New in Azure Synapse Analytics: CICD for SQL Analytics using SQL Server Data Tools

At Microsoft Ignite 2019, we announced Azure Synapse Analytics, a major evolution of Azure SQL Data Warehouse. The same industry leading data warehouse now provides a whole new level of performance, scale, and analytics capabilities. One of these capabilities is SQL Analytics, which provides a rich set of enterprise data warehousing features.

Today we are announcing the general availability of the highest requested feature for SQL Analytics in Azure Synapse, SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) database projects. This release includes support for SQL Server Data Tools with Visual Studio 2019 along with native platform integration with Azure DevOps providing built-in continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) capabilities for enterprise level deployments. This announcement also comes with support for the Schema Compare extension in Azure Data Studio for SQL Analytics.  You can now expect a frictionless development and deployment experience on any platform for your analytics solution.

Flow diagram showing changes promoted across Development, Test, and Production environments using SSDT and Azure DevOps.

Since announcing preview support for SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), customers have been able to use popular SQL Server Data Tools features such as Schema Compare, build, and publish for local development of their data warehouse. Although this has helped customers accelerate project development, an automated build, test, and deployment infrastructure is still critical for continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) scenarios. Without the native integration with Azure DevOps, customers were still forced to manually write PowerShell and TSQL scripts integrated with Azure DevOps for an automated release process.

With SQL Server Data Tools generally available and native Azure DevOps support, you can now set up stable release pipelines without any custom code, and changes to your data warehouse model can be safely and automatically promoted across development, testing, and production environments. Preview customers such as T-Mobile will now be able to accelerate their feature development with Azure Synapse.

“In our current environment, we would have needed hundreds of custom scripts to validate and promote changes across our test and production environments. We’re excited to now simply use SSDT, MSBuild, and the Publish task in Azure DevOps to deploy and release features to production on a consistent and faster cadence.” – Anthony Sabol, Director, Reporting & Analytics at T-Mobile.

Integrate with Microsoft Azure Repos for continuous integration 

Data engineers and developers can easily integrate their SQL Server Data Tools database projects with Microsoft Azure Repos. 

Using Schema Compare in SSDT showing how changes can be tracked using a Git repository in Azure Repos.

Configure continuous deployment using Microsoft Azure Pipelines 

Changes committed to source control in Azure Repos can automatically be pre-validated using MSBuild and promoted to target environments using Microsoft Azure Pipelines and the built-in SQL Analytics deployment task extension 

Downloading the SQL analytics deployment task in the Azure DevOps marketplace.

Cross platform support for Schema Compare with Azure Data Studio 

Azure Data Studio is a cross-platform database tool that now allows you to compare the schema between two data warehouse definitions 

Using Schema Compare to generate change scripts in Azure Data studio.

Next steps