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RK
Business Unit Manager Data Migration and Integration at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Offers good flexibility and has good support

Pros and Cons

  • "The flexibility that Azure Data Factory offers is great."
  • "The number of standard adaptors could be extended further."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for data integration. We use it to feed operational data into a data warehouse. We also use it for creating connections between applications.

Within our organization, there are a few thousand users of Azure Data Factory.

We believe that the number of customers and usage of this product will extend over the next few years. For this reason, we invest a lot of resources in building skills, and we make sure to hire consultants who know their way around Data Factory.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility that Azure Data Factory offers is great.

What needs improvement?

The number of standard adaptors could be extended further. What we find is that if we develop data integration solutions with Data Factory, there's still quite a bit of coding involved, whereas we'd like to move in a direction with less coding and more select-and-click.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure Data Factory for one year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't have any complaints regarding scalability or stability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think Microsofts' technical support does a pretty good job. There is a lot of information available on the internet to find out how to use their products. There's also quite an active community. If you really can't find a solution, you can always call Microsoft. Our organization is partnered with Microsoft, so we usually get answers directly from them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used SSIS. We're still using SSIS. SSIS is an old product. The development of SSIS has more or less stopped and the development is now focused on cloud services — it's the future. Azure Data Factory Is great because it's a cloud service; you do not have to take care of the installation and configuration yourself. The cost buildup is also quite different. I am not sure that's a huge financial advantage yet, but we do believe that it will be in the future.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

We didn't have to deploy Azure Data Factory. It's available as an Azure service, so Microsoft takes care of that.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's a pay-per-use model. So if you run it, it's hardly licensing. The entire cost of Azure is per-use. The price you pay is determined by how much you use it.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend Azure Data Factory. On a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight. 

If there were a larger amount of automated features, I would give them a higher rating. As I mentioned earlier, if we are working on complex applications, then there is a lot of coding involved. What we hope is that over time, there'll be less coding and more "off the shelf" functionality.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
MG
Lead BI&A Consultant at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Stable and works fine but is relatively crude

Pros and Cons

  • "In terms of my personal experience, it works fine."
  • "Azure Data Factory should be cheaper to move data to a data center abroad for calamities in case of disasters."

What is our primary use case?

We had an old, traditional data warehouse. We decided to put it into the cloud and we used Azure Data Factory to reform the EEL process from SQL server integration services to extra data.

What is most valuable?

Azure Data Factory was chosen by the team that I was not on at the time and who decided that this would be the move to the future. So I just went along with it.

In terms of my personal experience, it works fine.

What needs improvement?

We didn't have a very good experience. The first steps were very easy but it turned out that we used Europe for a Microsoft data center, also partly abroad for our alpha notes. As soon as we started using Azure Data Factory, the bills got higher and higher. At first we couldn't understand why, but it is very expensive to put data into a data center abroad. So instead, we decided to use only Northern Europe, which worked out for a while in the beginning. And then we had nothing to show for it. They gave me a really hard time for this.

Azure Data Factory should be cheaper to move data to a data center abroad for calamities in case of disasters.

What I really miss is the integration of Microsoft TED quality services and Microsoft Data services. If they were to combine those features in Data Factory, I think they would have a very strong proposition. They promise something like that on Microsoft Congress. That was years ago and it's still not here.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure Data Factory for a couple of years now, since about 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Azure Data Factory is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, Azure Data Factory is scalable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used SSIS because of Microsoft.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We use data engineers to do the install.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay monthly for this.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to ten, I would give Azure Data Factory a seven. Compared to Informatica, it's really crude. I think it's a very crude solution. 

Would I recommend Azure Data Factory? It depends if they need a straight reading in data, then I would say it's perfect. But with Informatica, you can do data storing and data quality checks - there is a lot there than just a data center.

I think Azure Data Factory is a mature product. We used Version One in my project and a lot of it isn't possible on this version. The Version Two is much faster and much better. It's not at the same level as Informatica.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Azure Data Factory. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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Thomas Fuchs
General Manager Data & Analytics at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Great data pipeline and the orchestration functionality with a good user interface

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is very quick and easy."
  • "Integration of data lineage would be a nice feature in terms of DevOps integration. It would make implementation for a company much easier. I'm not sure if that's already available or not. However, that would be a great feature to add if it isn't already there."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used for data integration. We are using it for the data pipelines to get data out of the legacy systems and provide it to the Azure SQL Database. We are using the SQL data source providers mainly.

What is most valuable?

The data pipeline and the orchestration functionality are the most valuable aspects of the solution.

The interface is very good. It seeks to be very responsive and intuitive.

