Microsoft Build 2021: news about Power BI and Cosmos DB enhancements

Microsoft Build 2021: news about Power BI and Cosmos DB enhancements

Microsoft brought back Microsoft Build, the annual cloud provider’s conference. Build 2021, which is virtual, is a platform used by the company to unveil new developments in data and analysis. This year does not have groundbreaking news, in comparison to previous years, but the roster is impressive nonetheless.

Some of the announcements center around new features and new service tiers for business intelligence and analysis in the cloud. One example of this are the announcements regarding Power BI. They include the ability for Power BI dataflows to handle streaming data sources, beginning with Azure Events Hubs and Azure IoT Hub.

Power BI

The team behind Power BI says that it will make real-time analytics and streaming data accessible, the same way that batch data and conventional analytics work now. It will not be accessible to just BI professionals and data scientists but business users as well.

Event Hubs is compatible with Apache-Kafka, which indicates that it may one day be used with the open-source streaming data platform. Other interesting features include ‘automatic aggregations’ (underpinned by the basic aggregations feature), which now doesn’t have to go all the way to the back-end for common summed-up data.

Cosmos DB

Cosmos is bringing its serverless option into general availability, for all Cosmos APIs. The serverless version does not need users to provision explicitly-sized clusters, making it work well for spiky traffic patterns. Even those who like to do cluster sizing will benefit from zero-maintenance auto-sizing.

The database is also getting an integrated cache, an Always Encrypted feature and role-based access controls (RBAC). The free tier on Cosmos DB is also getting expanded. Now, users will have 1000 RU/s (Request Units Per Second) provisioned throughput and 25GB storage per month. Another free feature is the Cosmos DB emulator that developers can use to run their code against a working Cosmos DB instance, without charges for the cloud.