Build Near Real Time Power BI reports using Synapse Link and SQL On-Demand easily

Published Feb 25 2021 03:23 AM 3,061 Views
Microsoft

This guide describes how to build near real time Power BI reports leveraging Synapse Link and SQL On-Demand. The intent is to demonstrate the simplicity of using these technologies.

 

Now let's start!

Ensure you have the new Synapse Workspace enabled in your subscription:

NewSynapseWorkspace.png

 

Ensure you have Synapse Link enabled at your Cosmos DB account

SynapseLinkEnabled.png

 

Create your Database and container, verify the container has the Analytical Store enabled

As a prerequisite you need to ensure you are running Cosmos DB Python SDK v4.1.0 by executing the code below in a notebook:

 

import azure.cosmos as cosmos
print (cosmos.__version__)

 

 

Result should be 4.1.0, if it’s below then run this command in a new cell:

 

pip install --force-reinstall azure-cosmos

 

 

You’ll then need to open a new notebook to get the new version taken into account and run the following code:

 

import azure.cosmos
from azure.cosmos.partition_key import PartitionKey

database = cosmos_client.create_database_if_not_exists('RetailDemo')
print('Database RetailDemo created')

container = database.create_container_if_not_exists(id='WebsiteData', partition_key=PartitionKey(path='/CartID'),analytical_storage_ttl=-1)


print('Container WebsiteData created')

 

 

Note that you have created in the database RetailDemo a container named WebsiteData partitioned on CartID and you enabled the Analytical Store with the the parameter "analytical_storage_ttl=-1"

 

Once the container is created you can check the Analytical Store is enabled by default:

AnalyticalStoreEnabled.png

 

Then let start to load a small sample of data, for this you just need to create a new notebook in your Cosmos DB Data Explorer as follow:

CosmosDataExplorer.png

 

Code to run in your notebook:

 

%%upload --databaseName RetailDemo --containerName WebsiteData --url https://cosmosnotebooksdata.blob.core.windows.net/notebookdata/websiteData-small.json

 

 

Here is how the data look like now:

CosmosDBItems.png

 

Once this first step is complete you have a container with a few items and an Analytical Store on it.

 

Next Step is to go to Synapse Workspace and from there to Synapse Studio, create a SQL On Demand Database and test querying the Cosmos DB Analytical Store from there.

 

You can either use an existing Synapse Workspace or create a new one and launch Synapse Studio directly on your Workspace.

SynapseWorkspace2.png

 

To discover how to create a SQL On-Demand Database and start learning how it works simply use this link:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/synapse-analytics/quickstart-sql-on-demand 

 

Now you can create a view in the On-Demand Database with the following syntax:

 

Click on the Develop icon on the left side to access the SQL script and Notebooks, click on the ‘+’ sign to get a new SQL script then connected to the SQL On-Demand engine and ‘myondemanddb’ database.

SQLondemandView2.png

 

Code to run in your SQL script:

 

CREATE VIEW CosmosDBTest
AS 
SELECT
*
FROM OPENROWSET
    (

     'CosmosDB',
       'account=cosmosdblp2;database=RetailDemo;region=northeurope;key=your_key',
       WebsiteData
    )

AS q1

 

 

In my my current example region is northeurope.

Once the view is created, you can run simplistic queries such as the ones below and get the results from the CosmosDB container WebsiteData:

SynapseOnDemandQueries.png

SynapseOnDemandQueries2.png

 

Code to run in your SQL script:

 

select * from CosmosDBTest;

select country,sum(price) 
from CosmosDBTest

group by country;

 

 

Note that Synapse Link take care of the JSON document flattening into a table format for you.

 

Now that the general mechanism is now in place so you are ready to build a Power BI report on top of this. In case you don’t have PBI Desktop already you can get it from there:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=58494

 

Start PBI Desktop and select the Azure SQL Database source and put the SQL On-Demand endpoint as the server name:

SynapseWorkspace2.png

PBIopenAzureSQLDB.png

Do not forget to specify port 1433 (yours-ondemand.sql.azuresynapse.net,1433) and DirectQuery mode:

PBIConnection.png

 

After giving your credentials let’s pick up the view CosmosDBTest that you created precedingly:

PBISourceSelect.png

 

Here is the simple report we can build and let focus on Guinea-Bissau, the current price value is 7.5:

PBIReport1.png

Let’s go back to CosmosDB and select the corresponding items where we can raise the price of the corresponding item by 100 for instance:

CosmosDBUpdateItem2.png

 

After a latency of around a minute the price increase is reflected on the report:

PBIReport2.png

 

And what if you load a larger set of Data into your Cosmos DB container?

Let’s then take a larger data set and bulk load it into your container as follow:

CosmosDBLargeSet.png

 

How is this rendered in Power BI?

PBIReport3.png

 

Almost there!

What if you publish to your Power BI Tenant?

PBITenant.png

 

This is it!

 

To wrap this up:

  • I enabled the Analytical Store on a Cosmos DB container
  • I created a SQL on-demand view on this container Analytical Store
  • I created a Power BI report connected to the SQL on-demand database as a regular Azure SQL Database 

 

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‎Feb 25 2021 03:23 AM
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