Things to Know about Azure Data Catalog
There is a web portal interface to Azure Data Catalog is located at http://azuredatacatalog.com. However, there are also open APIs as well if you would rather integrate the publishing, discovering, and annotation activities with a custom application.
The Azure Data Catalog permits a data source to be registered only once. This was a purposeful design decision to avoid duplicates. Visibility to a select number of objects (ex: views for particular sets of users) can be set with security (in the Standard version only, not the free version).
Currently the system allows only a single Data Catalog per Azure subscription. The design team has envisioned the Azure Data Catalog as being enterprise-level, so permitting departmental use would diminish the value. It'll be interesting to see over time how the subscription model tends to align within decentralized customer organizations.
The default for a new data source is for this metadata (and data preview, if selected) to be available to everyone. Visibility can be set to specific users and groups (Standard version only, not the free version).
There is a free version, and a paid version that is referred to as the Standard version. The free version shows all registered data sources to all users - if you need to restrict visibility by users & groups, that requires the Standard version. The free version allows up to a max of 50 users, whereas the Standard version is unlimited and is priced (as of Sept 2015) at $50/per month/per 100 users. Pricing details are here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/data-catalog/.
If a user doesn't have permission to access a data source, the Standard version (not free version) allows you to submit a request to gain access to that particular data.
Azure Active Directory integration is required. You cannot use a Microsoft account (ex: email@example.com) with Azure Data Catalog. Also, you have to log into the portal on a machine where you are logged in as the Windows user. For most users this won't be an issue (for me, it means I need to remote desktop into a VM where I can log in with an Azure AD account that my Azure test environment will understand & I launch the Azure Data Catalog web portal from within the RDP session).
Anyone can try to register a data source. However, for it to be successful, the person registering needs to be able to read the schema for the underlying data source (i.e., read definition permission). If the checkbox to show a preview is selected, the person registering also needs select permissions on the underlying data source.
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