-copy of it. It is secure, under access controls, but incredibly fast to access wherever it is needed in the organisation.
  3. We’re concerned about Data Security. Fear of a breach is paralyzing our productivity. Because the tools for managing your data are unified in Microsoft Fabric, you don’t need to move your data from one data tool to the next. Every time you move data there’s a security risk, and the task alone can take significant time and resources – particularly with large data sets. Now you don’t have to move your data around – all your tools can access and work on it, in this one central place.
  4. Is it hard getting started with machine learning? Have you not been able to make a start with that yet? If not you’re not the only one, and Fabric is targeted strongly at this problem. With a few clicks in the “Data Science” experience you can set up a Machining learning model to run on your data, compare different runs and evaluate the output of each. Or in Data Engineering, do you know how to build an “Apache Spark” job to process a massive data set ready for experimentation? Fabric can help here too, using its easy-start and no-code approaches, you can be up and running with the most advanced data techniques in a matter of minutes.
  5. Concerned about technology change? Are you concerned about throwing away all your old technologies, business logic and tools, and starting again? Is there a budget do change all that again? Fabric helps you here as much of it is already based on the most popular existing tools. You’ve got Power BI reports? Well you can keep on using the same ones in Fabric. You have experience in SQL Server databases and all your business logic already set up in there in T-SQL procedures? Well worry not, you can use the same T-SQL procedures in a Fabric Data Warehouse. Much of what you already have will be suitable to be used as-is in Microsoft Fabric.

Fabric: a high level summary from Microsoft

Ask Comset

You may find the answers to some of the regular Fabric questions on this Q&A page.

We hope you found this overview from our Microsoft Fabric consulting team useful. We know there’s a great deal to think about in the data space. Please ask the team at Comset for anything you’d like to know about Fabric, Power BI, or any other Analytics or data products. We’ve been consulting in Data and Business Analytics for a long time and we’re always happy to help.