Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Microsoft Build - Data Announcements Summary

During Build we heard a lot of announcements around data, analytics and AI. Let me give you my summary and take on the things I heard and saw!

In general, AI is going to exist in more and more places in our daily work. Earlier, Copilot was already announced in Power Apps and Power Automate, Outlook and Office products, but also GitHub. I wouldn’t be surprised if it will be embedded in almost every part of our daily work in the future, at least to some extend.

These were my favorite announcements:
  • Microsoft Fabric delivers an integrated and simplified experience for all analytics workloads
  • Data Activator is a new detection system for alerting and taking actions (and part of Fabric)
  • Git Integration: delivered as part of the new Fabric workloads
  • Power BI Desktop Developer Mode will deliver a better experience for developers with a new Power BI Project file-type (PBIP)
Let's dive into a little bit more details about the above topics.

Microsoft Fabric

Fabric promises to offer end to end analytics from the data lake to the business user, covering the following pillars:
  • Complete Analytics Platform
  • Lake-Centric and Open
  • Empower Every Business User
  • AI Powered
Fabric covers the complete spectrum of services including data movement, data lake, data engineering, data integration and data science, real time analytics, and business intelligence.

Fabric makes life simpler for customers with its unified and comprehensive platform. Fabric architecture is based on Software as a Service (SaaS) foundation instead of the traditional Platform as a Service (PaaS), to take simplicity and integration to the next level.
This SaaS experience makes sure that all the data and services used within Fabric are pre-wired together and share the same user experience, much as with Office today. 

But of course, Microsoft Fabric was not the only announcement at Build.

Power BI Desktop Developer Mode

Power BI Desktop Developer Mode is here, at least it will be very soon ! In a nutshell, "Developer Mode" enables you to save a Power BI Desktop file into a Power BI Project (PBIP) and operate on the artifacts stored as a folder in your file system.
Power BI Desktop is expanding to serve a better experience for developers, with capabilities like:
  • Source Control for version history and diffs
  • CI/CD for e.g. Pull Requests
  • Text editor support

Developer Mode also ties into the next point: Git integration in the service!

Git Integration

The long-awaited source control integration!
Next to Developer Mode in Desktop and an easier and better way to merge changes into source control, Microsoft has also started working on source control integration on the workspace level.
Be aware that this is a Premium feature, so only workspaces with a Power BI Premium capacity license can connect to source control.

Data Activator

This is actually a new name we haven't heard that much about.
"It will help customers respond to changes in their data instantly by setting up a system of detection that automatically alerts the team with the right context to take action."
 It looks like a low code/no-code way to take actions on your data. It's only in private preview at the moment, so we'll have to wait a bit to get more info on this. In the meanwhile, you can read the announcement blog.


There's a lot of exciting news shared during Microsoft Build!

Also be mindful that until July 1st, Fabric is disabled by default. After that date, it will be enabled by default, so you (as an admin) have some time to prepare your users or only give a small group of people access to Fabric for example. Thank you Microsoft for listening to the community! You can also start a free 60 day trial:
A tenant admin can enable Fabric workloads manually by switching the tenant setting to on.
Taken from the Power BI blog

If you want a complete (textual) overview of all announcements during Build, have a look at the Build Book of News 2023.

If you want to know more details about Microsoft Fabric and the other announcements, or if you want to watch the recordings of other sessions, I suggest starting with the below sessions to get an overview.
A few important sessions to start with:
Blog posts:

After hearing all this exciting news, I'll dive into more details on separate blogs on the above topics.

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