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Azure Data Factory 101

Are you just starting out with Azure Data Factory? In this post, I’ll give you an introduction to Azure Data Factory, covering what it is, how it works and how to set it up. Within the video included this post is a short demo of how to create and access the platform.

What is Data Factory?

  • Here is a clear definition that I found from the Cloud Academy. Azure Data Factory is a cloud-based data integration service that allows you to create data-driven workflows in the cloud for orchestrating and automating data movement and data transformation.

How Data Factory works?

  • The key components of Data Factory are pipelines, activities, and datasets.
  • Pipelines are made up of activities. There are 3 types of activities:
    • Movement – the copy activity
    • Transformation – including Azure Functions, HD Insight, Stored Procedures, Spark and Databricks
    • Control – ForEachLoops, If Condition Branching, Wait Times, and Validations
  • Datasets represent the inputs and the outputs of the activities.
  • Linked Services – these are the connection strings and authentication for all types of sources for the data sets.
  • Data Flows – are the results of the datasets where you can apply logic and transform the data.
    • Mapping Data Flows are graphical with drag and drop functionality.
    • Wrangling Data Flows are more like using Power Query or M.
  • Integration Runtime – allows you to do data integration across different network environments. There are three types of runtimes: Azure, Self-hosted, and Azure SSIS. Depending on where the data is that you need to copy will determine which of these is appropriate for the use case.

In the video below, I provide a brief walk through of how to access and create in Azure Data Factory. Please check it out, as I think it is a good resource for those just starting out.

Our Azure Every Day series is another great resource. 3Cloud consultants posts weekly blogs and videos around all things Azure. You’ll find all current and past blogs on our website or by clicking here.

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Author

  • Senior Consultant. I am an Information Technology Professional who likes to solve puzzles - I am a solution finder! I am always looking to learn new things and the right way to create and implement the things I learn - again with a focus of being efficient and productive.

Leslie AndrewsAzure Data Factory 101