Microsoft Graph Data Connect: Copy Microsoft Graph Datasets Into Azure Data Factory

Posted by Errin O'Connor on Sep, 14, 2021 12:09

Microsoft Graph Data Connect: Copy Microsoft Graph Datasets Into Azure Data Factory

The globalization of business in the new era has led to an increase in the amount of data produced by organizations. As well as the need for continuous analysis of the raw information to create actionable insights in real-time. This requires the implementation of intelligent applications that can successfully create a dataset panel. These panels can produce a rich class of insight. In the modern world, with the increase in competition, these insight-powered applications are increasingly needed to perform advanced workplace analytics. This aids the user company in increasing the productivity of the business. In this context, one of the leading productivity tools includes Microsoft Graph Data Connect.

The tool can be used by user companies to enable a machine learning environment for their internal systems. This implies that the user will be capable of creating applications that can provide critical information regarding the stakeholders and training machine learning models along with performing predictive analytics.

Microsoft Graph Data Connect: Meaning and Importance in deriving rich organizational insights

Model of Microsoft Graph Data Connect

Microsoft Graph Data Connect is one of the recent services launched by Microsoft that provides the user with an opportunity to develop and copy datasets from Microsoft Graph to the Azure Data Factory, securely and efficiently. It forms the perfect way of training artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.

The transactional model of the Microsoft Graph is replaced by the machine learning model in Graph Data Connect. It exports data related to the communication between workers, collaboration, and management of time across the internal applications and services. Thus, the machine learning capacity created by Graph Data Connect allows the user company to access rich insights into organizational data at a scalable pace.

Along with this, the integration of the Microsoft 365 data with the Azure services helps the user to take complete advantage of the wide range of services in the Azure suite.

Pricing Structure of Microsoft Graph Data Connect :

The Microsoft Graph Data Connect pricing structure is quite simple in comparison to the other services in the market. The user company is provided with the freedom to choose between building a mere prototype of the tool or creating an enterprise-wide implementation structure. The charges for this service are billed in a flat metered format based on every thousand objects extracted from Microsoft Graph Data Connect from the Azure Data Factory instance. This implies that the consumption charges are billed on a monthly pay-as-you-go format.

The Microsoft Graph is an extension of Microsoft 365. It is designed to explain the productivity patterns, identity, and level of data security in the organization. The Graph Data Connect thus offers the developers an opportunity to copy the Microsoft Graph datasets into the Azure Data Factory through a secure and efficient process. But, the pricing structure does not charge for the extraction of data from the following datasets:-

  • BasicDataSet_v0.User
  • BasicDataSet_v0.MailboxSettings
  • BasicDataSet_v0.Manager
  • BasicDataSet_v0.DirectReport

Thus, Microsoft Graph Data Connect pricing structure can be described in the following manner:-

Microsoft Graph Data Connect objects  $0.375 per 1k objects extracted

Microsoft 365 Datasets: Graph Data Connect perspective

Architect of Azure Graph Data Connect

Graph Data Connect is a service designed by Microsoft that allows the user company to export Microsoft 365 datasets in a bulk. It is a hassle-free way devoid of any difficulties. But, certain prerequisites are required to be fulfilled by the user organization to begin the implementation process. These include the following:-

  • Creating an Approval group in the Azure Active Directory – During the first attempt of exporting data, the user needs to create a security group in the Azure Active Directory which will enable and permit the data requests received from the Graph Data Connect and perform the administrator role.
  • Creating an Azure Active Directory Application Registration – The exported Office 365 datasets are required to be stored in the Azure Blob Storage or the Azure Data Lake Storage.  This is possible when the user authenticates the data using the service principal.
  • Creating an account in the Azure Storage – The user company is required to create an account in either the Azure Blob Storage or the Azure Data Lake included in the Azure government for the exported data to be stored in one of these accounts.

The process of exporting the Microsoft 365 datasets through the Graph Data Connect can be completed through the following steps:-

  • Firstly, the Microsoft Graph Data Connect has to be enabled by the user in the tenant.
  • Secondly, it is essential to create an account in the Azure Data Factory.
  • Thirdly, after the creation of an account in the Azure Data Factory, a pipeline for the export of data has to be created.
  • Fourthly, the process of data export can only be initiated by triggering the pipeline.
  • Fifthly, the data export request has to be approved through the process of Privileged Access Management.
  • Finally, the user should review the exported data after the process is completed to ensure that the complete data has been exported successfully.

