Amazon Redshift SQL Integration: 3 Easy Steps

Abhinav Chola • Last Modified: December 29th, 2022

Amazon Redshift SQL Logo

In this digital age, as businesses grow, so does the data associated with them, and thus companies around the world are drawn towards Cloud-based storage services to manage their ever-increasing data. Amazon Redshift is one such Cloud-based Data Warehouse service that provides an optimal way of collecting and storing vast amounts of data. Amazon Redshift delivers scalable, ultra-fast data solutions with minimum infrastructure investment. Due to these features, it’s the first choice of most companies that are looking to solve their data storage issues. Furthermore, Amazon Redshift allows you to implement a variety of Data Analytics tools, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence applications to your data.

Amazon Redshift is designed using industry-standard Structured Query Language (SQL) and contains added functionalities that enable it to manage large Datasets and perform high-performance Data Analytics and Data Reporting. This implies that understanding how to work with SQL on Amazon Redshift is of great importance if you are looking to use Amazon Redshift as your Data Warehouse. 

This article will introduce you to Amazon Redshift and SQL and will discuss the steps required to set up and use the Amazon Redshift SQL Query Editor, a platform that allows you to run SQL queries on Amazon Redshift with ease. Read along to learn more about the working and benefits of using the Amazon Redshift SQL Query Editor!

Table of Contents

Introduction to Amazon Redshift

Amazon Redshift Logo
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Amazon Redshift is a Cloud-based Data Warehouse that acts as a solution to handle Big Data storage problems of companies all around the world. Developed by Amazon, it offers an advanced storage system that allows companies to store petabytes of data in readily available Clusters that can be queried in a parallel manner. 

Amazon Redshift is designed in such a way that it can be used with a wide variety of data sources and tools. Moreover, many existing SQL environments are easily compatible with the Amazon Redshift Data Warehouse. Its architecture uses Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) which is the reason behind Amazon Redshift’s great processing power and scalability. Thanks to its layered structure, Amazon Redshift allows multiple requests to be processed at the same time thus reducing latency. 

Amazon Redshift also takes full advantage of Amazon’s Cloud server infrastructure, including access to your Amazon Simple Storage Service(S3) account to back up your data. So, if your work involves fairly distributed resource utilization, most of the data have to be queried (rather than just sitting in the Database) and the Clusters have to run throughout the day, Amazon Redshift is the most suitable choice for you.

Key Features of Amazon Redshift

The following features are responsible for the high popularity of Amazon Redshift:

  • High Performance: Amazon Redshift, due to its structure has a high-speed query performance on large datasets ranging from gigabytes to petabytes. The column storage and data compression feature decrease the amount of Input / Output required for a query. 
  • Machine Learning: Amazon Redshift’s advanced Machine Learning capabilities ensure high performance and throughput even with variable workloads or concurrent user activity. Amazon Redshift uses sophisticated algorithms to predict and rank incoming requests based on execution time and resource requirements to dynamically manage performance and prioritize workloads that matter to your business.
  • Scalability: Amazon Redshift is convenient to use and can scale rapidly according to your requirements. Only a few clicks in your dashboard or a simple API call can easily scale up or down the number of nodes that you’re using.
  • Security: With just a few settings, you can configure Amazon Redshift to use SSL to secure data in transit and to use hardware-accelerated AES256 encryption for data at rest. If you choose to enable data encryption at rest, all data written to disk will be encrypted, just like any backups. Amazon Redshift handles key management by default.

To learn more about Amazon Redshift, visit here.

Introduction to SQL

SQL Logo
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Structured Query Language (SQL) is a computer language widely used to perform various operations on the data stored in Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS). SQL is a tool extensively used by professionals for manipulating Structured Data. Developed in the 1970s, SQL is popular not only among Database Administrators but also among Developers working on Data Integration scripts and Data Analysts wanting to set up and run Analytical Queries.

The process of running an SQL command on any Relational Database Management System is pretty straightforward. When you enter an SQL query, the SQL engine determines how to interpret it and your system automatically determines the best process to execute your query.

Key Features of SQL

 The following factors add to SQL’s popularity: 

  • Using SQL, users can easily access data in a Relational Database Management System. Also, the user is allowed to define and manage data present in a Database according to his needs but in a predefined format. 
  • The primary use of SQL for Data Scientists and SQL users is to Insert, Update, and Delete data from a Relational Database. All of these functions can be easily completed by using simple SQL queries.
  • The SQL modules and libraries enable you to seamlessly embed SQL into other languages. 
  • SQL enables you to create views, procedures, and functions in their Database. Furthermore, SQL also provides you the option of setting permissions on these entities.

To know more about SQL, visit here.

