On August 9th, Microsoft introduced the July 2023 update for Microsoft Fabric. This update offers improvements across various elements, including OneLake and Power BI. While there are many exciting features, this article will spotlight these two key components. For a full update overview, you can follow this link.
OneLake: Storage and Beyond
OneLake is to Microsoft Fabric what OneDrive is to document storage. It’s where Microsoft Fabric houses its vast data. The core idea behind OneLake is to separate storage from computation, a modern approach in data management. In essence, think of OneLake as the main hub, with its compute engines acting as the connectors. If you’re curious about these connections, the Intro to Microsoft Fabric blog post has more details.
OneLake aims to unify data, removing isolated pockets. This unity simplifies data management, sharing, security, and discovery. Unlike the traditional Azure services like ADLS Gen2, which needed manual set-up, OneLake comes ready-to-use with Microsoft Fabric.
Highlights in OneLake
The July 2023 update introduced some vital features:
OneLake File Explorer with Organizational Account Switching
With the recent update to OneLake file explorer v18.104.22.168, switching between Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AAD) accounts is now streamlined. This feature was designed to assist users who frequently navigate between different AAD tenants. To switch accounts, you can easily right-click the OneLake icon in the Windows notification area, choose the “Account” option and then “Sign Out”. Relaunching OneLake allows users to sign in with their desired account.
Item Sharing Revamp
Starting July 2023, collaboration across Fabric items like lakehouses, data warehouses, and Kusto databases became more inclusive. Users can now share these items with individuals outside of the traditional workspace roles, enhancing data accessibility and teamwork. When an item is shared, recipients can find it in the Data Hub and, if chosen during sharing, receive an email link to the item. The sharing process also offers granular permission controls, letting sharers dictate the level of access granted to recipients. Additionally, admins and members can tweak permissions on items, providing a more tailored data-sharing environment.
Latest in Power BI
Power BI, Microsoft’s robust Business Intelligence tool, has been elevated further with the July 2023 updates.
- Smoothed and Leader Lines: Report creators can now fashion smoother line and area charts, giving a refined touch to visual representations. Additionally, the introduction of leader lines connects data points to their respective labels, simplifying data interpretation.
- On-Object Interaction Improvements: Post its preview release in March, the on-object interaction has seen a slew of refinements. From a new “+” button on the pane switcher for adding panes effortlessly to the option of opening multiple panes simultaneously with CTRL+click, users now enjoy a more intuitive interface. Notable bug fixes, such as the overlap of on-object buttons on the formula bar and visual tooltip issues, have been addressed to enhance the user experience.
Modeling and Service Advancements
- Data Model Editing in Power BI Service: Power BI’s new data model editing feature now comes with relationship validation in the Service, simplifying the creation and editing of relationships online.
- Revamped Dataset Details Page: Power BI’s dataset details page has undergone a major makeover, providing users with a richer and more intuitive experience. It now offers a holistic view of datasets with actionable insights, metadata, related item details, and a comprehensive dataset schema.
Datasets have made their way to Power BI Mobile apps. The upcoming release will empower dataset owners and report creators to manage datasets directly from their smartphones. From viewing dataset metadata to triggering a dataset refresh, users can now handle most dataset-related tasks on-the-go. Furthermore, in case of a scheduled refresh failure, dataset owners will receive push notifications, allowing them to view the failure details and retry the refresh, even while away from their desks.
The July 2023 update for Microsoft Fabric signifies a leap forward in enhancing user experiences across multiple platforms, particularly in OneLake and Power BI. OneLake’s upgrades address modern data management challenges by offering a more integrated and user-friendly interface, thus eliminating barriers in data accessibility and collaboration. Meanwhile, Power BI’s enhancements cater to the evolving needs of business intelligence users, ensuring a seamless and intuitive data visualization journey. The introduction of mobile features is a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to ensuring that users have real-time access to data, irrespective of their location. As data becomes an ever more critical asset in the digital age, Microsoft Fabric’s recent update underscores the company’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in data storage, sharing, and visualization. As we look ahead, it’s evident that Microsoft continues to prioritize flexibility, integration, and user-friendliness, making it an indispensable tool for professionals globally.