Tutorial: Query Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 using SQL language in Synapse Analytics

This tutorial shows you how to connect your Azure Synapse serverless SQL pool to data stored in an Azure storage account that has Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 enabled. This connection enables you to natively run SQL queries and analytics using SQL language on your data in Azure storage.

In this tutorial, you will:

  • Ingest data into a storage account
  • Create a Synapse Analytics workspace (if you don't have one).
  • Run analytics on your data in Blob storage

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.


  • Create an Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 account.

    See Create a storage account to use with Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2.

  • Make sure that your user account has the Storage Blob Data Contributor role assigned to it.

  • Install AzCopy v10. See Transfer data with AzCopy v10

    There's a couple of specific things that you'll have to do as you perform the steps in that article.


    Make sure to assign the role in the scope of the Data Lake Storage Gen2 storage account. You can assign a role to the parent resource group or subscription, but you'll receive permissions-related errors until those role assignments propagate to the storage account.

Download the flight data

This tutorial uses flight data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to demonstrate how to perform an ETL operation. You must download this data to complete the tutorial.

  1. Go to Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

  2. Select the Prezipped File check box to select all data fields.

  3. Select the Download button and save the results to your computer.

  4. Unzip the contents of the zipped file and make a note of the file name and the path of the file. You need this information in a later step.

Copy source data into the storage account

Use AzCopy to copy data from your .csv file into your Data Lake Storage Gen2 account.

  1. Open a command prompt window, and enter the following command to log into your storage account.

    azcopy login

    Follow the instructions that appear in the command prompt window to authenticate your user account.

  2. To copy data from the .csv account, enter the following command.

    azcopy cp "<csv-folder-path>" https://<storage-account-name>.dfs.core.windows.net/<container-name>/folder1/On_Time.csv
    • Replace the <csv-folder-path> placeholder value with the path to the .csv file.

    • Replace the <storage-account-name> placeholder value with the name of your storage account.

    • Replace the <container-name> placeholder with the name of a container in your storage account.

Create an Azure Synapse workspace

In this section, you create an Azure Workspace.

  1. Select the Deploy to Azure button. The template will open in the Azure portal.

    Deploy to Azure

  2. Enter or update the following values:

    • Subscription: Select the Azure subscription where you have the Azure storage account
    • Resource group: Select the resource group where you placed your Azure Data Lake storage.
    • Region: Select the region where you placed your Azure Data Lake storage (for example, Central US).
    • Name: Enter a name for your Synapse workspace.
    • SQL Administrator login: Enter the administrator username for the SQL Server.
    • SQL Administrator password: Enter the administrator password for the SQL Server.
    • Tag Values: Accept the default.
    • Review and Create: Select.
    • Create: Select.

When the deployment finishes, you will see Azure Synapse Analytics workspace in the list of the deployed resources. You can follow the link to see more details about the workspace and find your Synapse SQL endpoint name.

Find your Synapse SQL endpoint name

The server name for the serverless SQL pool in the following example is: showdemoweu-ondemand.sql.azuresynapse.net. To find the fully qualified server name:

  1. Select on the workspace you want to connect to.

  2. Go to overview.

  3. Locate the full server name.

    Full server name serverless SQL pool

Connect to Synapse SQL endpoint

Synapse SQL endpoint enables you to connect with any tool that can run T-SQL queries on SQL server or Azure SQL database. The examples are SQL Server Management Studio, Azure Data Studio, or Power BI,

Use a tool that you prefer to use to connect to SQL endpoint, put the serverless SQL serverless endpoint name, and connect with Azure AD authentication to connect.


Do not use SQL authentication with username nad password because this will require additional steps to enable SQL login to access your Azure storage account.

Explore data

Create a new SQL query using the tool that you used to connect to your Synapse endpoint, put the following query, and set the path in

    TOP 100 *
        BULK 'https://<storage-account-name>.dfs.core.windows.net/<container-name>/folder1/On_Time.csv',
    ) AS [result]

When you execute the query, you will see the content of the file.

Clean up resources

When they're no longer needed, delete your Synapse Analytics workspace. The workspace tat do not have some additional dedicated SQL pools or Spark pools is not charged if you are not using it, so you will get no billing even if you keep it. Do not delete the resource group if you have selected the resource group where you have placed your Azure storage account.

Next steps