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6 Top Azure Announcements From Microsoft Build 2020

Major Azure announcements at Microsoft Build include the general availability of Microsoft’s Azure IoT Developer Specialty Certification and training resources.

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Azure Synapse Link

Microsoft introduced Azure Synapse Link, a cloud-native implementation of hybrid transactional analytical processing (HTAP) that brings operational database services and Azure Synapse Analytics together in real-time with a single click, without managing data movement or placing a burden on customers’ operational systems, according to the cloud provider.

Now in public preview, it’s available in in Azure Cosmos DB and will be available in Microsoft’s other operational database services, such as Azure SQL, Azure Database for PostgreSQL and Azure Database for MySQL, in the future.

Microsoft previously unveiled Azure Synapse Analytics last November, removing the barriers between enterprise data warehousing and big data analytics to allow data professionals to more easily collaborate and build and manage their analytics solutions.

But one of the fundamental challenges in terms of looking at data faster is the amount of time it takes to copy the data from operational databases – “the thing that's powering your shopping cart or your order system into an analytic data warehouse,” Guthrie said.

“And typically organizations have to use a process called ETL to kind of extract, transform and load the data into a warehouse to do the analytics on it,” Guthrie said. “(Azure Synapse Link) allows you to take your analytics system with Azure Synapse and point it directly at your operational database and be able to do the exact same queries without having to copy the data. That enables real-time analytics, without impacting your online systems or your operational systems. That's kind of a game-changer, especially when you're dealing with lots of data at big scale.”

Gathering insights from real-time operational systems has always been a challenge, given the need to either load everything in memory or replicate the data quickly for traditional analysis, according to Chris Garvey, executive vice president of product at 2nd Watch, a Seattle-based consulting and managed service provider for infrastructure as a service.

“Azure Synapse Link appears to resolve this using the power of distributed cloud compute and persistence,” Garvey said. “It is exciting to see Microsoft continually innovating in the analytics space in the pursuit of bringing an instantaneous view of business metrics to customers without the usual inefficiencies."

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