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Release 9.2


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This section describes how to create connections to  Azure® Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft® SQL DW)®.

Tip: This connection is now known as Azure Synapse Analytics.

Supported Versions: n/a

Supported Environments:


Designer Cloud Enterprise Edition

AmazonMicrosoft Azure
ReadNot supportedNot supportedSupported
WriteNot supportedNot supported



Table types

Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) can interact with the following table types:

Table typeDescription
Managed table

Managed tables are database tables that are specifically defined within the database server.

Read and write are supported.

External table

External tables are references to files on the backend storage layer on top of which is a database schema. The table is defined by reading and writing through the database schema to the underlying file storage.

NOTE: When publishing to an external table, the output file type is Parquet.

NOTE: When publishing to an external table under ADLS user mode, the system credentials are used to write to the storage location and must have the appropriate permissions.

SQL pool types

Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) supports two different SQL pooling methods through which you connect to your data managed by the database server. 

Tip: The type of SQL pooling in use is determined by the URL that you use to connect to Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW). URLs with ondemand in them are for serverless SQL pool connections.

Dedicated SQL pool

These connections utilize a fixed and dedicated set of SQL pool resources. The admin user can define the size and availability of these resources for performing work.

This connection requires more permissions. You must also specify an External Datasource Name. See below.

Tip: Spark-based jobs that read or write through your Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) connection leverage PolyBase for faster performance.

Supported table types: Managed tables, external tables

Serverless SQL pool

These connections specify the SQL pool resources based on the size of the job. In theory, these connection types can scale infinitely for jobs of any size.

Tip: This connection requires fewer permissions on the data warehouse and its databases but is less performant. The URL for these connections always contain ondemand.

Supported table types: External tables only


  • Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) connections are available only if you have deployed the Designer Cloud Powered by Trifacta® platform onto Azure.
  • SSL connections to  Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) are required.

    NOTE: In this release, this connection cannot be created through the APIs. Please create connections of this type through the application.

    NOTE: Under Azure SSO, write operations are not supported through Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) connections.

  • JSON files cannot be read in through this connection type.
  • For custom SQL and file formats other than CSV and Parquet, data is read through CETAS (create external table and select).
    • In some cases, reading from CETAS tables may exceed 30 minutes, which is the read limit imposed by Azure. These jobs time out.
    • In timeout situations, you may be able to fall back to a direct JDBC read of these sources.    
  • When publishing to an external table, the output file type is always Parquet.


  • If you haven't done so already, you must create and deploy an encryption key file for the Alteryx node to be shared by all relational connections. For more information, see Create Encryption Key File.

Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) permissions

  • Read: The authenticating DB user must have read permissions to any  Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW), schemas and tables to which the user should have access.
  • Write: In addition to the above, the authenticating DB user must have the following permissions:



    • The authenticating DB user must also have read access to the external data source.

Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) External Data Source Name

When specifying a connection to external tables, you can provide an External Data Source Name value as part of the connection definition. The External Data Source enables publishing and support for large-scale data ingestion. 

When the External Data Source is provided:

  • CETAS (create external table and select) is used for reading in data.

If the External Data Source is not provided:

  • JDBC read is used for reading in data.
  • The connection is read-only.
  • The connection must be to a set of managed tables.
  • The native ingestion of the Designer Cloud Powered by Trifacta platform is used.



To create this connection, see Connections Page.

For additional details on creating a relational connection, see Relational Access.

Please create a connection of this type and modify the following properties with the listed values:

Enter your hostname. Example:

Tip: If your Host value contains ondemand, then you are using serverless SQL pools.

PortSet this value to 1433.
DatabaseSet this value to the default database name.
External Data Source NameFor external table connections, you must provide an External Data Source. See above for details.
Connect String options

Include any options required for your environment:

User NameUsername to use to connect to the database.
PasswordPassword associated with the above username.
Credential Type
  • basic - Specify username and password as part of the connection
  • Azure Token SSO - Use the SSO principal of the user creating the connection to authenticate to the SQL Server database. Additional configuration is required. See Enable SSO for Azure Relational Connections.
Default Column Data Type Inference

Set to disabled to prevent the Designer Cloud Powered by Trifacta platform from applying its own type inference to each column on import. The default value is enabled.

Configure for SSO

If you have enabled Azure AD SSO integration for the Designer Cloud Powered by Trifacta platform, you can create SSO connections to Azure relational databases. 

NOTE: When Azure AD SSO is enabled, write operations to Azure Synapse Analytics (Formerly Microsoft SQL DW) are not supported.

See Enable SSO for Azure Relational Connections


For more information on locating data, see Database Browser.

For more information, see Using SQL DW.

For more information on defining output objects, see Microsoft SQL Data Warehouse Table Settings.

Data Conversion

For more information on how values are converted during input and output with this database, see SQL DW Data Type Conversions.

See Also for Microsoft SQL Data Warehouse Connections:

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