Snowflake Tutorial Overview


The Snowflake database is a cloud data warehouse offering which is available on Azure, but also on AWS and the Google Cloud platform. In contrast with other data warehouse services, Snowflake has been built purely for the cloud. Azure SQL Data Warehouse has roots in SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse which was an on-premises solution. Because it’s been built for the cloud only, Snowflake takes advantage of certain cloud paradigms, such as the way it handle storage using blob storage for example. Snowflake positions itself as a "no-management" data warehouse, meaning it’s easy to set-up, configure and administer. Little to no technical skills are required to work with Snowflake, aside from some SQL knowledge perhaps.

Snowflake is quite a young company, but it has been growing steadily over the past years and it has been gaining market share. It has been listed as a leader for three consecutive years in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for data management solutions for analytics.


In this tutorial, we will go over the basics of Snowflake, introducing you to the product but also to the different features which makes it stand out against its competitors. Snowflake is available on multiple cloud platforms, but in this tip we’ll be using the Azure cloud platform. Snowflake is a managed service; set-up and billing go through Snowflake. It behaves a bit like a black box, you don’t really notice which cloud platform is used. This also means however you cannot use any Azure credits to play with Snowflake. You can however start a 30-day trial with $400 worth of credits if you want to follow along.

The high-level outline of the tutorial is as follows:

  • Setting up a Snowflake account
  • Creating a database, schema and table
  • Introduction to warehouses
  • Loading data into Snowflake
  • Querying data in Snowflake
  • Time travel
  • Query history in Snowflake
  • Other interesting features in Snowflake
  • Querying Snowflake from Power BI
  • Conclusion

You can use the outline on the left to browse the tutorial or use the arrows "Previous" and "Next".

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