Azure Data Lake Storage
Every AIMMS Cloud account is equipped with an Azure Data Lake Storage account. This storage account can be used for storing application data as, for instance, a collection of Parquet files. The use of Parquet files can serve as a faster replacement for storing application data in a database. Storing multiple scenarios of application data can be easily accomplished by storing each scenario as a separate collection of Parquet files in a separate directory in a Data Lake Storage file system.
Many applications are able to deal with Parquet files, and as such they can serve as an ideal method for data integration with other applications. Data warehouses such as Databricks are built on top of the Parquet format, and Snowflake has integrated support for importing and exporting data through Parquet files. Tools such as PowerBI can directly access Azure Data Lake Storage and work with the data offered in Parquet files.
Because of the ease of use, easy capabilities for integration, performance and space efficiency every AIMMS Cloud account has been equipped with a Azure Data Lake Storage account. The Data Exchange library offers an easy-to-use collection of functions to create file systems within the account, and upload and download collections of files from within AIMMS.
Within a single Azure Data Lake Storage account, multiple file systems can be created. These file systems can be mounted as an HDFS volume in platforms such as Apache Spark, or be directly connected to PowerBI for reporting.
You can create file systems for multiple purposes, such as
a storage area for the application data and/or scenario data used by the AIMMS application itself. Ideally, you would make such a file system readable and writable only to the AIMMS application itself.
an import area where external applications can write datasets to be used by an AIMMS application. This area would need to be writable to external applications.
an export area where the AIMMS application can write datasets to be used by external applications. This area would need to be readable to external applications.
Managing file systems
Once the authorization details of your Data Lake Storage account have been configured, the Data Exchange library offers a number of functions to create, delete and list all the file systems in your Data Lake Storage accounts. This will allow you to create one or more file systems for different purposes as described above.
Once you have a file system ready, the Data Exchange library offers a collection of functions to upload or download a single file, or the contents of an entire directory of files to/from a path within a file system within your Data Lake Storage account.