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What is Azure Data Studio?

Fareeha Idrees

Azure Data Studio (ADS) is a free cross-platform database tool used to query, design, analyze, and manage databases and data warehouses. It has been designed to simplify data-related tasks. Built on Visual Studio Code, Azure Data Studio is a multi-database tool that supports both on-premiselocal and cloud database platforms on Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Azure Data Studio is not just about Azure. With containerization, Kusto, Azure Arc, or even IOT, Azure Data Studio allows us to manage and maintain all our environments inside of a single tool, be it on-premises or in Cloud.

This data-centric tool is increasingly becoming the go-to tool for database developers, data analysts, and data engineers due to its plethora of query editor features and ability to simplify data wrangling tasks.

What can you do with Azure Data Studio?

We can use Azure Data Studio to:

Edit and execute queries

Azure Data Studio incorporates an SQL editor with several built-in features to simplify the SQL query editing tasks:

  • IntelliSense suggestions
  • Database object definitions
  • Source control integration (TFS and Git)
  • Code snippets

Moreover, the user interface is also configurable, offering customizable fonts, icons, color themes, and zoom levels.

Integrated terminal to run SQL queries

ADS supports an integrated terminal to help you run most administrative tasks (using Powershell or sqlcmd).

  • IntelliSense suggestions have keyword completion based on your chosen kernel language.
IntelliSense suggestions
  • Built-in code snippets help save time writing queries along with code navigation to help with overall productivity.
A code snippet

Use Jupyter Notebooks

ADS supports SQL, Python, Scala, R, PySpark, and PowerShell Notebooks, which can include live code elements with formatted text, query results, and images. We can save and share the code and results in the Notebooks with others as well.

Using text cells in Notebook

Run on Linux or macOS

In the past, when working with SQL Server, everyone would use Management Studio. The downside with Management Studio was that it only worked with a Windows platform. Azure Data Studio runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows.

Visualize and export queries

We can chart or visualize our query results with the built-in charting query results feature.

Extend features using extensions

ADS offers free extensions that can be installed to extend the available features and customize the tool based on our needs. For example, SandDance is an extension that helps with data visualization and gaining better insights into our data.

Contribute as a developer

Since Azure Data Studio is an open-source tool, developers worldwide can contribute to the product and use the avenue for creative and productive expression.


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Fareeha Idrees
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