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Creating an Azure Data Factory

This post is part 2 of 26 in the series Beginner's Guide to Azure Data Factory

In the introduction to Azure Data Factory, we learned a little bit about the history of Azure Data Factory and what you can use it for. In this post, we will be creating an Azure Data Factory and navigating to it.

Spoiler alert! Creating an Azure Data Factory is a fairly quick click-click-click process, and you’re done. But! Before you can do that, you need an Azure Subscription, and the right permissions on that subscription. Let’s get that sorted out first.

Azure Subscription and Permissions

If you don’t already have an Azure Subscription, you can create a free account on azure.microsoft.com/free. (Woohoo! Free! Yay!) Some of the Azure services will always be free, while some are free for the first 12 months. You get $200 worth of credits that last 30 days so you can test and learn the paid Azure services. One tip: Time your free account wisely ⏳

If you already have an Azure subscription, make sure that you have the permissions you need. To create an Azure Data Factory, you need to either:

  • Be a member of the Owner or Contributor role
  • Be a classic Service Administrator (but I totally recommend using the new roles above instead 👆🏻)

You can view your permissions in the Azure Portal:

  1. Click on your username in the top-right corner
  2. Click the more options ellipsis (…) next to “Switch directory”
  3. Select my permissions
Screenshot of the Azure Portal, highlighting the username in the top-right corner
Screenshot of the Azure Portal, showing the more options ellipsis after clicking on the username in the top-right corner
Screenshot of the Azure Portal, showing the My permission link after clicking on the more options ellipsis

Creating an Azure Data Factory

Alrighty! From this point, I assume that you have an Azure Subscription, and that you have the permissions you need on it. All set? Perfect! Let’s do this click-click-click thingy.

In the Azure Portal, click around until you get to the New Data Factory page. Look for “create a resource” or “Data Factories” and keep clicking until you get there. No, seriously, there are at least six different ways that I know of that you can get to that page. They also keep changing the portal, and I’m sure you hate outdated descriptions and screenshots as much as me. You could also use this fancy direct link: Create Data Factory. That might be easier 😉

Create Data Factory: Basics

Under Basics, fill out the required information:

Screenshot of the Create Data Factory: Basics page in the Azure Portal used for creating an Azure Data Factory

A resource group is a logical container to group your resources. You can choose an existing one or create a new one. I created cathrinew-rg.

Choose the region closest to you. I chose West Europe.

The name of your Azure Data Factory has to be unique across all of Azure. That means that you may have to try a few options before finding something that hasn’t already been taken. I can tell you right away that “adf” is unavailable. So is “asdfasdf” :) I used cathrinew-adf.

Use version V2. (I’m still pretending v1 doesn’t exist.)

Create Data Factory: Git Configuration

Under Git configuration, select configure Git later:

Screenshot of the Create Data Factory: Git Configuration page in the Azure Portal

(We will get back to this in the Source Control post 😊)

Create Data Factory: Networking

Under Networking, leave the defaults:

Screenshot of the Create Data Factory: Networking page in the Azure Portal

If you want to know more about these options, hover over the little information button next to each setting. It will show a description and in some cases a link to more information.

Create Data Factory: Tags

Under Tags, leave the tags blank:

Screenshot of the Create Data Factory: Tags page in the Azure Portal

If you want to add tags, however, feel free to do so! It is only metadata and will not affect anything.

Create Data Factory: Review + Create

Under Review + Create, verify the information:

Screenshot of the Create Data Factory: Review + Create page in the Azure Portal

Click create, and wait for the deployment to finish.

Create Data Factory: Deployment Overview

Once the deployment has finished, click go to resource:

Screenshot of the deployment overview page in the Azure Portal, which includes a button for navigating to the deployed resource

Navigating to the Azure Data Factory

From the Azure Data Factory resource page, you can click on author & monitor to open the Azure Data Factory:

Screenshot of the Azure Data Factory resource page in the Azure Portal, which includes a button for navigating to the Azure Data Factory

You can also access Azure Data Factory directly by navigating to adf.azure.com and selecting the Azure Data Factory you want to open:

Screenshot of the Select Data Factory page

Depending on where you are navigated from, you will end up on either the Let’s Get Started page or the Author page:

Screenshot of the Azure Data Factory Let's Get Started page
Screenshot of the Azure Data Factory Author page

Summary

In this post, we started by looking at Azure subscriptions and permissions. Then we created an Azure Data Factory and navigated to it.

In the next post, we will navigate inside the Azure Data Factory. Let’s look at the Azure Data Factory user interface!

About the Author

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, BimlHero Certified Expert, international speaker, author, blogger, and chronic volunteer. She loves data and coding, as well as teaching and sharing knowledge - oh, and sci-fi, chocolate, coffee, and cats :)