Handling large volumes of business data is challenging. You can collect data from various sources using multiple techniques. This data can be thoroughly analyzed to gain valuable insights that optimize business performance

There are various tools and platforms that facilitate data storage and analysis. SQL Server and Azure Synapse are potent and robust platforms that help you comprehensively analyze your business data and develop innovative solutions. Moving your SQL Server data to Azure Synapse offers you a flexible workspace for big data processing and integration. This article will help you understand SQL Server Azure Synapse data integration using different methods. 

Let’s get started.

Overview of SQL Server

Microsoft developed a relational database called SQL Server to help you store, manage, and analyze data centrally. SQL Server stores data within tables that are interconnected by unique vital constraints. The latest versions of SQL Server have enhanced capabilities, such as data encryption, schema reading, and data analysis. Ít also includes integrations with BI (business intelligence) tools that help you create reports and optimize ETL workflows.

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Overview of Azure Synapse 

Azure Synapse is a cloud-based analytical service developed by Microsoft Azure that combines big data with data warehouses to provide valuable insights. Its uniquified workspace reduces project development time, allowing your team of data scientists and engineers to swiftly develop end-to-end solutions. The platform also has a dedicated SQL pool that combines all the SQL technologies in one place to process on-demand queries. You can also leverage Azure’s Machine Learning feature for advanced data analysis. 

Let’s see how you can migrate SQL Server to Azure Synapse using different methods.

Methods to Migrate Data from SQL Server to Azure Synapse

We will look at two methods for SQL Server to Azure Synapse migration. 

Method 1: Migrating Data from SQL Server to Azure Synapse Using Hevo

Hevo is a real-time, flexible ELT platform that enables smooth data integration through its no-code, cost-effective data pipelines. It offers more than 150+ sources from which you can transfer data to your desired destination. Hevo’s automated data pipeline can be set up with the minimal effort to efficiently perform SQL Server migration to Azure Synapse, making your data analysis-ready in no time.  

Benefits of Using Hevo 

  • Data Transformation: Hevo offers different types of transformations, such as Python-based and drag-and-drop, to cleanse your data before transferring it to your destination. 
  • Automated Schema Mapping: The schema mapping in Hevo is automated, which means this in-built feature reads the source schema and automatically clones it to your destination. 
  • Incremental Data Loading: Hevo enables you to optimize your data transformation process through its Incremental Data Loading feature. This feature lets you modify your data in real-time and loads the new updates from source to destination.
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Let’s look at the steps on how to migrate SQL Server to Azure Synapse Analytics.

Step 1: Configure SQL Server as Your Source

  • Your MS SQL Server must be version 12 or higher and should be running during data transformation. 
  • You must enable the TCP/IP protocol.

Follow the steps to configure your source:

  • Click on PIPELINES in the Navigation Bar. 
  • Click on +CREATE
  • On the page, select Source Type and choose SQL Server as your source. Hevo supports different variants of SQL Server. To learn more about those variants, refer to this Hevo documentation: SQL Server
  • Configure SQL Server connection settings.
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Configuring Source Connection Settings
Configuring Source Connection Settings

Step 2: Set up Azure Synapse as Your Destination

  • The Azure account must have an active subscription with a billing option enabled.
  • The User in your subscription account must have the role of Contributor within Azure RBAC to create Synapse resources. 
  • Your Azure Instance must be running while establishing the connection with your local database host. 
  • The SQL pool database in the data warehouse must be available.
  • You must be assigned the role of administrator, such as Team Collborater, but not Billing Administrator in Hevo.

