We have added a super-useful new transformation primitive to Mapping Data Flows in Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse Analytics. The Cast transformation enables super-easy data type conversions with built-in type checking.
Use the column drop-down to select columns from your stream of metadata for type conversion. If you select "Assert type check", then ADF will automatically tag rows that fail your type conversion and you can trap them later in your data flow. You can even use the Assert error row handling to log error rows that fail type conversion.
For more complex data type conversions and pattern matching, use the Derived Column transformation. We'll also bring in complex data type conversions to the Cast transformation a little later.
With the Cast transformation, it is easier to trap type conversion errors because the Derived Column is built to support resiliency, meaning that type conversion errors result in NULL unless you explicitly add an Assert.