Goal is to enable secure, reliable transfer of vast volumes between enterprises without new infrastructure or programming.
The secure movement of vast amounts of data between organizations can be cumbersome and precarious. Microsoft believes it has a solution: a new service called Azure Data Share.
The company said the new offering, released for public preview this week at its Inspire 2019 event in Las Vegas, will make sharing Big Data “easier and safer” with business partners and third parties. It uses Azure authentication and encryption to ensure data flows without interruption into Azure Blob Storage and Azure Data Lake Storage. Users can exert complete control over what data is sent and how it is downloaded, removing any ambiguity on data sharing between multiple parties, according to Microsoft.
“For customers, sharing [big data] in a simple and governed way is challenging,” said Mike Flasko, principal group program manager, in a blog post. “Common data sharing approaches using file transfer protocol or web APIs tend to be bespoke development and require infrastructure to manage. These tools do not provide the security or governance required to meet enterprise standards, and they often are not suitable for sharing large datasets.”
Because the new service is built on the Azure platform, customers do not need to write any code to enable data sharing, nor invest in new infrastructure. That could greatly reduce the costs of companies regularly sharing data online by allowing them to reduce overhead and improve security.
“With just a few clicks data professionals choose which data to share and who to share it with,” Flasko said. “They can schedule the service to automatically share new or changed data pertaining to specific datasets, as well as stop future updates from flowing through at any time. With Azure Data Share, data professionals have greater control over each data sharing relationship and can govern use by associating term of use with each data share created.”
Microsoft has not specifically addressed real-time with Data Share. But the ability to send data swiftly and reliably across organizations could enable new opportunities for doing so.
Company officials told reporters in briefings this week that initial focus will be on corporate customers who need to share data with their partners in compliance with governance restrictions, data controls, and privacy policies. Longer term, Microsoft is said to be also considering creating a marketplace where data could be more easily monetized and shared.
Early users include Finastra, a provider financial services software to retail banking, transaction banking, lending, and treasury and capital markets. The company is fully integrating Azure Data Share with their open platform, FusionFabric.cloud, said Eli Rosner, Chief Product and Technology Officer in a statement,
That will enable seamless distribution of premium datasets to a wider ecosystem of application developers across the FinTech value chain, and unlock new potential revenue and innovation, Rosner said.