Answering your questions – Demystifying Microsoft Fabric

Ever since its highly anticipated release in late May, Microsoft Fabric has taken the data world by storm. As a dedicated Microsoft Solutions Partner, we recognised the need to delve deeper into specific technologies which we did on our latest webinar ‘Demystifying Microsoft Fabric’. In mid-September, we brought together our in-house expert, Andrew Edge, and the invaluable insights of Microsoft’s own expert, Ian Pike, to shed light on what it means for you.

While this session covered some key areas of Microsoft Fabric such as Workloads and OneLake there were some questions that kept cropping up. To continue our aim of demystifying Fabric, this blog has been put together in order to cover the subjects and questions that arose in the session.


Setting Up Multiple Environments

Similar to Power BI, Fabric users are able to create multiple workspaces to cater to distinct environments. These workspaces allow for separate management, which is ensured by the incorporation of deployment pipelines. These pipelines enable users to move code, reports, and related assets between different workspaces, ensuring a structured and organised approach to development and deployment. Additionally, there is the capability to share data across different workspaces with a feature that allows the user to choose the extent. Furthermore, Dataverse will be able to be used as a source similar to how Synapse Link for Dataverse works now.


Differentiating Setups for Environments

Fabric has a built-in set of features that can distinguish development and deployment between environments.  Workspaces serve as the foundational structure for this differentiation as they separate the environments and deployment pipelines. As mentioned above, Fabric allow users to move code, reports, and other assets between environments while maintaining control in the development and deployment processes. Fabric users can configure workspaces to suit their specific needs, whether for development, testing, or production.


Direct Lakes Functionality

Direct Lake in Fabric offers a different level of functionality compared to Direct Query. This new functionality allows for all the performance benefits of import without the need to refresh.  By eliminating the need for frequent data refreshing, Direct Lakes functionality optimises data access and analysis, enhancing the overall efficiency and responsiveness of analytics workflows within the platform. However, Direct Lake is currently limited to Lake Houses.


Relationship Between Fabric and Microsoft Purview

When using Fabric, users can also take advantage of the benefits of Microsoft Purview. When used together, organisations can govern their entire estate and lineage of data. This integrated approach enhances data governance, compliance, and security within the platform.


Azure Subscriptions and Power BI Licenses in Fabric

In terms of licensing, Fabric’s approach aligns closely with that of Power BI, providing users with a licensing model that may include options such as free trials and various licensing tiers. In other words, it is a capacity-based model, currently pay as you go, however there will be the option for reserved instance.


If you want to know more about Microsoft Fabric, check out our blogs named  ‘The fear of missing Microsoft Fabric’ and ‘What does Fabric mean for me?’

With the development of Fabric still in continuation, we have just scratched the surface of what the platform has to offer. Be sure to keep an eye on our blogs for more Fabric information!