In this post I want to do a five minute crash course about Synapse Studio. Because I have recently been asked to do this by colleagues.
In addition, I want to clear up some confusion about what you need to do before you can access Synapse Studio.
Aim of this post is for you will have a better overview of Synapse Studio within five minutes. Which happens to be the estimated reading time of this post.
In order to do this yourself you will need an Azure account and some Azure credit.
To set realistic expectations, this post is aimed at those who have not used Azure Synapse Analytics before. However, those who have used it may also learn something new.
For those who are not aware, Synapse Studio is the frontend that comes with Azure Synapse Analytics. In order to use Synapse Studio, you must first create a Synapse workspace.
Creating a Synapse workspace
Just to clear up some confusion about this, creating the workspace itself for just exploring it is currently relatively cheap. Especially for just a five minute crash course about Synapse Studio. It will start becoming expensive when you start doing things like creating pipelines and working with SQL Pools.
You can see the full pricing details here.
To save me reinventing the wheel, Microsoft has a QuickStart guide on how to create a workspace here. My advice is to customize the QuickStart to suit your needs. Usually, this deployment takes a matter of minutes.
Once you have created your workspace you are ready to enter Synapse Studio from the Portal. By going into the overview section and clicking on the link next to ‘Workspace web URL’.
Synapse Studio overview
To help you quickly get started I will give a brief overview of the different sections of Synapse Studio here. However, there is a fair amount of documentation about all the features online. For example, the various QuickStart guides here.
Just keep remember that you can be charged when you start working with Spark clusters and SQL Pools.
Home section in Synapse Studio
In the ‘Home’ section you have some interesting options. For example, if you click on ‘Ingest’ you can go through a wizard to ingest data using the Copy Data tool.
In addition, if you click on ‘Visualize’ you can connect to an existing Power BI workspace, which you can then use natively in Azure Synapse Analytics.
Clicking on ‘Learn’ will take you to the ‘Knowledge centre’. To get more hands-on experience you can click on ‘Use samples immediately’.
Just remember that using these samples can incur a cost. In addition, some like the ‘NYC Yellow Taxi Data’ can take a few minutes to run.
Data section in Synapse Studio
In the ‘Data’ section you can see all your databases in your Pools and any Linked data sources. By default, the Workspace section is empty until you start creating SQL Pools. Like the SQL Pool I have created below to show you how the structure looks in Synapse Studio.
Develop section in Synapse Studio
In the develop section you can click on the plus sign to see all the different development objects you can create in there. For example, SQL scripts and notebooks.
One interesting point is that if you connect to a Power BI workspace you get the extra option to create with a Power BI report.
You can also drilldown into existing reports on the left-hand side. Which you can see below based on the Human Resources sample.
However, it can look very cluttered, so my advice is to click on the double arrows which I have highlighted above. Doing this gives you more screen space as you can see below.
Personally, I think this is very useful for people who have issues installing Power BI Desktop in companies. In addition, it’s going to be interesting to see if this leads to any further developments.
Integrate section in Synapse Studio
In the integrate section you can click on the plus sign again to see some interesting options. From here you can create Pipelines internally, which are similar to the pipelines that you can create in Azure Data Factory.
You can view the current differences between the pipelines in Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Data Factory here.
Monitor section in Synapse Studio
In the Monitor section you can view the progress of various things that happen relating to integration, activities and analytics. You can see below that most of it is self-explanatory. However, bear in mind that pool information can disappear if you remove or reset your pools.
Finally, Manage section
Finally, we get to the Manage section. Which has had more new items added since Azure Synapse Analytics became GA. For example, the preview for Azure Purview integration has since been added.
As you can see there is a lot of interesting options to explore here. If you do experiment with creating your own SQL or Spark Pools, I do recommend keeping them as small as possible to begin with to save on Azure credit.
For those of you looking to use Git integration with your own personal Azure DevOps organization, you can read my other post here.
I hope my five minute crash course about Synapse Studio proved useful. At the end of the day, I just wanted to show that you can quickly create a Azure Synapse Workspace and start exploring in Synapse Studio within five minutes.
In reality, there’s a lot of great of great resources online to help you dig deeper into this product. For example, the online documentation from Microsoft you can find here and the YouTube series from Simon Whiteley here.
Bear in mind that once you start creating things like pools and pipelines you will start to be charged more. If you have any comments or queries about this post feel free to reach out to me.