Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is one of Azure’s primary data services, tasked with analytics and data warehousing. In fact, it is a rebranding of Azure SQL Data warehouse.
It brings together data warehousing and big data analytics by integrating ingestion pipelines, Spark clusters, Azure Data Lake and both serverless and dedicated SQL pools. As it sits, it is a powerful and useful service bring “data lakehouse” like functionality into an Azure Data Service. Microsoft is calling the result of using these templates “lake databases.”
Microsoft defines “Lake Database” as follows:
“The lake database in Azure Synapse Analytics enables customers to bring together database design, meta information about the data that is stored and a possibility to describe how and where the data should be stored. Lake database addresses the challenge of today’s data lakes where it is hard to understand how data is structured.”
The below diagram shows how all components of Azure Synapse Analytics are tied together:
At the Ignite 2021 Conference, Microsoft announced a new feature for Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Synapse Database Templates. These templates are industry specific blueprints that provide comment elements to ensure best practices, governance and analytic needs. This feature is currently in preview and launched with six database templates:
- Consumer Goods
- Fund Management
- Life Insurance & Annuities
- Property & Casualty Insurance
Database templates address core requirements of an industry and contain a supporting set of business area templates and one or more enterprise templates. Something that Microsoft considers important to all industries is emission and carbon management. In the available templates are databases that will allow companies to track and report their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
So what are these templates? They are standardized templates for the above industries. They allow organizations to easily and quickly create a database model for their organizations needs. Using the templates will allow you to create your lake database and then leverage the Azure Synapse analytical runtime to provide insights to your analytics team and business leaders.
Business Area Templates provide a comprehensive subject area data models. You will get tables and columns relevant to your particular business. Enterprise templates contain a subset of tables that will be of organizational interest for a specific industry. Think of enterprise templates as the glue between multiple business area templates.
As the product matures more templates will be added, so stay tuned. Also remember that this has just been announced for Public Preview, so expect some changes as it moves to General Availability (GA).