Press "Enter" to skip to content

Category: Notebooks

Databricks Automated Deployment and Testing

Li Yu, et al, explain how to use Databricks notebooks and MLflow to automate deployment and testing of Spark solutions:

Today many data science (DS) organizations are accelerating the agile analytics development process using Databricks notebooks.  Fully leveraging the distributed computing power of Apache Spark™, these organizations are able to interact easily with data at multi-terabytes scale, from exploration to fast prototype and all the way to productionize sophisticated machine learning (ML) models.  As fast iteration is achieved at high velocity, what has become increasingly evident is that it is non-trivial to manage the DS life cycle for efficiency, reproducibility, and high-quality. The challenge multiplies in large enterprises where data volume grows exponentially, the expectation of ROI is high on getting business value from data, and cross-functional collaborations are common.

In this blog, we introduce a joint work with Iterable that hardens the DS process with best practices from software development.  This approach automates building, testing, and deployment of DS workflow from inside Databricks notebooks and integrates fully with MLflow and Databricks CLI. It enables proper version control and comprehensive logging of important metrics, including functional and integration tests, model performance metrics, and data lineage. All of these are achieved without the need to maintain a separate build server.

Read on to see how.

Leave a Comment

A Diagnostic Book for SQL Server

Emanuele Meazzo has a new years’s gift for us:

Welcome to 2020! I wanted to start this year by giving to all my fellow consultants another way to troubleshoot our beloved SQL Servers; I’ve already talked about diagnostic notebooks in the past, and now, since Azure Data Studio has implemented the feature, I wanted to group them into a Diagnostic Book.

As the name implies, a jupyter book is no other than a collection of notebooks (and markdown files) that groups everything in a coherent space, with an index and navigation options alike.

I think this sort of collection of notebooks (a, uh, note-book), if put together well, makes it easier to learn a new environment and understand key problems than a big Scripts.txt file or a folder full of scripts.

Comments closed

Jupyter Notebooks and Cosmos DB

Hasan Savran shows how we can use Jupyter notebooks with Cosmos DB:

After you enable the Notebook options, you are ready to analyze or visualize your data thanks to Python language and Python packages. Cosmos DB makes your life easy to write Python and install custom packages to use with your data. There are couple of great internal commands and wildcards you should know if you like to use Notebooks in Azure Cosmos DB. First one I want to introduce you is, %%sql command. This command lets you select data from your containers by using SQL API. You can select data and add it to your Python data frames. You need to define which database and container you want to use before you pass your query. Here is an example. In the following example, I want to use my database named Stackoverflow, and container named Posts. Then I pass the query.

These are internal notebooks, meaning no separate Jupyter server required. There’s a separate way of learning the Cosmos API from external notebooks.

Comments closed

Distributing Notebooks

Grant Fritchey wants to know where to buy notebooks and notebook accessories:

I’m myopically focused at the moment on Azure Data Studio, but there are a lot of other places and ways to create or consume notebooks. However, I’m going to keep my focus.

The issue I’m running into, is distributing the notebooks.

There are a lot of great comments. Before reading them, here’s my answer:

  • GitHub repos, like Grant mentions. They’re good, though I have the same feeling about a production notebook that I do about an SSIS package: notebooks are binaries (after a fashion). For pedagogical purposes, I’ll absolutely slap notebooks into GitHub, typically without data. But for a real data science project, those notebooks can get hefty when you store all of the data in them, and it’s really hard to diff the JSON to understand what changed.
  • Binder and Azure Notebooks are services which let you host notebooks remotely. Binder reads from a GitHub repo and spins up a virtual environment for you. Azure Notebooks lets you run notebooks (including F# notebooks) against free VMs in Azure, or you can use your own VM for more power. Azure Notebooks let you fork projects pretty easily. I haven’t used Google Colab but it looks pretty similar to Azure Notebooks.
  • When you start up Jupyter Notebooks, you’re really starting a server. You can have a server running in your environment with your team’s notebooks. I’d probably still drop them in source control as well.
Comments closed

Converting Databricks Notebooks to ipynb

Dave Wentzel shows how we can convert a Databricks notebook (in DBC format) to a normal Jupyter notebook (in ipynb format):

Databricks natively stores it’s notebook files by default as DBC files, a closed, binary format. A .dbc file has a nice benefit of being self-contained. One dbc file can consist of an entire folder of notebooks and supporting files. But other than that, dbc files are frankly obnoxious.

Read on to see how to convert between these two formats.

Comments closed

Querying SQL Server from Python

Hasan Savran builds an Azure Data Studio notebook to query SQL Server from Python:

SQL Kernel is the default language, to query database with Python change SQL to Python 3. Probably, you will see the following message if this is the first time you are trying this. You need to install Python packages to be able to run python scripts. I have Visual Studio installed on my machine and I already have Python, I taught I could to use it by clicking “Use existing Python installation”. I was wrong, I couldn’t. This option looks for local installation files and when I point to Visual Studio Python files, it throws error in the middle of the installation. So, I will ignore this option for now.

In ADS, I haven’t gotten “Use existing Python location” to work either, so Hasan’s not alone in that regard.

Comments closed

JupyterLab Integration for Databricks

Bernhard Walter announces an integration between JupyterLab and Databricks:

This blog post starts with a quick overview how using a remote Databricks cluster from your local JupyterLab would look like. It then provides an end to end example of working with JupyterLab Integration followed by explaining the differences to Databricks Connect. If you want to try it yourself, the last section explains the installation.

I like this a lot, as it fights back a bit against the balkanization of data science: it means I don’t need to keep one set of notebooks here and another set of notebooks there and a third set of notebooks somewhere else.

Comments closed

Structuring Databricks Notebooks

Paul Andrew has put together a basic structure for Databricks notebooks using titles, markdown, and widgets:

For me, one of the hardest parts of developing anything is when you need to pick up and rework code that has been created by someone else. That said, my preferred Notebook structure shown below is not about technical performance or anything complicated. This is simply for ease of sharing and understanding, as well as some initial documentation for work done.

In my example I created a Scala Notebook, but this could of course apply to any flavour.

This makes good use of markdown capabilities without being too heavy. I like it. The same general principles apply if you’re putting together Jupyter notebooks outside of Databricks.

Comments closed

Creating Azure Data Studio Notebooks Using Powershell

Rob Sewell inverts the “Use Azure Data Studio to create Powershell notebooks” mantra:

This module contains only 3 commands at present

* Convert-ADSPowerShellForMarkdown

This will create the markdown link for embedding PowerShell code in a Text Cell for a SQL Notebook as described in this blog post

* New-ADSWorkBookCell

This command will create a workbook text cell or a code cell for adding to the New-ADSWorkBook command

* New-ADSWorkBook

This will create a new SQL Notebook using the cell objects created by New-ADSWorkBookCell

Click through for an example.

Comments closed