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Category: Data Lake

Importing Delta Tables into a Synapse Dedicated SQL Pool

Mark Pryce-Maher does a bit of integration:

In June, Databricks announced that they are open sourcing Delta Lake 2.0Delta Lake is quickly becoming the format of choice in data science and data engineering.

To import Delta Lake into a Synapse dedicated SQL Pool you would need Azure Data Factory/Synapse Pipelines or Spark to handle the Delta Lake files.


This is not ideal because it adds extra overheads of complexity, time, and costs.

As an intellectual challenge, I wondered if it’s possible to import Delta Lake files directly into the dedicated SQL Pool and support features like time-travel. It turned out to be a great little project and a great way of learning about Delta Lake.

This turned out to be a bit more difficult than I would have imagined. Click through for the script and check the comments as well for a preview of upcoming attractions.

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Building a Lakehouse with Azure Synapse Analytics

Arshad Ali does a bit of construction:

Data Lakehouse architecture has become the de facto standard for designing and building data platforms for analytics as it bridges the gap and breaks the silos created by the traditional/modern data warehouse and the data lake. This blog post introduces you to the world of data lakehouse and it goes into details of how to implement it successfully in Azure with Azure Synapse Analytics.

Read the whole thing.

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Creating Identity Columns in Databricks

Franco Patano generates some identity integers:

Identity columns solve the issues mentioned above and provide a simple, performant solution for generating surrogate keys. Delta Lake is the first data lake protocol to enable identity columns for surrogate key generation.

Delta Lake now supports creating IDENTITY columns that can automatically generate unique, auto-incrementing ID numbers when new rows are loaded. While these ID numbers may not be consecutive, Delta makes the best effort to keep the gap as small as possible. You can use this feature to create surrogate keys for your data warehousing workloads easily.

This is a bit light on explanation, unfortunately. With distributed systems, generating identities is historically tricky (especially with several independent nodes generating values) so I’d be curious to see how it works: do they allocate blocks of IDs to worker nodes or do something else? And are the IDs guaranteed to be monotonically increasing? Or is there some other service which “labels” the data upon insert and provides those IDs?

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Searching Industry Templates for Lake Databases in Synapse

Lakshmi Murthy is just browsing:

With Azure Synapse Database Templates generally available, our customers are constantly wanting to see and learn more about how to use these templates. Through these blogs we want to share tips and tricks our customers can use to help them utilize these templates in an efficient way. We’ve recently received several questions around the different ways a user can navigate these templates to create their lake databases. In this blog, I’d like to walk through a few options that may come handy as you give database templates a try.

Azure Synapse Analytics offers a no-code database designer which allows you to browse these database templates, select and customize the tables you want to use, to model your enterprise data. There are several ways to browse the tables provided by the comprehensive industry templates within the designer’s exploration experience. Though the user experience is super intuitive, there are a few tips and tricks that can make this process even easier. Let’s do a quick tour to learn about the different ways to browse these templates.

Click through for a few different ways to look at standard tables for different industries.

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Summarizing Data & AI Summit Announcements

Zach Stagers hits the high notes:

One of the biggest cheers of the keynote was that Delta is being fully open sourced! Databricks continue to share their incredible work to help drive our industry forward. Delta already has wide adoption, but with the open sourced version now being levelled up to the same standard as the ‘proprietary’ one, this should help cement it as the default choice for lake-based storage.

There were some announcements of things to come with Delta too, such as a optimised deletes and updates by removing single rows instead of having to completely rewrite the file. It’ll be really interesting to see how this works, and just how much it boosts performance.

Read on for more notes on several big announcements.

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Semantics Layers for Data Lakehouses

Jans Aasman explains why semantic modeling is so important for a data lakehouse:

Data lakehouses would not exist — especially not at enterprise scale — without semantic consistency. The provisioning of a universal semantic layer is not only one of the key attributes of this emergent data architecture, but also one of its cardinal enablers.

In fact, the critical distinction between a data lake and a data lakehouse is that the latter supplies a vital semantic understanding of data so users can view and comprehend these enterprise assets. It paves the way for data governance, metadata management, role-based access, and data quality.

For a deeper dive into the topic, Kyle Hale has a post covering this with Databricks and Power BI as examples.

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Delta Live Tables and Power BI Data Modeling

Tahir Fayyaz goes from Delta Lake to Power BI:

To get the optimal performance from Power BI it is recommended to use a star schema data model and to make use of user-defined aggregated tables. However, as you build out your facts, dimensions, and aggregation tables and views in Delta Lake, ready to be used by the Power BI data model, it can become complicated to manage all the pipelines, dependencies, and data quality as you need to consider the following:

– How to easily develop and manage the data model’s transformation code.

– How to run and scale data pipelines for the model as data volumes grow.

– How to keep all the Delta Lake tables updated as new data arrives.

– How to view the lineage for all tables as the model gets more complex.

– How to actively stop data quality issues that result in incorrect reports.

Read on for recommendations, a couple architectural diagrams, and some sample code.

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Processing Security Logs in Databricks with Delta Live Tables

Silvio Fiortio ingests some data:

Databricks recently introduced Workflows to enable data engineers, data scientists, and analysts to build reliable data, analytics, and ML workflows on any cloud without needing to manage complex infrastructure. Workflows allows users to build ETL pipelines that are automatically managed, including ingestion, and lineage, using Delta Live Tables. The benefits of Workflows and Delta Live Tables easily apply to security data sources, allowing us to scale to any volume or latency required for our operational needs.

In this article we’ll demonstrate some of the key benefits of Delta Live Tables for ingesting and processing security logs, with a few examples of common data sources we’ve seen our customers load into their cyber Lakehouse.

Click through to learn more.

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Understanding the Data Lakehouse

Tom Jordan explains what data lakehouses are:

When we are thinking about data platforms, there are many different services and architectures that can be used – sometimes this can be a bit overwhelming! Data warehouses, data models, data lakes and reports are all typical components of an enterprise data platform, which have different uses and skills required. However, in the past few years a new architecture has been rising; the data lakehouse. This is an architecture that borrows ideas and concepts from several different areas, which we will be exploring in greater detail in this blog.

Click through to learn more about the origin of this term and how it draws + differs from both a data lake and a data warehouse.

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Delta Lake Operability in Azure Synapse Analytics

James Serra lets us know when and where we can use Delta Lake within Azure Synapse Analytics:

Many companies are seeing the value in collecting data to help them make better business decisions. When building a solution in Azure to collect the data, nearly everyone is using a data lake. A majority of those are also using delta lake, which is basically a software layer over a data lake that gives additional features. I have yet to see anyone using competing technologies to delta lake in Azure, such as Apache Hudi or Apache Iceberg (see A Thorough Comparison of Delta Lake, Iceberg and Hudi and Open Source Data Lake Table Formats: Evaluating Current Interest and Rate of Adoption).

Read on for more information.

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