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Steps to Set Up the Amazon Redshift SQL Integration

To implement SQL in Amazon Redshift, you will need the Amazon Redshift SQL Query Editor which is an in-browser interface that is designed to run SQL queries on your Amazon Redshift Clusters. You can seamlessly run your Amazon Redshift SQL queries using this Editor directly from the AWS Management Console. Moreover, once you have created a Cluster, you can start writing Amazon Redshift SQL queries using the Editor without any extra setup. The following steps will help you in working with the Amazon Redshift Query Editor:

Step 1: Link up the Amazon Redshift SQL Query Editor to your Cluster

Open the Amazon Redshift Cluster screen, go to Editor and enter the required credentials for setting up a connection with your Database as shown in the below image.

Login to Redshift
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Also, there is no compulsion to remember your password, having an Amazon AWS Console login is enough. Now, you can write SQL queries on your Cluster but the Amazon Redshift is constrained to display only a single result set at a time. This implies that you are allowed to write only 1 SQL query at a time. If you want to add multiple queries, select the “+” sign present in the top menu. It will open new tabs for you to execute your Amazon Redshift SQL queries. This is shown in the below image.

Cluster Redshift
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Step 2: Use a Sample Dataset to Set Up a Cluster

Use the following Amazon Redshift SQL query in the editor to create a schema named “myinternalschema in the Amazon Redshift’s Cluster as shown in the below image.

CREATE SCHEMA myinternalschema
Adding a Table to Cluster
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Now, to create a Table corresponding to this schema, use the following Redshift SQL query in the Editor

CREATE TABLE myinternalschema.event(
	eventid integer not null distkey,
	venueid smallint not null,
	catid smallint not null,
	dateid smallint not null sortkey,
	eventname varchar(200),
	starttime timestamp);

Once a Table is created, it’s time to import some data into it. Run the following Amazon Redshift SQL query to implement the COPY command for copying a sample Dataset from the Amazon S3 to your Amazon Redshift Cluster’s Table:

COPY myinternalschema.event FROM 's3://aws-redshift-spectrum-sample-data-us-east-1/spectrum/event/allevents_pipe.txt'
delimiter '|' timeformat 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MI:SS' region 'us-east-1';

Step 3: Printing the Output

Once an Amazon Redshift Cluster is created and loaded with data, you may want to have a look at that data or at least a part of it. Run the following Amazon Redshift SQL query to print a part of that data:

SELECT * FROM myinternalschema.event

Another way is to press the “Ctrl + Space” buttons to autocomplete your Amazon Redshift SQL queries in the Editor. The result of this action is shown in the below image. Pressing these buttons will provide you a list of suggestions to choose from, according to your requirements. 

Automatic Queries
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That’s it! Using the above 3 simple steps, you can start working with SQL queries on your Amazon Redshift account.

Benefits of the Amazon Redshift SQL Integration

The ability to view queries and results in an easy-to-use user interface simplifies many tasks for both the Database Administrator and the Database Developer. The Amazon Redshift Query Editor will help you do the following:

  • Regular tasks like creating a Schema and Table on your Amazon Redshift Cluster or loading data into Tables can be easily accomplished by using simple SQL queries that you can run directly on the AWS Console. Moreover, you can perform daily business administrative tasks like finding long-running SQL queries on the Cluster, searching for potential deadlocks and checking for available space in the Cluster.
  • The Amazon Redshift SQL Query Editor enables you to visualize queries and their results in a simple User Interface (UI). This makes it easier for you to manage multiple tasks, both as a Database Administrator and a Database Developer.
  • The Editor, allows you to have multiple Amazon Redshift SQL tabs open simultaneously. Furthermore features like colored syntax, autocompleted queries, and single-step query formatting enhance the user experience.
  • The Amazon Redshift SQL Query Editor is readily available in 16 AWS Regions and you can use it for no extra cost on the Amazon Redshift Console.
  • The Saved queries feature of Amazon Redshift SQL Editor is very popular especially among Database Administrators who typically maintain a repository of the most used SQL queries that they have to run regularly. This feature allows you to save and reuse your SQL queries in one step. With this feature, you can review, rerun, and even modify your previously run SQL queries. 
  • The Amazon Redshift SQL Query Editor provides an export option using which you can seamlessly export your query results into a CSV format. This is beneficial in cases when you need to integrate Amazon Redshift with another tool and the tool supports CSV formats only.


The article introduced you to Amazon Redshift and SQL. It also explained the Amazon Redshift SQL Query Editor and discussed the various steps required to start running your SQL queries on Amazon Redshift Clusters. Moreover, the article listed the major benefits that this Amazon Redshift Query Editor can add to your Amazon Redshift experience.

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Share your understanding of Amazon Redshift SQL in the comments below!

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