Azure Synapse Analytics - more powerful SQL for data warehousing
October 21, 2021

Azure Synapse Analytics - more powerful SQL for data warehousing

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Azure Synapse Analytics (Azure SQL Data Warehouse)

Azure Synapse Analytics is being used for data Warehousing - Azure Data Factory to pull in the initial data from source to Data Lake, then Spark notebook to process from raw (bronze) to staging (silver) in Synapse dedicated pools, then stored procedures in Synapse dedicated pool to process from staging to reporting (gold).
  • fast query results
  • integrated systems
  • one application/area for all processes
  • Delta Lake doesn't have full capabilities yet
  • spark doesn't yet have delta live tables
  • coding differences from Databricks' spark aren't well documented
  • positive: faster reporting
  • negative: greater cost
  • positive: everything in one window rather than spread out everywhere
Microsoft does its best to support Synapse. More and more articles are being added to the documentation, providing more useful information on best utilizing its features. The examples provided work well for basic knowledge, but more complex examples should be added to further assist in discovering the vast abilities that the system has.

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The data warehouse portion is very much like old style on-prem SQL server, so most SQL skills one has mastered carry over easily. Azure Data Factory has an easy drag and drop system which allows quick building of pipelines with minimal coding. The Spark portion is the only really complex portion, but if there's an in-house python expert, then the Spark portion is also quiet useable.
Azure Synapse Analytics is well suited to Data Warehouse scenarios with large data tables because of its distributed computing. If most tables have fewer than 1 million rows, then the cost of Synapse is not worthwhile - regular Azure SQL or Azure Analysis Services could suffice. If most tables have more than 1 million rows, then it's worthwhile to get the additional speed for querying large data sets.