Azure Data Factory - Don't Abandon SSIS Just Yet
Updated July 24, 2020

Azure Data Factory - Don't Abandon SSIS Just Yet

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Azure Data Factory

Azure Data Factory, particularly V2, offers a good option as a cloud-based ETL tool if you are leveraging the Azure cloud. We are using it as we begin to hybridize our on-prem data warehouse and applications with Azure. Up until now, we have leveraged SSIS for these purposes, but are beginning to migrate ETL and other data movement functions to the cloud, with Azure Data Factory as the primary utility.
  • Easy to set up and get started.
  • Runtimes make integration with on-prem data simple and also allow for support of existing investments in SSIS.
  • Limited source/sink (target) connectors depending on which area of Azure Data Factory you are using.
  • Does not yet have parity with SSIS as far as the transforms available.
  • Limiting the amount of data moving up and down from the cloud for cloud-native applications.
  • Overall simple to use interface which is actually easier for a first time ETL developer than SSIS.
Azure Data Factory is a relatively new player in the space, and its feature set marks it as such. It does not have the full features of a more mature product set such as any of the above. However, it does allow for the creation of ETL/ELT flows/pipelines with minimal initial training. I would actually consider it a more approachable product for a first time ETL developer (with the possible exception of AbInitio, which is highly intuitive). If you are an Azure shop, you at least want to look into it. If you're not, stick with one of the more mature offerings, or a 3rd party cloud-based tool that spans clouds. We are an Azure shop with an SSIS lineage, so it makes sense for us.
We have not had need to engage with Microsoft much on Azure Data Factory, but they have been responsive and helpful when needed. This being said, we have not had a major emergency or outage requiring their intervention. The score of seven is a representation that they have done well for now, but have not proved out their support for a significant issue.

Do you think Azure Data Factory delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Azure Data Factory's feature set?

Yes

Did Azure Data Factory live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Azure Data Factory go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Azure Data Factory again?

Yes

If you are just getting started and all your data is resident in the Azure cloud, then Azure Data Factory is likely to work fine without having to jump through too many hoops. However, in a hybrid environment (which is most of them these days), ADF will likely need a leg up. It works well for scheduling and basic scheduling/orchestration tasks, but the feature set is not at a level with SSIS (which has been around for 15 years so...). As ADF now supports deploying SSIS, it is also a good candidate if large amounts of your data are resident in the Azure cloud and you have an existing SSIS investment in code and licensing. We are using it in a hybrid fashion for the data warehouse and will slowly transition over to ADF as the feature set improves. We are also using it for cloud-native applications that only require supplemental data from on-prem resources.

Azure Data Factory Feature Ratings

Connect to traditional data sources
6
Connecto to Big Data and NoSQL
8
Simple transformations
8
Complex transformations
5
Business rules and workflow
6
Testing and debugging
6
Integration with data quality tools
7
Integration with MDM tools
5