Azure Data Catalog – Asset Tiles

Microsoft in the news – Did you know Microsoft makes a desktop computer?

As many of you know, I live and work on my Surface Book laptop. I have had it for almost a year now and if it were ever lost or stolen, I would not hesitate to buy another one. I have put it through its paces in numerous ways and in numerous environments and it has never even hinted that it might let me down.

About four months ago, Microsoft introduced their first desktop computer – the Microsoft Surface Studio. Like their tablet and Surface Book, it isn’t for everyone since it too is priced for high end users who are not faint of heart. Starting at $2,999 US, there are many people who will quickly give it a pass.  However, if you are looking for a high-end computer, you are now aware of this one.

It comes with a 28-inch touch screen display, wireless keyboard, wireless mouse and a Surface Pen that magnetically clips to the side of the screen. The screen folds down to only 20 degrees so you can use it like a tablet.

I don’t have one myself, but from what I have seen of the reviews, people love it. If it is anywhere close to the quality they put into their Surface Book, it would definitely be worth looking at if you are looking for a high-end desktop. There are lots of videos on YouTube and lots of reviews out there. So, don’t just take my word for it.

Azure Data Catalog – Asset Tiles

In my last post, we looked at the Tool bar. Although the tool bar dominates the real-estate at the top of the page, the majority of your window consists of the tiles that display your assets. These are located conveniently in the middle of the page


Each tile in the main section of the page is an asset. An asset is any object that is a part of the data source. When we first registered a data source, Data Catalog reads the meta data and creates the tiles to represent the assets. Let’s take a closer look at what details are in each of these tiles.


When you click on a tile, you will see a small check box appear in the top right.


Here highlighted in blue is the check box. Once the tile is clicked it will show the check mark and open a details panel. There is a lot of information in the details panel, so we will cover that in a separate post.

The first line of the tile is the name of the asset that was registered; in this case “Customer”. This name was automatically pulled from the meta data in the source.

The next line is a handy click tile to add a description message. It invites you to click on it to present you with the same details panel that we will discuss in my next post.

By denoting myself as the expert on this source, when data catalog created the tile, it saved me typing the information by automatically listing me as the expert.

Below this is the name WWWImporters. This is the tag I entered during the registration process. I only entered one but I could have entered as many as were appropriate to every asset in the data source.

In this case, our source is the database WideWorldImportersDW, a data warehouse in SQL Server. The type of source below the name.

On the bottom row are some action items. The first is Open In… this is the where you can choose to view the data in a separate application.


The ability to view this data is only available to you if have access to the original source.

The middle menu, Explore Database, opens a new window which gives you additional information about the source of the data. In this case a database.


The details window gives you a high-level overview of all the assets in the source. In this case, it tells you there are 29 tables and 24 stored procedures in the database. The ß Back to Catalog link at the top of the box allows you to easily go back to your tile view.

On the far right of the tile there is a pin. By choosing the pin, Data Catalog will pin the asset tile to your application page. This makes it very easy to find later and gives you quick access to the assets you use often.

My next post will look at the detail in the information panel.

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