Optimize Incremental Refresh in MS Fabric Without Dates
Microsoft Fabric
Jan 10, 2024 5:00 PM

Optimize Incremental Refresh in MS Fabric Without Dates

by HubSite 365 about Guy in a Cube
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Microsoft FabricLearning Selection

Leverage Microsoft Fabric for Date-less Incremental Refresh Patterns!

Key insights

Pattern for Incremental Refresh without Date: Patrick outlines a method for performing incremental refreshes in Microsoft Fabric without the reliance on a date column.

  • For incremental refresh, normally a LastModifiedDate column is needed, but a custom logic can be implemented if this isn't available.
  • Identify unique record identifiers and create a staging table to facilitate the refresh process.
  • Data movement involves copying to the staging area, appending to the target, and marking as processed to avoid duplication.

To practically implement this, unique identifiers such as order IDs are crucial. An OrderStagingTable holds the new or updated data temporarily.

  • Data integration tools or scripts are used for transferring data between tables and marking completion.
  • Executing these steps correctly can lead to a performance-boosting refresh without a conventional timestamp.

Understanding Incremental Refresh in Data Warehouses

Incremental refresh is a vital aspect of managing data warehouses efficiently. It allows for updating only the segments of data that have changed, saving both time and computational resources. In systems like Microsoft Synapse, a column indicating when each data row was last updated, often the LastModifiedDate, is typically used to facilitate this process.

Even without such a date column, it's still possible to maintain an effective incremental refresh routine through a custom setup that identifies new or modified data entries. By creating a unique identifier for each data row, using a staging area, and carefully scripting the movement and processing of data, businesses can ensure their data warehouses are updated accurately and efficiently, without overburdening their systems and potentially incurring higher costs and longer downtimes.

Incremental Refresh with your Warehouse without a date in Microsoft Fabric Want to incrementally refresh your data without using a date for your Synapse Data Warehouse in Microsoft Fabric? Patrick gives you a pattern you can leverage! Incremental refresh in this platform enables selective data refresh, saving time and resources.

However, it usually requires a LastModifiedDate column in your data warehouse to identify new or updated data. Without this, you'll need custom logic for incremental refresh, which can be more complex but certainly achievable.

Patrick's guidelines for using the feature without a date include identifying a unique identifier for each record and creating a staging table for new or updated data.

You must then copy the relevant data to this staging table. Afterward, you append this data from the staging table to your target table and finally, mark it as processed to avoid duplication in the next cycle.

For example, with customer orders, you would identify the order ID as a unique identifier and create a corresponding staging table.

Using the identified criteria for new or updated orders, you copy these to the staging table using tools or scripts. These are then appended to the main orders table, and marked as processed in your staging area.

Following these steps allows for efficient data management in Microsoft Fabric, even without date-based incremental refresh capability.

Understanding Incremental Refresh in Data Warehousing

Incremental refresh is a powerful feature in data warehousing that enables updated and new data to be selectively refreshed instead of reloading the entire dataset. This method greatly enhances efficiency, particularly for those dealing with large volumes of data. Microsoft Fabric provides tools that facilitate this process, making it simpler for data professionals to maintain and refresh their data warehouses. Patrick's suggestions show that even without the often-required LastModifiedDate column, data refresh processes can be optimized with a proper approach and tailored solutions. Adopting such practices is essential for any business aiming to streamline their data operations and ensure their data warehouse is up-to-date with minimal performance impact.

Understanding Incremental Refresh without Dates in Data Warehouses

Looking to update your data in a selective way? Patrick introduces a method for incremental refresh in your Synapse Data Warehouse, even when you don't have a date column to rely on. This approach can help with efficiency, specifically in scenarios where large datasets are involved, or only certain data sections require regular updates.

Normally, incremental refreshes depend on a date or timestamp to pinpoint new or updated entries. The absence of such a column named 'LastModifiedDate' means that you would need to implement custom logic to determine which data to refresh. Despite the added complexity, incremental refresh is still within reach.

To employ incremental refresh without a date in data management systems similar to Microsoft Fabric, a few steps are necessary:

Guidelines for Incremental Refresh

  • Choose a unique record identifier.
  • Establish a staging table for updates.
  • Transfer new data to the staging area.
  • Move the staged data to your main table.
  • Mark data in the staging table as done.

Here's how you can use incremental refresh without a date on a platform like Microsoft Fabric, for a customer order table example:

  • Order ID serves as the unique order identifier.
  • Construct an 'OrderStagingTable' for interim storage.
  • Insert new or revised orders into this staging table.
  • Add these orders from staging to your principal 'OrdersTable'.
  • Indicate completion in the 'OrderStagingTable'. This avoids replaying the same data.

By adhering to these steps, incremental refresh without a date becomes possible, thereby enhancing the efficiency of your data refresh routine within systems similar to Microsoft Fabric.

Exploring Data Management Systems

Data management and refresh strategies are essential for businesses today. Platforms like Microsoft Fabric offer tools to efficiently handle enormous datasets. Incremental refresh, specifically without a traditional date column, ensures that data stays current without unnecessary load on the system. Implementing such an approach requires understanding of unique record identifiers and staging processes. With the right knowledge, businesses can maintain their data warehouses effectively, ensuring quick access to the most relevant and up-to-date information.

Microsoft Fabric - Optimize Incremental Refresh in MS Fabric Without Dates

People also ask

What is incremental data refresh and in what situations should incremental data refresh be used?

Incremental data refresh is a feature in Power BI that allows you to refresh only the data that has changed rather than the entire dataset. This technique is especially useful for large datasets where full refreshes can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Situations where incremental data refresh should be used include scenarios with large volumes of data that change frequently, or when dealing with systems where complete refreshes can impact performance due to the load on source systems or network bandwidth limitations.

What must be done before you can set up incremental refresh?

Before setting up incremental refresh, certain prerequisites need to be fulfilled. You must have a Power BI Pro license or the dataset must be on a Power BI Premium capacity. Data sources must support query folding, which is the ability for steps in a Power BI query to be translated into a single query to the data source. Also, tables requiring incremental refresh must have date/time columns to filter the data and partitions need to be defined in Power Query by specifying the range of time for each partition.

What is the difference between DirectQuery and incremental refresh?

The difference between DirectQuery and incremental refresh lies in how data is retrieved and processed. DirectQuery mode doesn't import data into Power BI; instead, it queries the source system directly upon each interaction with the report. This means data is always up-to-date, but can result in slower performance as queries need to go back to the source system every time. Incremental refresh, on the other hand, imports data into Power BI but only updates portions of the dataset that have changed based on a schedule. It usually results in faster report interactions since data is pre-loaded, though it might not be as up-to-date as DirectQuery.

How do I verify incremental refresh?

To verify that incremental refresh has been implemented correctly, you can check the refresh history in the Power BI service to ensure that only the expected partitions of data are being refreshed. Additionally, you can query the dataset logs or use monitoring tools within Power BI or SQL Database (in case of an Azure SQL source) to confirm that the data is being refreshed according to the defined policy and schedule. It’s also important to validate the data in the report to ensure that it reflects the changes made to the source data as per incremental refresh logic.


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