A First Look at Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Play A First Look at Azure SQL Data Warehouse


Today's episode of Data Exposed welcomes to the studio Stuart Padley, Group Program Manager in SQL Engineering, and Miso Cilimdzic, Principal Software Engineering Manager to give us a first look at Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft's fully-managed, scalable, data warehouse service. Stuart and Miso first dive into an overview of SQL Data Warehouse, it's capabilities and great features as we discuss topics including scale and performance, the benefits of having MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) capabilities in the cloud, and the overall backbone of SQL DW.

Miso and Stuart then wow us by spending the majority of the show demoing 1) How to Create a SQL DW, 2) How to visualize data in a SQL DW with Power BI, 3) How to Connect to a SQL DW using Visual Studio, and 3) How to monitor SQL DW with the Azure Portal. The beauty of these demos is that it really showcases how easy it is to work with SQL DW because Stuart was able to demo all of this in less than 20 minutes using the online documentation. It is hard not to get excited watching Stuart, at roughly the 9:50 point in the video, open PowerBI right from the portal, connect to an existing SQL DW, and within minutes have a fully functional dashboard. AMAZING!

At roughly the 14:00 mark, Stuart and Miso show us SQL DW integration in Visual Studio, providing connecting directly into an existing SQL DW. Stuart shows us how easy it is to query Azure SQL DB and some of the available DMVs, and even better, shows us the EXPLAIN command which gives us full insight into the distributed query process in SQL DW. Awesome stuff!

Back in the portal, Stuart and Miso show off the Query Activity Window, the ability to Pause a DW, the ease of scaling a SQL DW, and auditing. Lastly, Miso and Stuart demonstrates one of the methods of loading data into SQL DW. In this example, Stuart uses the awesome Polybase functionality also now available in SQL Server 2016 to load data from a CSV file into his Azure SQL DW. For more information on Polybase, see our Data Exposed video here.

Fantastic video and introduction into Azure SQL DW! Lots more videos to come on this topic so stay tuned to Data Exposed!

For more information on SQL Data Warehouse visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/sql-data-warehouse/



The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Great introduction to the technology. Is there a process for using traditional ETL tools (SSIS) to pump corporate data to the cloud? Keep these introductions coming.

  • User profile image
    Miso Cilimdzic

    Hi Frank, certainly SSIS is supported and in addition several other Microsoft and partner tools. If you would like more information drop us a line on sqldwfeedback@microsoft.com .

  • User profile image

    For like the last decade I've had the fervent hope that one day SSIS development would be suspended for like six months to a year and the team sent out to work onsite at large clients where they would be subject to working with SSIS on a daily basis on a range of large integration and DW projects.

    After that they could reconvene and I have complete faith they would then know what to do with this product - i.e. either kill it or give it the ground-up overhaul it deserves. Because, as it is now and has been, it is the poor stepchild, the weakest link in the whole space and a raging pain in the * to use on any regular basis (and even worse on an irregular basis). 

    That, and a standalone 'Windows Rules Server 2018' would be a nice addition to the lineup (first requested in 1999 and again prior to every subsequent major Windows Servers release ever since).

    Carry on...

  • User profile image

    Interested in talking to Microsoft about big data tools?

    We're looking to hear feedback from big data users about what you need from your tools to work with big data.

    If you have 15 minutes to talk on the phone with a Microsoft engineering team, enter your contact details at https://www.instant.ly/s/4cMXu/nav#p/186a0 and we'll get in touch.

    We want to hear from you!

  • User profile image
    Jimmy Wong

    Hi Healyje,

    This is Jimmy Wong and I am the current SSIS PM from Microsoft. First of all, thank you for your feedback and I am sorry that you see some gaps on the SSIS product. If your time allows, I would like to invite you to a skype meeting so that we can discuss more about your pain points and concerns. In the meeting, I can also share with you about tonnes of product improvements and new features we have made for the upcoming SSIS 2016. You can reach me at jwong@microsoft.com. I can get the meeting set up once I get your contact information. Thanks!

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