Getting Started with Azure Data Studio

By:   |   Updated: 2023-01-05   |   Comments   |   Related: > Azure Data Studio


Azure Data Studio is a tool used not only to handle Azure SQL, Synapse or Azure Managed instances, but also, it is used for SQL Server on Premises, to handle PowerShell code, handle PostgreSQL databases, program in Python, Spark R, MongoDB, create SandDance charts and more.


In this tutorial, we will provide an introduction to installing Azure Data Studio, how to create a SQL Server table, add some data and create a Notebook in Azure Data Studio. This article is an introduction to the Azure Data Studio user interface for data professionals.


  1. SQL Server installed
  2. Azure Data Studio can be installed on Windows, Mac, or Linux. In this example, we will install it on a Windows machine.

Azure Data Studio Installation

First, go to the Azure Data Studio download page and look for the Azure Data Studio installer. In this example, we will download the Windows User installer.

download page

The installation is straightforward. First, you have the License Agreement. Select I accept the agreement and click Next.

license agreement

Select the installation folder and click Next.

select destination location

Select the Start Menu Folder and click Next.

select start menu folder

You can set up these additional items as shown below. Click Next

select additional tasks

If everything looks good, click Install.

Ready to install

Find Azure Data Studio Version

Launch Azure Data Studio and go to the Help menu and select the About option. At the time of writing this article, the latest version was 1.39.1 as shown below.

Azure Data Studio version

For more information about Azure Data Studio versions, refer to this link Azure Data Studio releases. Azure Data Studio is open-source code available on GitHub.

Connect to SQL Server database on-premises using Azure Data Studio

To connect to a SQL Server database on-premises, click the Connections icon (1) on the left and then click the New Connection icon (2) on the right to add a new connection.

Azure Data Studio connections

We will use the Parameters option to create the connection as shown in the image below.

  • Connection type - select Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Server - enter the SQL Server name or you can use a period for the local server.
  • Authentication type - can be Windows Authentication or SQL Authentication. For more information about authentication types, refer to this link: How to check SQL Server Authentication Mode using T SQL and SSMS. In this example, we will use Windows Authentication.
  • Database - select the database you want to connect to on the server.
  • Server group - this lets you add servers to different groups for easier management.
  • Name - this lets you provide your own name for the connection.

After entering this info, click Connect.

Connection to SQL Server

If everything is OK, you will see the connection was created.

Azure Data studio connection to SQL Server.

Create a table in Azure Data Studio

Once connected, if you open the server tree, you will see Tables. Right-click on Tables and select New Table.

New table created

In this example we will create a table named actors with 3 columns:

  1. Id - type int
  2. Name - type nvarchar(50)
  3. Lastname - type nvarchar(50)

Note that a script is generated with the T-SQL code.

Publish changes in Azure Data studio

Make sure to check the Primary Key checkbox for the id.

When you are finished, click Publish changes icon to create the table.  

A Preview Database Updates message will be displayed with the create table action. Click the Update Database button.

Update database information

To check that the table was created, right-click on the Tables node and select Refresh. The dbo.actors table should be displayed

Refresh tables

Edit data in SQL Server tables in Azure Data Studio

Now, we can add data to the table. Right-click on the dbo.actors table and select Edit Data.

Edit Data

Add some data and then click the Run icon to save the data.

Edit data in Azure Data Studio

Running T-SQL Commands

Right-click on the SQL Server connection and select New Query to access the SQL editor.

New query in Azure Data Studio

In this example, we will use the sp_who system procedure to get the list of processes running. Type sp_who and click the Run icon to see the query results.

sp_who results

 You can also create database objects using T-SQL in Azure Data Studio in the query editor. Here is code to create a simple view. Enter the code and click Run to create the view.  Here is the syntax:

from dbo.actors
where id=1

Create Notebooks in Azure Data Studio

A Jupyter Notebook is a web application used to share your code including documentation and narrative text. Notebooks are popular for developers and it is functionality that we cannot do in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).

In Azure Data Studio from the menus select File > New Notebook.

You have different Kernel options like Python, SQL, R Spark, and PowerShell. In this example, we will work with SQL.

Click the Code link to add code.

Add code

We will add some code in the Notebook.

select getdate()

Execute the code, by clicking on the run icon.

Add notebook code

Note that you can see the code, and the results. Now, select the Text cell to add some text to the code.

Add text cell

You can add fonts and links to your code to provide additional information. Below is an example of text I added. When this is run, it will show the text underneath the query output.

test cell Azure Data Studio
Next Steps
  • Azure Data Studio is a great tool to handle not only Azure resources but also administrative tasks for on-premises servers. Please read our article about Popular extensions available on Azure Data Studio for more information about database administration extensions.
  • If you are a DBA that works on SQL Server on-premises you should continue using SSMS which is more robust, but you can use Azure Data Studio to work with PowerShell scripts and database tasks.
  • If you need to use Azure SQL Database, MongoDB or PostgreSQL, Azure Data Studio can help since it is cross-platform.
  • Azure Data Studio is also a good option if you use Linux or Mac because there is no SSMS installer for those operating systems.

sql server categories

sql server webinars

subscribe to mssqltips

sql server tutorials

sql server white papers

next tip

About the author
MSSQLTips author Daniel Calbimonte Daniel Calbimonte is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, Microsoft Certified Trainer and 6-time Microsoft Certified IT Professional. Daniel started his career in 2001 and has worked with SQL Server 6.0 to 2022. Daniel is a DBA as well as specializes in Business Intelligence (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS) technologies.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

View all my tips

Article Last Updated: 2023-01-05

Comments For This Article

get free sql tips
agree to terms