A while ago I wrote a blog post about Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Power BI which I explained how to install a new instance of Azure SQL Data Warehouse and how to visualise your Azure SQL DW data in Power BI. In this post I explain how to query an Azure SQL DW in SSMS and Visual Studio.
An existing instance of an Azure SQL Data Warehouse. If you don’t have an existing one check this out
Querying Azure SQL Data Warehouse from Visual Studio
Prior the latest release of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2016, the only available tool for querying an Azure SQL Data Warehouse was SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) for Visual Studio 2013 or 2015. Here is how you can use SSDT 2015 to query an Azure SQL Data Warehouse:
Open SQL Server Data Tools 2015
Click “SQL Object Explorer” from View menu
Click “Add SQL Server”
Enter “Server Name”
If you don’t recall server name then open a web browser and log into Azure portal
Click “SQL databases”
Click any desired Azure SQL Data Warehouse you created before. Make sure the database is “Online”
In the previous post I announced that I will speak in “Visualising Your Azure SQL Data Warehouse with Power BI” webinar on 23 Jan 2016. The webinar host was Pass Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter. It was such an amazing experience for me to speak in the webinar and I would like to thank all 105 attendees. The attendees showed their enthusiasm by asking lots of questions during the webinar.
In this webinar I demonstrated:
How to install Azure SQL DW in Azure Portal
How to configure firewall settings from Azure Portal and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2016
How to connect directly from Azure SQL DW to Power BI Service and the other way around
How to visualise you Azure SQL DW data warehouse data with Power BI Desktop (both Data Import and DirectQuery scenarios)
Comparing the features of different scenarios that helps you finding the best for your use cases
and much more…
You can see and download the session materials as follows.
Watch Visualising Your Azure SQL Data Warehouse with Power BI on YouTube
Without a doubt cloud computing is going to change the future of data analytics and data visualisation very significantly. Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse recently released for public preview. Combining Power BI as a powerful data visualisation tool with Azure SQL Data Warehouse will give the users the ability to see data insights of their data stored in Azure Data Warehouse very easily. In this post I explain how to install Azure SQL Data Warehouse and the the way it works with Power BI. Before going any further I’d like to have a look at the Azure SQL Data Warehouse very briefly.
What Is Azure SQL Data Warehouse?
Based on Microsoft documentation a SQL Data Warehouse is
Azure SQL Data Warehouse supports stored procedures, user-defined functions, indexes and collations. It uses columnstore index technology which significantly improves query performance as well as getting you up to 5 times compression in compare with traditional row based indexing.
I leave it to you learn more about Azure SQL Data Warehouse. But, it is important to keep in mind that there are some features like primary keys and foreign keys that are NOT supported in Azure SQL Data Warehouse which affect the way we use Power BI as a data visualisation tool over Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Without primary keys and foreign keys there is no physical relationships between the tables so Power BI service cannot detect any relationships by itself. There is a workaround for this that we can create some SQL views in Azure side to make it work. This can be an expensive solution. The other way is to load the data warehouse into a Power BI Desktop model which can detect the relationships automatically.
Now you know a bit bout Azure SQL Data Warehouse let’s get back to the subject and talk more about Power BI and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
First things first. You need to have a Microsoft Azure subscription. If you don’t already have it you can use it for a one month trial here. You’ll also get $250 credit. But, remember that if you succeed the $250 in less than a month then you’ll need to pay for it if you want to use it longer.