Microsoft Fabric Connections Demystified

Managing data connections in Microsoft Fabric can be challenging if you’re unsure where to start. This blog post and its detailed YouTube video will help you find, manage, and share the existing data connections, making your workflow more efficient and streamlined. A meaningful use case for this feature is to reuse the existing connections leading to more controlled connections to the data sources. More on this later in this blog.

Understanding Data Connections in Microsoft Fabric

In Microsoft Fabric, a data connection links the platform to various data sources, whether in the cloud or on-premises. Different items in Microsoft Fabric, such as Data Factory Pipelines, Dataflows, Paginated reports, Semantic Models, KQL databases, and Mirrored Azure SQL databases (currently in preview), create these data connections.

Finding Data Connections

To find data connections in Microsoft Fabric:

  1. Click on Settings at the top right of the page.
  2. Select Manage connections and gateways.
  3. Navigate to the Connections tab.

This tab displays all the connections shared with you or created by you. From here, you can check the status of each connection, remove old connections, and manage them as needed.

Manage connections and gateways in Microsoft Fabric
Manage connections and gateways

This page used to be called Manage Gateways where we could configure and manage on-premises data gateways. I have a very old blog post explaining the gateway setup and configuration in the cloud and on your local server here. While it’s an old post, the topics are still relevant, so check it out if you are interested in the gateway configuration.

Note

As the preceding image shows, the Data page is currently in public Preview, hence, it is subject to change. It is also worthwhile to mention that not all connections are currently accessible via this page such as connections that are natively created by KQL databases within Fabric.

Check Connection Status

To check the connection status, click the status button of each connection. The result shows if the connection is online or offline.

Check connection status
Check connection status
Continue reading “Microsoft Fabric Connections Demystified”

Microsoft Fabric: Automating Fabric Capacity Scaling with Azure Logic Apps


In a previous post I explained how to manage the capacity costs of a Fabric F capacity (under Pay-As-You-Go pricing model) using Logic Apps to Suspend and Resume it.

A customer who read my previous blog asked me “Can we use a similar method to scale up and down before and after specific workloads?”. This blog post is to answer exactly that.

I want to make some important points clear first and before we dig deeper into the solution:

  • The method described in this post works with Fabric F SKUs under Pay-As-You-Go pricing model.
  • If you have a Power BI Premium capacity, then this method is not valid for your case. But you might be interested in the autoscale option for Power BI Premium capacities.
  • Depending on your current workload, scaling down may not work due to resource unavailability.
  • Depending on your workload, this method may take a while to go through.
  • You need to be either a Capacity Admin or a Fabric Admin to successfully implement this method.
  • This method works based on user authentication, however, you may want to use Service Principal or Manage Identity which require more effort but could be a more desirable method in many scenarios.
  • This post explains a very basic scenario, you’re welcome to scale it to your specific needs.
  • You can consider this post as a continuation of the previous post. So if you are unsure you correctly understand what this blog is trying to explain, then I suggest you read my previous post first where I explain the Logic Apps implementation in more detail.

The Problem

I have an F Fabric capacity and I want to upscale it to an upper tier between the pick-time from 8 AM to 12 PM local time, then downscale it to its original tier.

The Solution

There are many ways to do this including using Azure Resource Manager APIs, Manage Azure Resources in PowerShell, or using Azure Resource Manager connector that can be used on Azure Logic Apps, Power Automate Premium, and Power Apps Premium. This post explores the use of Azure Resource Manager connectors in Azure Logic Apps. With that, let’s begin.

