Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Azure Purview


Many organizations lack a holistic understanding of their data. It's challenging to understand what data exists, where data is located, and how to find and access relevant data. Data lacks context such as lineage, classification, and comprehensive metadata, making it difficult for business users to search for the right data and use that data appropriately. As a result, only a small fraction of collected data is used to inform business decisions. Finally, identifying data security issues and protecting sensitive data is inconsistent. It requires ongoing time and effort, especially while maintaining data agility.

Azure Purview is a data governance solution. It helps customers gain deep knowledge of all their data while maintaining control over its use. With Azure Purview, organizations discover and curate data. They gain insights into their data estate, and centrally govern access to data.

Purpose of this FAQ

This FAQ answers common questions that customers and field teams often ask. It's intended to clarify questions about Azure Purview and related solutions, such as Azure Data Catalog (ADC) Gen 2 (deprecated) and Azure Information Protection.

What are the source types available for metadata scanning and classification?

Azure Non-Azure
Azure Blob storage Power BI
Azure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW) SQL Server
Azure Cosmos DB Teradata (Available by end of 2020)
Azure SQL Managed Instance SAP ECC (Available by end of 2020)
Azure Data Explorer SAP S/4 HANA (Available by end of 2020)
Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1 Hive Metastore (Available by end of 2020)
Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 Amazon S3
Azure Files --
Azure SQL Database --

What data systems/processors can we connect and get lineage?

Data system/processor
Azure Data Factory: Copy activity, Data Flow activity
Custom lineage
Azure Data Share
Power BI
SQL Server Integration Services

Azure Purview originally began as ADC Gen 2 but has since broadened in scope. It now embraces the advanced catalog capabilities of ADC Gen 2 combined with the data classification, labeling, and compliance policy enforcement capabilities of Azure Information Protection. Today, it aligns more closely to the broader industry definition of data governance.

What happens to customers using ADC Gen 1?

Azure Purview is the focus of all product innovation in the catalog solution space for Microsoft. ADC Gen 1 will continue to be supported.

Can customers have multiple Azure Purview accounts in the same subscription?

Yes, we support many Azure Purview accounts per subscription and per tenant.

Can I run ADC Gen 1 and Azure Purview in parallel?

Yes. Both are independent services.

How do I migrate existing ADC Gen 1 data assets to Azure Purview?

Use the Azure Purview APIs to extract from ADC Gen 1 and ingest into Azure Purview. For the glossary, we support bulk tools based on CSV.

How do I encrypt sensitive data for SQL tables using Azure Purview?

Data encryption is done at the data source level. Azure Purview stores only the metadata. It doesn't preview data.

Will all the capabilities of ADC Gen 2 exist in Azure Purview?


What's the difference between a glossary and classification?

A glossary uses a naming convention followed by non-technical/business users of the data, also known as data consumers. These types of people are business analysts or data scientists who use Azure Purview to search for certain types of data, based on business usage. For instance, supply chain analysts might need to search for the terms SKU types and shipment details. They search the glossary for these terms to find relevant data. Classification is a tag applied to a data asset at the table, column, or file level, that identifies what data exists in the asset. Classification can be applied automatically or manually, based on the type of data found. Typically, you use classification tags to identify whether an asset contains sensitive data, and what type of sensitive data that might be.

Does Azure Purview scan and classify emails, PDFs etc. in my Sharepoint and OneDrive?

Scanning for on-premises SharePoint sites and libraries is provided through the Azure Information Protection scanner. The scanner is available for use through a customer's Microsoft 365 subscription with the following SKUs: AIP P1, EMS E3, and M365 E3. If you have any one of these SKUs, you should have the right entitlements to start using the Azure Information Protection scanner.

What is the compute used for the scan?

There is a Microsoft-managed scanning infrastructure. For most Azure/AWS resources that we support, you don't need to deploy a scanning infrastructure.

Is there a way to provision Azure Purview via Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template / CLI / PowerShell?

Yes, ARM template is available

I'm already using Atlas, can I easily move to Azure Purview?

Azure Purview is compatible with Atlas API. If you are migrating from Atlas, it's recommended to scan your data sources first using Azure Purview. Once the assets are available in your account, you can use similar Atlas APIs to integrate such as updating assets or adding custom lineage. Azure Purview modifies the Search API to use Azure Search so you should be able to use Advance Search.

Can I create multiple catalogs in my tenant?

Yes, you can create multiple Azure Purview accounts per subscription and per tenant. You can review the limits page Manage and increase quotas for resources with Azure Purview.

Additional recommendation on when you should or should not have multiple accounts are documented in our Azure Purview deployment best practices.

Can I register multiple tenants within a single Azure Purview account?

No, currently in order to scan another tenant's data source, you need to create a separate Azure Purview account in that tenant.

Does Azure Purview support column level lineage?

Yes, Azure Purview supports column level lineage.