The initial setup is very quick and easy.

What needs improvement?

I'm more of a general manager. I don't have any insights in terms of missing features or items of that nature.

Integration of data lineage would be a nice feature in terms of DevOps integration. It would make implementation for a company much easier. I'm not sure if that's already available or not. However, that would be a great feature to add if it isn't already there.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used the solution for the last 12 months or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From what I have witnessed, the solution is quite stable. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We work with medium to enterprise-level organizations. Customers have anywhere from 300 employees up to 160,000 employees.

How are customer service and technical support?

Microsoft offers a great community. There's a lot of support available. We're quite satisfied with the level of assistance on offer.

How was the initial setup?

Since the solution is a service, it's basically just a click and run setup. It's very simple. There's very little implementation necessary. A company should be able to easily arrange it. The deployment doesn't take very long at all.

What about the implementation team?

We do provide the implementation for our clients. We're able to provide templates as well. We have predefined implementation space in Data Factory and provide it to the customer.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

While clients might individually evaluate other options, however, we're not aware of that information. I can't say what other solution clients might consider before ultimately choosing Microsoft. I would say that it is likely Talend and maybe SQL Server Integration Services.

What other advice do I have?

We are like an integrator. We are a data warehouse NPI consulting company and we use Data Factory to pull data from different legacy systems and do all these transformations that are necessary in order to provide analytical models.

In our normal scenario is that we are providing Azure SQL Databases together with Azure Data Factory and Power BI. 80% of our customers have recognized such a scenario.

On a scale from one to ten, I'd rate the solution at an eight. We've been largely happy with the capabilities of the product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementator
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GB
Principal Engineer at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Simple to set up and the activity copy functionality is helpful, but tutorials on the Snowflake connectivity should be added

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the copy activity."
  • "Snowflake connectivity was recently added and if the vendor provided some videos on how to create data then that would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily used this solution for getting data from a client's server, or online data, to an Azure Data Lake. We create pipelines to orchestrate the data flow from source to target.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the copy activity. Instead of creating a pipeline and then doing a source to target copy, this feature will create the pipeline directly.

What needs improvement?

Snowflake connectivity was recently added and if the vendor provided some videos on how to create data then that would be helpful. I think that everything is there, but we need more tutorials.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with Azure Data Factory for the past two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Occasionally, there are timeout issues that happen when connecting to the source or the target. Normally, you just hit refresh and it will connect properly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Being a cloud product, it can scale as much as we need.

In my project, there are ten people using this product.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been in contact with technical support and it's good, as long as you directly connect with the appropriate technical person right away. When you raise an issue, sometimes the people who are available are unfamiliar with that particular technology, so they have to route the issue to the concerned person. This routing takes at least one or two days, so if you can directly get the corresponding person allocated to the ticket, that would be great. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple and it only takes perhaps five minutes to deploy.

When one of our developers wants to use it, they can create their own jobs.

What about the implementation team?

Our deployment was completed by an in-house team.

No maintenance is required and when we experience problems, we normally solve them on our own.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is a pay-as-you-go model, where you pay for what you consume.

What other advice do I have?

If you have Azure as a cloud service and you want to perform ETL then Azure Data Factory is a product that I can recommend.

I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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SB
Data Strategist | Azure Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
An easy initial setup with a fast deployment and good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "On the tool itself, we've never experienced any bugs or glitches. There haven't been crashes. Stability has been good."
  • "If the user interface was more user friendly and there was better error feedback, it would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution for my small and medium-sized clients.

What is most valuable?

So far, I'm quite happy with the solution overall. It's got a lot of tools that I use in my work, and these are items I'm already recommending to my clients. I'm quite happy with it.

What needs improvement?

I'm not sure if I have any complaints about the solution at the moment. There are a few bits and pieces that we would like to see improved. These include improvements related to the solution's ease of use and some quality flash upgrades. However, these are minor complaints. 

If the user interface was more user friendly and there was better error feedback, it would be helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for three to four years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

On the tool itself, we've never experienced any bugs or glitches. There haven't been crashes. Stability has been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't had the ability to scale any of my projects personally. I also wouldn't need to scale too high if I did. I'm not sure if I can speak to aspects of scalability as I've never dealt with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've contacted Microsoft technical support in the past. I have to say that I've had a good experience with them. I've been quite satisfied with their level of service.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. I wouldn't describe it as complex.

Deployment is fast. It only takes about half an hour at most.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't have any information about the pricing. I don't deal with that aspect of the solution.

What other advice do I have?