  1. On Azure Portal, search for Logic apps
  2. Select the Logic Apps service
Select Azure Logic Apps on Azure Portal
Select Azure Logic Apps on the Azure Portal
  1. Click the Add button
  2. Pick a Subscription from the list
  3. Pick a Resource Group from the list or create a new one
  4. Enter the Logic App name
  5. Select the Region from the list
  6. Select No if you do not require to Enable log analytics
  7. Select Consumption from the Plan type
  8. Click the Review + create button
Create new Logic Apps service on Azure Portal
Create new Logic Apps service on Azure Portal
  1. Click the Create button
Confirm creating new Logic Apps service
Confirm creating new Logic Apps service
Continue reading “Microsoft Fabric: Automating Fabric Capacity Scaling with Azure Logic Apps”

Microsoft Fabric: Overcome Reaching the Maximum Number of Fabric Trial Capacities

Microsoft Fabric Overcome Reaching the Maximum Number of Fabric Trial Capacities

If you are evaluating Microsoft Fabric and do not currently own a Premium Capacity, chances are you’re using Microsoft Fabric Trial Capacities. All Power BI users within an organisation or specific security groups given the rights can opt into Fabric Trial Capacities. Therefore, you may already have several Trial Fabric Capacities in your tenant. Your Fabric Administrators can specifically control who can opt into the Fabric Trial capacities within the Fabric Admin Portal, on the Help and support settings section, and enabling the Users can try Microsoft Fabric paid features setting as shown in the following image:

Enable Users can try Microsoft Fabric paid features for specific security groups via Fabric Admin Portal
Enable Users can try Microsoft Fabric paid features for specific security groups via Fabric Admin Portal

The authorised users can then opt into Fabric Trial by following this process:

  1. Click the Account Manager on the top right corner of the page
  2. Click the Start trial button
  3. Click the Start trial button again
  4. Provide the required details
  5. Click the Extend my free trial button

The following image shows the preceding steps:

Start Fabric Free Trial
Start Fabric Free Trial

As you see, opting into Fabric Trial is simple, unless it isn’t!

There are cases where authorised users cannot start their Fabric Trial because their tenant has already exceeded the limit of available trial capacities. In that case, the users get the following message:

Continue reading “Microsoft Fabric: Overcome Reaching the Maximum Number of Fabric Trial Capacities”

Microsoft Fabric: Capacity Cost Management Part 2, Automate Pause/Resume Capacity with Azure Logic Apps

Automate Pause Resume Suspend Fabric Capacity with Azure Logic Apps

In the previous blog post, I explained Microsoft Fabric capacities, shedding light on diverse capacity options and how they influence data projects. We delved into Capacity Units (CUs), pricing nuances, and practical cost control methods, including manually scaling and pausing Fabric capacity. Now, we’re taking the next step in our Microsoft Fabric journey by exploring the possibility of automating the pause and resume process. In this blog post, we’ll unlock the secrets to seamlessly managing your Fabric Capacity with automation that helps us save time and resources while optimising the usage of data and analytics workloads.

Right off the bat, this is a rather long blog, so I added a bonus section at the end for those who are reading from the beginning to the end. With that, let’s dive in!

The Problem

As we have learned in the previous blog post, one way to manage our Fabric capacity costs is to pause the capacity while not in use and resume it again when needed. While this can help with cost management, as it is a manual process, it is prone to human error, which makes it impractical in the long run.

The Solution

A more practical solution is to automate a daily process to pause and resume our Fabric capacity automatically. This can be done by running Azure Management APIs. Depending on our expertise, there are several ways to achieve the goal, such as running APIs on running the APIs via PowerShell (scheduling the runs separately), running the APIs via CloudShell, creating a flow in Power Automate, or creating the workflow in Azure Logic Apps. I prefer the latter, so it is the method that this blog post explains.

Automating Pause and Resume Fabric Capacity with Azure Logic Apps

Here is the scenario: we are going to create an Azure Logic Apps workflow that automatically does the following:

  • Check the time of the day
  • If it is between 8 am to 4 pm:
  • Check the status of the Fabric capacity
  • If the capacity is paused, then resume it, otherwise do nothing
  • If it is after 4 pm and before 8 am:
  • Check the status of the Fabric capacity
  • If the capacity is resumed, then pause it, otherwise do nothing

Follow these steps to implement the scenario in Azure Logic Apps:

  1. Login to Azure Portal and search for “Logic App
  2. Click the Logic App service
Finding Logic Apps on Azure Portal

This navigates us to the Logic App service. If you currently have existing Logic Apps workflows, they will appear here.

Continue reading “Microsoft Fabric: Capacity Cost Management Part 2, Automate Pause/Resume Capacity with Azure Logic Apps”