What is Microsoft Fabric?
Microsoft Fabric is an all-in-one analytics solution for enterprises that covers everything from data movement to data science, Real-Time Analytics, and business intelligence. It covers the complete spectrum of services including data movement, data lake, data engineering, data integration and data science, real time analytics, and business intelligence. With Microsoft Fabric, there is no need to stitch together different services from multiple vendors. Instead, the customer enjoys an end-to-end, highly integrated, single comprehensive product that is easy to understand, onboard, create and operate. There is no other product on the market that offers the breadth, depth, and level of integration that Fabric offers. Additionally, Microsoft Purview is included by default in every tenant to meet compliance and governance needs.
The platform is built on a foundation of Software as a Service (SaaS), which takes simplicity and integration to a whole new level.
Microsoft Fabric brings together new and existing components from Power BI, Azure Synapse, and Azure Data Explorer into a single integrated environment. These components are then presented in various customized user experiences.
Fabric brings together experiences such as Data Engineering, Data Factory, Data Science, Data Warehouse, Real-Time Analytics, and Power BI onto a shared SaaS foundation. This integration provides the following advantages:
- An extensive range of deeply integrated analytics in the industry.
- Shared experiences across experiences that are familiar and easy to learn.
- Developers can easily access and reuse all assets.
- A unified data lake that allows you to retain the data where it is while using your preferred analytics tools.
- Centralized administration and governance across all experiences.
With the Microsoft Fabric SaaS experience, all the data and the services are seamlessly integrated. IT teams can centrally configure core enterprise capabilities and permissions are automatically applied across all the underlying services. Additionally, data sensitivity labels are inherited automatically across the items in the suite.
The Fabric SaaS experience ensures that all the data and all the services are pre-wired together. IT teams will be able to configure core enterprise capabilities such as – Virtual Networks (VNets), Customer Managed Keys (CMKs), etc. on behalf of all users. Permissions will be applied automatically across all the underlying services. Data sensitivity labels will be inherited automatically across the items in the suite. Fabric enables creators to focus on doing their best work without needing to integrate, manage, or even understand the underlying infrastructure powering the experience.
Fabric allows creators to concentrate on producing their best work, freeing them from the need to integrate, manage, or understand the underlying infrastructure that supports the experience.
Components of Microsoft Fabric
Microsoft Fabric offers the comprehensive set of analytics experiences designed to work together seamlessly. Each experience is tailored to a specific persona and a specific task. Fabric includes industry-leading experiences in the following categories for an end-to-end analytical need.
- Data Engineering - Data Engineering experience provides a world class Spark platform with great authoring experiences, enabling data engineers to perform large scale data transformation and democratize data through the lakehouse. Microsoft Fabric Spark's integration with Data Factory enables notebooks and spark jobs to be scheduled and orchestrated. For more information, see What is Data engineering in Microsoft Fabric?
- Data Factory - Azure Data Factory combines the simplicity of Power Query with the scale and power of Azure Data Factory. You can use more than 200 native connectors to connect to data sources on-premises and in the cloud. For more information, see What is Data Factory in Microsoft Fabric?
- Data Science - Data Science experience enables you to build, deploy, and operationalize machine learning models seamlessly within your Fabric experience. It integrates with Azure Machine Learning to provide built-in experiment tracking and model registry. Data scientists are empowered to enrich organizational data with predictions and allow business analysts to integrate those predictions into their BI reports. This way it shifts from descriptive to predictive insights. For more information, see What is Data science in Microsoft Fabric?
- Data Warehouse - Data Warehouse experience provides industry leading SQL performance and scale. It fully separates compute from storage, enabling independent scaling of both the components. Additionally, it natively stores data in the open Delta Lake format. For more information, see What is data warehousing in Microsoft Fabric?
- Real-Time Analytics - Observational data, which is collected from various sources such as apps, IoT devices, human interactions, and so many more. It's currently the fastest growing data category. This data is often semi-structured in formats like JSON or Text. It comes in at high volume, with shifting schemas. These characteristics make it hard for traditional data warehousing platforms to work with. Real-Time Analytics is best in class engine for observational data analytics. For more information, see What is Real-Time Analytics in Fabric?
- Power BI - Power BI is the world's leading Business Intelligence platform. It ensures that business owners can access all the data in Fabric quickly and intuitively to make better decisions with data. For more information, see What is Power BI?
Fabric brings together all these experiences into a unified platform to offer the most comprehensive big data analytics platform in the industry.
Microsoft Fabric enables organizations, and individuals, to turn large and complex data repositories into actionable workloads and analytics, and is an implementation of data mesh architecture. To learn more about data mesh, visit the article that explains data mesh architecture.
Get Started with Microsoft Fabric:
The Microsoft Fabric (Preview) trial includes access to the Fabric product experiences and the resources to create and host Fabric items. The Fabric (Preview) trial lasts until Fabric General Availability (GA), unless canceled. After GA, the Fabric (Preview) trial converts to the GA version and is extended for 60 days.
Existing Power BI users
If you're an existing Power BI user, you can skip to Start the Fabric (Preview) trial.
Users who are new to Power BI
For public preview, the Fabric (Preview) trial requires a Power BI license. Navigate to https://app.fabric.microsoft.com to sign up for a Power BI free license. Once you have a Power BI license, you can start the Fabric (Preview) trial.
Start the Fabric (Preview) trial
Follow these steps to start your Fabric (Preview) trial.
- Open the Fabric homepage and select the Account manager.
- In the Account manager, select Start trial.
- If prompted, agree to the terms and then select Start trial.
- Once your trial capacity is ready, you receive a confirmation message. Select Got it to begin working in Fabric.
- Open your Account manager again. Notice that you now have a heading for Trial status. Your Account manager keeps track of the number of days remaining in your trial. You also see the countdown in your Fabric menu bar when you work in a product experience.
Other ways to start a Microsoft Fabric (Preview) trial
If your Power BI administrator has enabled the preview of Microsoft Fabric for the tenant, you have another option for enabling a Fabric (Preview) trial. When you try to create a Fabric item in a workspace that you own (such as My Workspace) and that workspace doesn't support Fabric items, you're prompted to start a Fabric (Preview) trial. If you agree, your Fabric (Preview) trial starts and your workspace is upgraded to a trial capacity workspace.
Check out the Video on
Part 2 - Microsoft Fabric - How can a SQL user or DBA connect – Part 2 - Microsoft Community Hub