Before creating a data pipeline in Hevo, follow the steps below:

1. Set up Azure Synapse Account

2. Create Synapse Workspace

3. Create a dedicated SQL Pool

4. Create a Database User and Grant Privileges

5. Whitelist your Hevo IP Address

6. Obtain your Azure Synapse Instance Data Warehouse Connection Settings

Follow the steps to configure your destination:

  • Select DESTINATIONS from the Navigation Bar. 
  • Click on +CREATE in the Destination View Lists. 
  • Select Azure Synapse as your destination on the Add Destination Page. 
  • Configure Connection Settings to make Azure Synapse your destination. For more information, refer to the Hevo documentation on Configuring Azure Synapse Destination.
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Configuring Settings for Destination
Configuring Settings for Destination

Method 2: Connecting Local SQL Server to Azure Synapse Using Azure Synapse Studio


  • Your SQL Server should have the necessary permissions to make the database accessible and ready for connection. 
  • The SQL Server should be running. 
  • You must set up and install the Azure Synapse Studio on your system.

Step 1: Set up a Self-hosted Integration Runtime

  • Open Azure Synapse Studio. 
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Azure Studion Pane
Azure Studion Pane
  • Go to the Runtime section to set up Integration Runtime.
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Set up Integration Runtime
Set up Integration Runtime
  • Run and install the integration runtime on your system by specifying the following details. Switching to Synapse Studio Live on a self-hosted integration may cause an error. So, you must connect Git to Git.
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Specify Details for Runtime
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Specify Details for Runtime

Step 2: Create a New Linked Server to Make a Connection

  • Create a new linked server in your Azure studio.
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Create a New Linked Server
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Create a New Linked Server
  • In the search bar, type SQL Server for the new linked service and click CONTINUE.
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Selecting SQL Server as a Linked Service
Selecting SQL Server as a Linked Service
  • Fill out the relevant details using the integration runtime you have installed before. You must add a server name to connect to the service running on your local host. 
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Specify details for Server
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Specify details for Server

Step 3: Copy Data from SQL Server to Azure Synapse Studio

  • Once Azure Synapse connect to SQL Server on the local database host, you can copy data by clicking on the Ingest option. 
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Selecting Ingest Option for Data Import
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Selecting Ingest Option for Data Import
  • The Copy Data Tool will appear, where you can select Linked Service to select tables and views to store and analyze your data.
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Copying Data into Azure Synapse Studio
SQL Server Azure Synapse: Copying Data into Azure Synapse Studio

Limitations for Connecting Local SQL Server to Azure Synapse Using Azure Synapse Studio

  • When you move SQL Server database to Azure Synapse, it requires manual intervention during data transfer. You must also plan regular data updates and backups to maintain data integrity across multiple environments.
  • The cost of moving data from SQL Server to Azure could be high when transferring large amounts of data.
  • Depending on the network infrastructure and connectivity, the process could take longer due to latency or bandwidth issues.

Use Cases for SQL Server Azure Synapse Integration

Here are some benefits of migrating from SQL Server to Azure Synapse:

  • SQL Server Azure Synapse integration enables organizations to consolidate their data sources and workspace within a single environment, resulting in robust data management.
  • Azure Synapse dynamically allocates resources according to your workload. It scales up the resources during heavy workloads and scales down during lower usage, helping reduce costs and optimize resource utilization. 
  • Azure’s SQL Pool offers a parallel processing architecture for data warehousing, which allows you to store large volumes of data and analyze it efficiently.


SQL Server Azure Synapse integration lets you optimize your data management capabilities and enhance your analytics performance. However, integrating your data through Azure Synapse Studio can be time-consuming and complex. On the other hand, Hevo makes data integration easy through its automated data pipeline.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. In which region is Azure Synapse Analytics available?

Azure Synapse Analytics is part of the Microsoft Azure suite, which consists of cloud-based services. As Microsoft expands its footprint globally, Azure Services will become easily accessible. You can refer to the Azure product region to find out which regions Azure Synapse is available in.

Q. Is there a way to migrate data from SQL Server to Azure Synapse without using a data pipeline? 

You can migrate your data from the SQL Server Database into Azure Synapse Analytics by connecting your local database host to Azure Studio through Linked Server. Once you have made the connection between the two platforms, you can export your data easily.

Saloni Agarwal
Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Saloni is a technical content writer, who enjoys writing articles about ML, AI and cloud-based storage platforms. She has experience writing about data integration, and different modern technologies related to this.

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