• 5 min read

Introducing the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform

It’s clear that the fragmentation which exists today between databases, analytics, and governance products must be addressed. To help organizations unlock these new capabilities, we shared several exciting announcements today at Microsoft Build that demonstrate our continued innovation and investment in the data products our customers have come to know and trust.

Microsoft Build 2022

We are moving to a world where every application needs to be intelligent and adaptive to real-time model learning. As businesses build modern data capabilities, they must make decisions at the speed of human thought. Developers are challenged by this, given the huge silos that exist between databases and analytic products, and the complexity of a fragmented data estate can hamper the speed of agility and innovation. Data engineers, data scientists, and business analysts struggle with the complexity of making data integration, data warehousing, machine learning operations (MLOps), and business intelligence (BI) work together. What is needed is a consistent data ecosystem.

To help address the fragmentation that exists today between databases, analytics and governance, and enable organizations to unlock these new capabilities, we shared several exciting announcements today at Microsoft Build that demonstrate our continued innovation and investment in the data products our customers have come to know and trust, which will enable our customers to achieve the kind of sustained agility that allows them to pivot and adapt in real-time, add layers of intelligence to their applications, unlock fast and predictive insights, and govern their data—wherever it resides.

Accelerate innovation

Today, we unveiled the new Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform, the leading cloud data platform that fully integrates databases, analytics, and governance. This seamless data platform empowers organizations to invest more time creating value rather than integrating and managing their data estate.

Furthering our mission of integration, Azure Synapse Link for SQL removes data movement barriers, providing a seamless data pipeline to Azure Synapse Analytics, and enables near-real-time analytics for SQL Server 2022 and Azure SQL Database. Once Azure Synapse Link transfers data to Azure Synapse Analytics, data can be used for advanced analytics with no performance impact on transactional workloads. Over 10 million Azure SQL databases globally can now leverage this capability.

Achieve agility

Through continued investments in databases and analytics, we are empowering customers to achieve agility in new ways.

Now in preview SQL Server 2022 is our most Azure-enabled release yet, with continued innovation across performance, security, and availability. By connecting SQL server to Azure through seamless disaster recovery to Azure SQL Managed Instance, SQL Server 2022 provides true resilience. The latest Azure Arc innovation is here with the Business Critical tier of Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance now generally available—helping customers run the most demanding mission-critical workloads in hybrid and multicloud environments. We continue to invest in bringing the best developer experience in any cloud with Azure SQL Database releasing new features to help simplify and expedite application development and reduce time to market for developers. In addition, the ledger feature in Azure SQL Database, now generally available, eliminates the additional cost and complexity of decentralized blockchain technology while providing the benefits of blockchain in a fully managed and familiar SQL environment.

New innovation in cloud-native NoSQL and open-source databases give developers the freedom to build on their terms. Azure Cosmos DB has an enhanced 30-day trial experience now generally available and has introduced new burst capacity and elasticity features in preview. Application traffic spikes don’t have to equal spikes in costs. New burst capacity and elasticity features ensure applications deliver high performance during peak times while still remaining cost-effective. The Azure Database for MySQL Flexible Server Memory-Optimized service tier is now the improved “Business Critical” tier for high performance transactional or analytical applications with a 1.5x performance improvement over Single Server with faster failover time to standby.

When it comes to analytics, Azure Synapse is simply unmatched with more meaningful integrations that enable existing Synapse customers to get even more value from their Microsoft 365 data. Microsoft Graph Data Connect empowers customers to securely export their Microsoft 365 data estate, and it’s only available on Microsoft Azure. This enables every customer to unlock new actionable business insights with the employee and customer collaboration data that comes from Microsoft 365.

Customers like KPMG use Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform integrations to power their KPMG Digital Gateway bringing together a wealth of tools to help customers tackle regulatory change, turn data into value, and streamline compliance and planning while enabling effective collaboration across tax, legal, and finance departments. KPMG Digital Gateway puts its investments in machine learning, data analytics, powerful visualizations, and AI technologies all in one place. Client data is provided once and leveraged across applications, saving time and money.

To continue creating simple frictionless experiences, we announced the preview of datamart in Power BI, a new Power BI Premium self-service capability that enables users to uncover actionable insights through their own data sets. This out-of-the-box feature empowers developers and business analysts to build a datamart that can be centrally governed and managed for workloads up to half a terabyte—accelerating time to insight while alleviating demands on IT. This new feature brings the power of data warehousing and puts it in the hands of individual Power BI developers and analysts, helping you uncover more insights and drive digital transformation at every level of a business.

Build on a trusted platform

Meeting data privacy and governance standards cannot be an afterthought. When governance is not deeply integrated where data lives, it is nearly impossible to meet regulatory requirements. 

Data governance has become top of mind for almost every organization where data is fluidly moving across hybrid and multicloud environments. This makes it increasingly important to map the lineage of data. Dynamic Lineage for Azure SQL Databases in Microsoft Purview is currently in preview to further enrich the Microsoft Purview Data Map with details from actual runs of SQL stored procedures in Azure SQL Databases for customers to govern their data across hybrid and multicloud environments. We are also excited to announce that the Microsoft Purview Data Estate Insights will be generally available in the coming months.

As we look beyond the horizon, machine learning and AI capabilities will be pivotal in harnessing the power of data in new ways. Azure Machine Learning now offers a Responsible AI dashboard in preview, making it possible for customers to implement it more easily by debugging machine learning models and making informed data-driven decisions. The dashboard brings together capabilities such as data explorer, model interpretability, error analysis, counterfactual, and causal inference analysis in a single view. In addition, Azure Machine Learning now offers a Responsible AI scorecard in preview to summarize model performance and insights so that all stakeholders can easily participate in compliance reviews.

The opportunity to accelerate innovation in your business and achieve agility across all your data is substantial. Now is the time to realize its limitless potential. We look forward to seeing what you can do with it.

Learn more about Azure at Microsoft Build 

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