I typically work with small to medium-sized companies. I'm a consultant, so I give different advice based on what my clients need and what they want to do. However, I would recommend this product. 

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. All of the issues I have with the solution are very minor, however, it means the solution isn't exactly perfect just yet.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
AS
CTO at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Fully integrated with the Azure environment and includes support for many connectors

Pros and Cons

  • "The security of the agent that is installed on-premises is very good."
  • "The pricing scheme is very complex and difficult to understand."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution to gather information from SCADA systems, analyze it using AI and machine learning, and then sending the results to our users. They receive and view the data using the Power BI interface.

How has it helped my organization?

The integration with the whole environment is smooth and transparent.

What is most valuable?

The reason that we implemented this product is for the full integration with the whole Azure environment. It is very important because you don't have to deal with security, identity flow, or audit flow.

The security of the agent that is installed on-premises is very good. This is another important feature for us.

It comes with a lot of connectors out of the box, including support for SQL, Oracle, SAP, and ODBC.

What needs improvement?

The pricing scheme is very complex and difficult to understand. Analyzing it upfront is impossible, so we just decided to start using it and figure out the costs on a weekly or monthly basis.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have just begun using Azure Data Factory within the past two or three months and it is not fully rolled out yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have no issues with technical support. We are working closely with Microsoft partners. There were a couple of problems during the installation that were solved on the fly, and otherwise, we haven't had and trouble.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We started with iConduct and as we migrated to the Azure environment, we began the process of switching to the Microsoft Azure Data Factory.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not very complex and the deployment was very quick. We were set up within a matter of days, or perhaps a week.

What about the implementation team?

We received help from one of the Microsoft partners, who handled the installation for us.

What other advice do I have?

To this point, we are still learning the system and have only tried a very simple data flow. At this point, we haven't had any issues.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AK
Microsoft Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Good support for SAP services and databases, a simple initial setup and good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "From what we have seen so far, the solution seems very stable."
  • "The solution needs to integrate more with other providers and should have a closer integration with Oracle BI."

What is most valuable?

The support for SAP services and databases, specifically SAP HANA, has been a game-changer for us.

What needs improvement?

It would be helpful if they could adjust the data capture feature so that when there are source-side changes ADF could automatically figure it out.  

The solution needs to integrate more with other providers and should have a closer integration with Oracle BI.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for just over a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From what we have seen so far, the solution seems very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. Right now, we have only three or four people on it. We may increase usage int eh future.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have direct technical support in Israel. In India, we haven't used it yet. However, for other services, the help provided is fine. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty fast and simple. I wouldn't say it was too complex. For deployment, it depends on your environment. In our POC, it didn't take more than two to three hours. In the production environment, however, it takes a bit more time for operations.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In general, we've been satisfied with the pricing. However, since it's a service based on usage, it's really hard to estimate the cost in advance for this product. This makes it hard to quote. It's not so easy to estimate the costs in advance when giving a quote. That makes it difficult to convince some customers because most would like to see a number in advance. 

What other advice do I have?

We primarily use the solution in a hybrid environment. We're Azure partners.

I would suggest others start with a small POC and with a smaller dataset or simple pipeline to test the product before fully implementing it. Users shouldn't hesitate to try it, because there are not so many risks. Practice is the best way to start with this service, as opposed to planning. 

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AJ
BI Practice Lead at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Easy to set up and integrates well, but it needs support for custom data delimiters

Pros and Cons

  • "It is easy to integrate."
  • "You cannot use a custom data delimiter, which means that you have problems receiving data in certain formats."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is integrating data from different ERP systems and loading it into Azure Synapse for reporting. We use Power BI for the reporting side of it.

We also have customers who are migrating to Azure Data Factory and we are assisting them with making the transition.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to integrate.

I do not foresee any issues with security.

What needs improvement?

I find that Azure Data Factory is still maturing, so there are issues. For example, there are many features missing that you can find in other products.

You cannot use a custom data delimiter, which means that you have problems receiving data in certain formats. For example, there are problems dealing with data that is comma-delimited.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure Data Factor for almost one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is dependent on how you set up your cloud infrastructure, and how you authorize people to make use of it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not seen any issues with respect to scalability, as it is all hosted within the cloud. We have approximately 20 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been in contact with technical support, although most of the time I was told that the feature I was interested in was not yet available. In these cases, they will be implementing the missing features in the future.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I use several similar products by different vendors including Talend, Informatica, and Microsoft SSIS. The biggest advantage that Azure has is deployment. However, in others, it is possible to specify custom data delimiters.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty simple and it can be deployed in a couple of hours.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it myself and am also responsible for maintenance.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner