Azure Analysis Services Flexible Pricing, Backup and Restore, More

Improvements around pricing options, support for backup and restore, and improved Azure Active Directory support and Azure CLI Shell Preview, Azure Search now support synonyms.

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The week started with offering improvements to Azure Analysis Services, which provides enterprise-grade data modeling in the cloud to provide more flexible pricing and additional support.

A new basic tier subscription is being offered to support smaller workloads with simpler needs, enabling users to create lower-cost models that are more targeted.

New Basic Tier

The new Basic Tier is designed to support smaller workloads with simpler refresh and processing needs. While you can put multiple models in one Standard instance, this new tier enables you to create models that are more targeted at less cost.

The key differences between Standard and Basic is that the Basic tier doesn't support some specific enterprise features. And, the "Standard supports larger sizes and higher QPUs for concurrent queries and adds data partitioning for improved processing, translations, perspectives, and Direct Query."

Backup & Restore

Backup and restore has been added, that let you configure a backup storage location using Azure subscription with Azure Analysis Services instance. Once you associate a storage location, "you can backup and restore from that location using TMSL commands or a tool like SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) which will support this shortly."

Improved Azure Active Directory integration

Microsoft has also improved the way Azure Analysis Services integrates with Azure Active Directory. Starting now, "any newly created Azure AS server will be tied to Azure AD tenant for which Azure subscription is associated with and only users within that directory will be able to use your Azure AS server if granted access," writes the team.

Azure CLI Shell (az-shell) Preview released this Monday, provides an interactive environment to run Azure CLI 2.0 commands. It's ideal for new users learning the Azure CLI's capabilities, command structures, and output formats.

It also provides autocomplete dropdowns, auto-cached suggestions combined with on the fly documentation, including examples of how each command is used.

Azure CLI Shell
Azure CLI Shell

Azure Search releases support for synonyms in public preview, allows not only return results which match the query terms that were typed into the search box, but also return results which match synonyms of the query terms.

As a search-as-a-service solution, "Azure Search is used in a wide variety of applications which span many languages, industries, and scenarios." "Azure Search's Synonyms API allows customers to define their own synonym mappings."

And, when it's coupled with Search Traffic Analytics (STA), synonyms can be powerful in improving quality of search results that end users see. "STA in Azure Search reveals the most common queries with zero results. By adding relevant synonyms to these terms, these zero-result queries can be mitigated."

STA also shows the most common query terms for Azure Search service, "so you do not need to guess when determining proper terms for your synonym map," the team said.