Granular Consent model for restricting Data access:

The Microsoft Graph is previously known as the Office 365 APIs. It is a comprehensive service that encompasses most of the modern technologies of Microsoft. The most critical feature of Graph Data Connect is not just exporting data, in reality; it is quite helpful in building applications and services. As one of the unique abilities of Microsoft, Graph Data Connect integrates with other connected services and provides real-time collaboration throughout the dataset panel.

One of the most essential features involved in making Graph Data Connect unique is the granular consent ability. In simple words, the service can limit access to Office 365 data within the range of some entities. This ensures that the applications in the organizational system receive only the information that is essential for its operation. As a consequence, the user can play the administrator role in ensuring that Azure policy enforcement is successful.

Data Governance model in Graph Data Connect:

The term ‘Data Governance‘ refers to the process that involves the management of organizational data in the context of its availability, usefulness, integrity, and internal security. This method is based on the internal standards of data policy that involves data control usage also. All the services designed by Microsoft in the recent past are directed towards motivating organizations to choose Azure as the cloud platform. While a huge number of companies begin using Office 365, if developers are permitted to connect the Microsoft 365 datasets to the Azure applications, they will consequently be motivated towards shifting to the Azure cloud.

Microsoft Graph Data Connect is currently in the preview format. But it might prove to be significant in popularizing the Azure cloud even further. But, when an increasing number of organizations begin to choose the Azure cloud, the data governance structure can take a toll. But, the detailed and explicit data governance feature within Graph Data Connect ensures that the administrators of the Office 365 users, consistently review and consent to the changing data access policies for the Azure applications.

Features in Graph Data Connect:

MS Graph Data Connect Dashboard

Graph Data Connect has been increasingly becoming popular from the time of its launch. Mostly for its ability to export data from the internal systems of the user organization to the data analytics applications. At the root of the situation, the process of creating applications that use scale datasets has presented two crucial challenges. These include the following:-

  • The process is not crucial programming or infrastructure effort for managing scale datasets that use traditional APIs.
  • Secondly, the security and privacy of customer data stored within scale datasets is a matter of concern.

To ensure that these challenges find their solution, the Microsoft Graph Data Connect pricing structure provides certain features. Some these are as follows:-

  • Scalability in accessing data – There exists a secure pipeline between the Office 365 tenant and Azure Data Factory. It delivers the data from the organization to the application according to a repeated schedule through a simple process.
  • Secret Azure Services – The applications are connected to the Office 365 datasets. It is provided separately while being customer-owned and controlled Azure instances. There is no direct connection between the data and their sources.

Security features:

Graph Data Connect is designed by Microsoft, so it comes with the famous security assistance of the company. Apart from having detailed data governance policies, the Microsoft Graph Data Connect is capable of supporting all Azure Native Service Capabilities. These include the abilities like encryption of data, geo-fencing, auditing, and strict policy adherence and enforcement.

Apart from this, to decrease the compliance management overhead for the applications created by the organization through Graph Data Connect, the user can provide a collection of policies to which compliance will adhere.

Azure Consultation: EPC Group perspective

The EPC Group is one of the leading Microsoft and Azure consulting partners available in the market. The company consists of a team of experts. We dedicate their efforts towards helping their clients in the process of implementing and utilizing the tools and services developed by Microsoft.

EPC Group has two decades of experience customizing plans and training programs. Specializing in Microsoft 365 and Azure services. EPC Group has by far been successful in helping several organizations complete the smooth transition process to the cloud. Moreover, utilizing advanced data analytics tools. Along with being a gold certificate partner with Microsoft, the company consists of a dedicated group of experts that strive to provide round-the-clock customer support to their customers.


lastly, Graph Data Connect is currently in the preview format. The features incorporated within the service show a lot of promise in terms of providing a secure data export format with increasing security and compliance to standards.

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Errin O'Connor
About the Author

Errin O'Connor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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