Microsoft amps up Azure analytics with a raft of refinements

In addition to an array of new features released into public preview on the database side of things for Azure, Microsoft has also today announced a number of enhancements and updates in the analytics space. With respect to Azure Data Factory, Wrangling Data Flows has been released into public preview while Mapping Data Flows has been launched. The latter capability makes the service a full-blown ETL/ELT (extract/transform/load and extract/load/transform) solution.

The company also covered recent updates currently in public preview to Azure SQL Data Warehouse, which include support for native semistructure (JSON) data, as well as Results Sets Caching and Materialized Views which promise to provide "near-instantaneous query processing for business intelligence".

Microsoft also touched on a new feature for Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) Gen2, a service that only just launched three months ago. Presently in private preview, ADLS Gen2 Interoperability with Blobs will provide users "Azure Blob Storage and ADLS API access to the same data while providing a no-compromise object store and data lake".

Rounding off the major announcements in the analytics space is an update to Azure Data Explorer that will enable users to query directly from a data lake. This new capability will create opportunities to gain insights from historical data in addition to streaming data. At the present time, this feature remains in private preview.

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