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Azure Data Factory Interview Questions and Answers for 2024

Azure Data Factory Interview Questions

1. What is Azure Data Factory used for?
Answer: Azure Data Factory (ADF) is a cloud-based data integration service provided by Microsoft Azure. It is used for orchestrating and automating the movement and transformation of data between different data stores. ADF facilitates building data-driven workflows to ingest, prepare, transform, and publish data for analytics and reporting purposes. It is a key tool for designing and managing data pipelines in a scalable and efficient manner.

2. What are the main components of Azure Data Factory?
Answer: The main components of Azure Data Factory include:

  • Pipeline: A logical grouping of activities that together perform a specific task or operation.
  • Activities: The processing steps within a pipeline, representing actions such as data movement, data transformation, or data processing.
  • Datasets: Define the structure of the data within data stores, specifying the format and location of the data.
  • Linked Services: Connection configurations that define the connection information to external resources, such as data stores, file systems, or compute services.

3. What is the pipeline in ADF?
Answer: In Azure Data Factory, a pipeline is a logical grouping of activities that together define a specific data-driven workflow. Pipelines provide a way to structure and manage the execution flow of various activities, allowing users to orchestrate complex data processes. Pipelines can be scheduled, triggered, or executed manually, providing flexibility in managing data workflows.

4. What is the data source in the Azure Data Factory?
Answer: A data source in Azure Data Factory refers to a specific storage or processing location that contains the data to be used in a data pipeline. It represents the source system from which data will be extracted or read. Data sources can include various Azure and non-Azure data stores such as Azure SQL Database, Azure Blob Storage, on-premises SQL Server, and more.

5. What is the Integration Runtime in Azure Data Factory?
Answer: Integration Runtime (IR) in Azure Data Factory is a compute infrastructure that provides the necessary resources for data movement and data transformation activities. It plays a crucial role in connecting to different network environments and executing tasks within those environments. Integration Runtimes are used to move and transform data securely across diverse data stores.

6. What are the different types of Integration Runtime?
Answer: There are three types of Integration Runtimes in Azure Data Factory:

  • Azure Integration Runtime: Used for connecting to Azure data stores.
  • Self-Hosted Integration Runtime: Facilitates data movement between on-premises data stores and the cloud.
  • Azure-SSIS Integration Runtime: Specifically designed for running SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages within Azure Data Factory.

7. What is Azure Integration Runtime?
Answer: Azure Integration Runtime is the default and built-in integration runtime in Azure Data Factory. It is fully managed by Microsoft and is automatically associated with every Azure Data Factory instance. Azure Integration Runtime is used for data movement between Azure data stores.

8. What is the main advantage of AutoResolveIntegrationRuntime?
Answer: AutoResolveIntegrationRuntime is a type of Azure Integration Runtime that automatically manages the infrastructure and resources required for data movement activities. Its main advantage lies in its ability to dynamically allocate resources based on the size and scale of the data movement. This dynamic allocation optimizes performance and resource utilization without requiring manual configuration.

9. What is Self-Hosted Integration Runtimes in Azure Data Factory?
Answer: Self-Hosted Integration Runtimes allow data movement between on-premises data stores and the cloud in Azure Data Factory. It involves installing a runtime environment on an on-premises machine or virtual machine. This runtime serves as a bridge, securely transferring data between the on-premises environment and Azure, without exposing the on-premises network to the internet.

10. What is the Azure-SSIS Integration Runtimes?
Answer: Azure-SSIS Integration Runtime is designed for running SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages within Azure Data Factory. It extends the capabilities of SSIS to the cloud, providing a scalable and managed execution environment for SSIS-based workflows.

11. How to install Self-Hosted Integration Runtimes in Azure Data Factory?
Answer: To install Self-Hosted Integration Runtimes in Azure Data Factory, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Download the installation files from the Azure portal.
  2. Run the installation on the on-premises machine or virtual machine.
  3. During the installation, configure settings such as connectivity and authentication to establish a secure connection between the on-premises environment and Azure.

12. What is the use of lookup activity in Azure Data Factory?
Answer: Lookup Activity in Azure Data Factory is used to retrieve a single value (scalar) from a data store. It is often employed to check the existence of data or retrieve metadata before executing subsequent activities in a pipeline. For example, it can be used to verify if a record exists before deciding whether to insert or update it.

13. What is copy activity in Azure Data Factory?
Answer: Copy Activity in Azure Data Factory is used to copy data from a source data store to a destination data store. It supports various source and destination types, including different file formats and databases. Copy Activity allows users to define mapping and transformations during the copy operation to meet specific data integration requirements.

14. What do you mean by variables in Azure Data Factory?
Answer: Variables in Azure Data Factory are used to store and reference values that can be reused across pipelines. They provide a way to make pipelines dynamic and parameterized. Variables can hold different types of values, such as strings or integers, and can be manipulated within pipeline expressions to control the flow and behavior of the data workflows.

15. What is the linked service in Azure Data Factory?
Answer: Linked Service in Azure Data Factory defines the connection information to external resources, such as data stores, file systems, or compute services. It abstracts the details of the connection, allowing users to reuse connection configurations across multiple activities. Linked Services are used within activities to specify the source or destination of the data.

16. What is the Dataset in the ADF?
Answer: In Azure Data Factory, a Dataset represents the structure of the data within a data store. It defines the format, location, and schema of the data. Datasets are used to represent both input and output data within activities in a pipeline. They provide the necessary metadata for ADF to understand the structure of the data being processed.

17. Can we debug the pipeline?
Answer: Yes, Azure Data Factory provides debugging capabilities for pipelines. Users can use the Debug option in the Azure portal to test and troubleshoot their pipelines before deploying them to production. Debugging allows users to step through the pipeline activities, inspect the data at different stages, and identify and resolve any issues in the pipeline logic.

18. What is the breakpoint in the ADF pipeline?
Answer: A breakpoint in Azure Data Factory allows users to pause the execution of a pipeline at a specified activity. This feature is beneficial during the debugging process as it enables users to inspect the state of the data and variables at a specific point in the pipeline. Breakpoints aid in identifying and resolving issues step by step, facilitating a more controlled debugging experience.

19. How does Azure Data Factory handle data movement between on-premises and the cloud?
Answer: Azure Data Factory handles data movement between on-premises and the cloud through Self-Hosted Integration Runtimes. These runtimes are installed on on-premises machines and securely facilitate data transfer without exposing the on-premises network to the internet. They serve as a bridge between on-premises data stores and Azure, ensuring secure and efficient data movement.

20. Explain the difference between Azure Data Factory and Azure Data Factory Managed Virtual Network (VNet) service endpoint.
Answer: Azure Data Factory (ADF) supports two types of Integration Runtimes for VNet scenarios: Azure Integration Runtime and Azure Data Factory Managed Virtual Network (VNet) service endpoint. While Azure Integration Runtime is more generic and supports various data movement scenarios, the Managed VNet service endpoint is specifically designed for secure access to data stores within the customer’s VNet. It ensures a more controlled and secure environment for data movement within a virtual network. Azure Data Factory Managed VNet service endpoint allows data movement between the ADF and the data stores within the customer’s VNet without exposing them to the public internet.

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To know more about Azure Data Factory please visit Azure official site.

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