What is Azure Synapse Analytics?

Microsoft’s Azure Synapse Analytics is a one-stop shop for your data management and analytics needs. We’ll dive into a few key features it has to offer, and how it can make handling data a little easier.

This post originally published on 3/17/2022

As Microsoft describes, Azure Synapse Analytics is a limitless, analytics service that brings together data integration, data warehousing, and big data analytics in a single, consolidated view. Azure Synapse enables data professionals to deliver a diverse set of use cases for analytic needs, enclosing previously isolated service requirements for data integration and processing.

Let’s dive into an overview of the integrated Synapse Studio, and the functionality it provides.

azure synapse analytics
All Images Courtesy of Microsoft

With Azure Synapse, data engineers, analysts, and data scientists can seamlessly collaborate on the same objects within the workspace. This helps data users to eliminate data silos and data management bottlenecks.

Here are a few features and benefits of Azure Synapse:

  • Ease of configuration and provision of the workspace
  • Complete data security with ACL and data encryption at rest and transit
  • Primary Azure Data Lake Storage to store catalog data and metadata

  • Repository for all data types in a single scalable workspace
  • Synapse Link, a new feature that enables real-time operational analytics to accelerate decision making

  • Support for T-SQL, Scala, Python, R, and Spark SQL

  • Built-in visualizations for query result explorations

  • Integrated access control to Synapse Workspace resources

Flexible Consumption Models for Various Analytics Needs

azure synapse analytics


  • Every workspace comes with a serverless SQL pool (built-in pool) by default

  • A pay-per-query model and optimized for ad-hoc explorations on a data lake without data movement

  • Automatic generation of T-SQL using OPENROWSET functionality or quick creation of a Power BI visual directly on data lake files

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  • MPP architecture optimized for critical data warehouse needs
  • Cost is determined by dedicated data warehouse units and charged by hour the pool is active

  • Suited for descriptive analytic needs

azure synapse analytics

Apache Spark Pools

  • Serverless Apache Spark to boost big-data analytic application
  • All code, multi-language support

  • Suited for predictive modeling of data and machine learning use cases using Synapse Notebooks

azure synapse analytics

Hybrid Data Integration

  • Built-in Synapse Pipelines and code free transformational data flows for data integration

  • Cloud native ETL/ELT
  • Operationalize into pipelines and triggers for scheduling

Bringing Together BI and Data Science Insights – Power BI and Machine Learning

azure synapse analytics

Azure Synapse integrates with other Microsoft services such as Power BI and Azure Machine Learning which strengthens and broadens the capabilities of this unified platform.

  • Perform diagnostic and descriptive analysis with Power BI integration

  • Direct report development and secure publishing in Synapse Studio

  • Deliver actionable insights on enterprise-grade semantic models
  • Leverage machine learning models in an ML workspace to train, analyze, and enrich data

  • Low/no-code supports classification, regression, and time-series forecasting models

  • Deploy and launch predictions with the SQL scoring wizard
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The different dimensions of data, technologies, and skills can lead to a paradox of analytics. This is why Azure Synapse Analytics is the perfect solution as it offers a single service platform for building end-to-end analytics at a cloud-scale.

In our upcoming blog posts, we will cover more in-depth concepts and how Synapse Analytics works in action.

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