In this article, we will be looking at what is DirectLake in Microsoft Fabric and its benefits. What is DirectLake and why the fuss about it? DirectLake is a feature of Microsoft Fabric Data Warehouse that allows analyst, engineer, and users to access and query data directly from Azure Data Lake Storage without loading the data into the warehouse. DirectLake is available to users who have Fabric Data Warehouse Premium or Enterprise editions.
What are the benefits derivable from DirectLake? DirectLake provides several benefits for businesses such as reducing the cost and time of data ingestion and transformation, enabling faster and more flexible data exploration and analysis, supporting various data formats and schemas, including semi-structured and unstructured data, and leveraging the scalability and security of Azure Data Lake Storage.
To use DirectLake, users need to create external tables in Fabric Data Warehouse that point to the data files in Azure Data Lake Storage. Then, they can query the tables using SQL or other tools, such as Power BI. DirectLake supports data files in CSV, Parquet, ORC, and JSON formats.
DirectLake storage mode is accessible in the model view of Data Warehouse experience as seen below