A brand new product by Microsoft called Azure Data Share was recently announced. It is in public preview. To explain the product in short, any data which resides in Azure storage can be securely shared between a data provider and a data consumer. It does this by copying a snapshot of the data to the consumer’s subscription (called snapshot-based copying, and in the future there will be in-place sharing). It currently supports ADLS Gen1, ADLS Gen2, and Blob storage, and eventually will support Azure Data Explorer, SQL DB, and SQL DW. Check out the Documentation and a video, and then go try it out.
You can share the data with a few clicks as long as the user you are trying to share with has access to an Azure Subscription and storage account. The copying and updating of the data is handled for you using the Microsoft backbone for best performance, and is encrypted during transit. You can specify the frequency at which the data consumers receive updates. It also is a simple way to control, manage, and monitor all of your data sharing.
To visually see how Azure Data Share helps, consider how data sharing is done today:
With Azure Data Share, as a data provider, you provision a data share and invite recipients to the data share. Data consumers receive an invitation to your data share via e-mail. Once a data consumer accepts the invitation, they can trigger a full snapshot of the data shared you shared them. This data is received into the data consumers storage account. Data consumers can receive regular, incremental updates to the data shared with them so that they always have the latest version of the data.
When a data consumer accepts a data share, they are able to receive the data in a storage account of their choosing. For example, if the data provider shares data using Azure Blob Storage, the data consumer can receive this data in Azure Data Lake Store.
And to see how Azure Data Share fits in a modern data warehouse architecture:
Azure Data Share provides a great way for companies to monetize some of their most valuable internal data. With all the work done to build a modern data warehouse, why not sell the data to partners and business customers? They will save a ton of time and money trying to create the same data.
Microsoft is focusing first on offering the technology for its corporate customers to share data with their partners in compliance with governance restrictions, data controls and privacy policies. For now, monetization will be up to those customers. Longer term, Microsoft is also considering whether it could operate a marketplace where data could be more easily monetized and shared.
Video Azure Data Share