Azure Data Catalog – Information panel Tabs

Microsoft in the News – Azure Functions

On February 23, Microsoft announced preview support for the Azure Functions Serverless Framework plugin. Azure Functions allows you to easily run small pieces of code (“functions”) in the cloud. Using Azure Functions, you can quickly write the code you need, without worrying about the application as a whole. The language you choose to write your code in can be C#, F#, Node.js, Python, PHP, batch, bash, or any executable.

Azure Functions is designed to be a solution for processing data, integrating systems, working with the internet-of-things (IoT), and building simple APIs and microservices. Tasks like image or order processing, file maintenance, or for any tasks that you want to run on a schedule are easily tackled using Azure Functions. It is also easily integrated into Event Hubs to extend your functionality.

If you are interested in learning how to use this tool, Microsoft has created an Azure Functions Code Challenge. Follow the link below and then log into your Azure account. The Challenge will take you through a series of problems that will test your coding skills as you learn to build solutions in Azure Functions.

Azure Data Catalog – Information panel Tabs

In my last post, I looked at the details pane. The focus was on the properties panel. There are 4 additional panels in that pane. Let’s take a look at them.


 Properties    Preview    Columns   Data Profile   Documentation

When viewing any of the panels you can hover your mouse over the edge of the panel on the left where it meets the main tile space until you see a double arrow “<->”. You can use this to adjust the size if the panel.

The Preview pane is just as the name implies, a preview of the data that is in the asset you have selected.


This pane allows you to view the data that is in the asset. I mentioned before if you do not have security access to the underlying data then you will not be able to see the data here. This is a view only screen and you can not enter any data.


The Columns pane allows you to add a description of the various details that make up the asset.  In this case we have the customer as the asset. The Customer asset contains details that are set out in rows, each row, representing a column in the customer table. The columns of the table, such as Customer key, WWI Customer ID, Customer, etc. are set out as separate rows. Each of these rows can be annotated here with tags and a description.


The Profile panel contains additional meta data. (Reminder: meta data is data about data.)  In the case of our Customer Asset this shows some details and even some statistics about the data. It describes what is in the table. This can be very useful, particularly to those who do not have permission to view the actual data. The Top row of details describes the table with details such as;

Number of Rows – how much data is in the table

Size – how much space it takes up on disk

Last data update –  the last time the data in the table was updated

Last Schema Update –  this is when the last structural change was made to the table, so for example a column was added or the size of a column was changed.

The next section is all about the individual columns of data. This pane outlines the data type, which you would expect to learn from meta data but this panel goes much further giving you some actual analysis about the data.  We can see how many Null values are in each column as well as how many distinct values, the minimum and maximum values as well as averages and standard deviation for any numeric columns


The final panel is the documentation panel. It is  free form and has similar capabilities to other note applications from Microsoft. You will find the familiar basic formatting. In addition there are buttons for

Creating Tables
Creating Tables
Adding Hyper Links
Adding Hyper Links

If your organization already has a start on the documentation for an asset, it is reassuring that it can still be referenced and used by linking to it here, making all documentation easier for everyone in the organization to find.

Now that we are familiar with what asset information we have we can move onto searching this information, which I will cover in my next blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *