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How To Send Data From Your Python App to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics

This tutorial will explore how to send data from your Python application to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics. Azure Synapse Analytics is a powerful data analytics service that enables you to analyze and visualize your data at scale. By integrating Python with Azure Synapse Analytics, you can leverage the capabilities of both platforms to efficiently process and analyze your data.

Let’s go ahead and start the tutorial by first exploring Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics – you’ll need a working knowledge of SQL and Python before continuing.

Introduction to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics

Before diving into the technical details, let's start with an overview of the key components involved in this process.

Azure Synapse Analytics is a cloud-based analytics service provided by Microsoft. It allows you to streamline your data workflow and gain valuable insights from your data.

Azure Synapse Analytics uses several technologies and integrates with various services to offer a unified experience for big data and data warehouse management. It brings together the best of SQL technologies used in enterprise data warehousing, Spark technologies used for big data, Data Explorer for log and time series analytics, Pipelines for data integration and ETL/ELT, and deep integration with other Azure services such as Power BI, CosmosDB, and AzureML. Here's a brief overview of some of the technologies Azure Synapse uses:

  • SQL Pools (formerly SQL Data Warehouse): This provides large-scale data warehousing capabilities using Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) to query and manage large datasets efficiently. We’ll explain MPP later in this guide.
  • Apache Spark: Synapse Analytics integrates with Apache Spark to offer large-scale data processing capabilities, especially for big data scenarios. The Serverless Apache Spark pool allows users to run Spark jobs without pre-provisioning or managing the underlying Spark clusters, simplifying the process and optimizing cost.
  • Azure Data Integration: Synapse provides built-in data integration capabilities to ingest, prepare, manage, and serve data for immediate business intelligence and machine learning needs.
  • Azure Active Directory: For identity and access management, ensuring secure and role-based access to data and analytical assets.
  • Azure Data Lake Storage Integration: Synapse Analytics integrates deeply with Azure Data Lake Storage, allowing big data analytics and exploration.
  • Synapse Studio: A unified web-based interface for managing, monitoring, and developing analytics solutions within Synapse Analytics.
  • Integration with Power BI and Azure Machine Learning: This provides capabilities for visualization, data exploration, and incorporating machine learning models into analytics workflows.

As you can see, Azure Synapse Analytics is not just about one technology. It’s an amalgamation of various technologies and services designed to offer an end-to-end analytics solution in the Azure cloud ecosystem.

What is Massively Parallel Processing (MPP)

Azure Synapse Analytics utilizes Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) architecture, which enables it to handle large volumes of data. It can process and analyze massive datasets, making it ideal for big data analytics projects.

Here’s a high-level overview of how MPP works. MPP divides large datasets into smaller distributions spread across multiple storage and compute nodes. Queries are then split and run simultaneously on each node, enabling rapid data processing. The SQL Pool in Synapse Analytics represents a set of provisioned resources, orchestrating this parallel processing. By adjusting resources in the SQL Pool, users can influence the degree of parallelism and performance, scaling to meet the demands of large-scale data analytics.

Setting up your Azure Synapse Analytics account

Before sending data from Python to Azure Synapse Analytics, you must set up an account. To do so, create an Azure subscription, select the appropriate pricing tier for your needs, and create a new Synapse workspace. Once you set up your workspace, you can access it through the Azure portal to perform various operations, such as creating data pipelines and managing data sources.

Integrating Python with Azure Synapse Analytics

Synapse Analytics provides Synapse serverless SQL pool, a serverless query service that enables you to run SQL queries on files placed in Azure Storage. SQL queries are supported similar to any SQL database. It supports Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) drivers, so you can use any ODBC driver to connect and run your queries on Azure Synapse Analytics.

Azure Synapse Analytics also provides REST APIs, which can be easily accessed using Azure Python SDK. You can use that to manage your Synapse Analytics account, but for this tutorial, we will focus on sending data to your Azure SQL using ODBC driver. We will use a Python library here, `

pyodbc

`, an ODBC driver.

Configure `pyodbc` library

The `

pyodbc

` library is commonly used to connect Python applications to various data sources, including Azure Synapse Analytics. Use the following command to install the library in your Python environment:

SH
pip install pyodbc

Now, you can use the functions of this library to connect with Azure Synapse Analytics.

Send data from Python to Azure Synapse Analytics

Now, we will send data using `

pyodbc

` library functions. Before you can send the data, you must provide the necessary connection details, such as the server name, database name, and authentication credentials. You can get all these details from your Synapse Analytics account. We will prepare a “connection string” using these details. Once the connection is established, we can execute the query to insert the data. We will use the `

cursor

` object to execute a SQL query to load data into your warehouse.

The following code shows how to perform all these steps:

PYTHON
import pyodbc
# Your Azure Synapse Analytics connection details
server = 'your_server_name.sql.azuresynapse.net
database = 'your_database_name'
username = 'your_username'
password = 'your_password'
driver = '{SQL Server Native Client 11.0}'
# Establishing connection
connection = pyodbc.connect(
f"DRIVER={driver}; SERVER={server}; PORT=1433; DATABASE={database}; Uid={username}; Pwd={password}; Encrypt=yes;TrustServerCertificate=no;Connection Timeout=30")
cursor = connection.cursor()
# Inserting data
data_to_insert = (123, 'John Doe')
insert_query = "INSERT INTO your_table_name (id, name) VALUES (?, ?)"
cursor.execute(insert_query, data_to_insert)
connection.commit()
connection.close()

Once you’re done executing the query, it’s a best practice to close the connection to your Azure Synapse Analytics database. That’s it! Now you have saved your data in Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics.

To verify, you can query data using the SELECT command or use Synapse Studio. You can get insights into any potential issues by monitoring using Synapse Studio. Synapse Studio provides a single way for enterprises to build solutions, maintain, and secure all in a single user experience.

This was a simplified example. For real-world usage, you’ll also need to think about security. Avoid hardcoding credentials in your code, as we did in this example. Use Azure Key Vault to store and retrieve secrets. Consider using Managed Identities where applicable. You may use Azure Active Directory to give your team members permissions to access Synapse Analytics with proper user activity auditing and monitoring.

In order to get accurate analytics, you should make sure that your data is clean. You can use Python’s Pandas library to perform data-cleaning jobs. You can write Python code to transform data in the desired schema before sending it to Azure Synapse Analytics.

If you're sending large amounts of data, consider using a bulk loading mechanism, such as Azure Data Factory. It allows you to transfer large datasets efficiently into Azure Synapse Analytics.

With these steps, you can send high-quality data to your Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics. Don’t forget to check out the official Synapse Analytics documentation.

Conclusion

This quickstart guide helped you with integrating Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Python. You should now be able to leverage the strengths of both platforms to efficiently process and analyze your data. By following the steps outlined in this article, you'll be able to send your data from your Python app to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and unleash the full potential of your data.

Don't want to go through the pain of direct integration? RudderStack's Python SDK makes it easy to send data from your Python app to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics.