Copy and transform data in Snowflake using Azure Data Factory or Azure Synapse Analytics

APPLIES TO: Azure Data Factory Azure Synapse Analytics

This article outlines how to use the Copy activity in Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse pipelines to copy data from and to Snowflake, and use Data Flow to transform data in Snowflake. For more information, see the introductory article for Data Factory or Azure Synapse Analytics.

Supported capabilities

This Snowflake connector is supported for the following activities:

For the Copy activity, this Snowflake connector supports the following functions:

  • Copy data from Snowflake that utilizes Snowflake's COPY into [location] command to achieve the best performance.
  • Copy data to Snowflake that takes advantage of Snowflake's COPY into [table] command to achieve the best performance. It supports Snowflake on Azure.
  • If a proxy is required to connect to Snowflake from a self-hosted Integration Runtime, you must configure the environment variables for HTTP_PROXY and HTTPS_PROXY on the Integration Runtime host.

Get started

To perform the Copy activity with a pipeline, you can use one of the following tools or SDKs:

Create a linked service to Snowflake using UI

Use the following steps to create a linked service to Snowflake in the Azure portal UI.

  1. Browse to the Manage tab in your Azure Data Factory or Synapse workspace and select Linked Services, then click New:

  2. Search for Snowflake and select the Snowflake connector.

    Screenshot of the Snowflake connector.

  3. Configure the service details, test the connection, and create the new linked service.

    Screenshot of linked service configuration for Snowflake.

Connector configuration details

The following sections provide details about properties that define entities specific to a Snowflake connector.

Linked service properties

The following properties are supported for a Snowflake-linked service.

Property Description Required
type The type property must be set to Snowflake. Yes
connectionString Specifies the information needed to connect to the Snowflake instance. You can choose to put password or entire connection string in Azure Key Vault. Refer to the examples below the table, as well as the Store credentials in Azure Key Vault article, for more details.

Some typical settings:
- Account name: The full account name of your Snowflake account (including additional segments that identify the region and cloud platform), e.g. xy12345.east-us-2.azure.
- User name: The login name of the user for the connection.
- Password: The password for the user.
- Database: The default database to use once connected. It should be an existing database for which the specified role has privileges.
- Warehouse: The virtual warehouse to use once connected. It should be an existing warehouse for which the specified role has privileges.
- Role: The default access control role to use in the Snowflake session. The specified role should be an existing role that has already been assigned to the specified user. The default role is PUBLIC.
Yes
connectVia The integration runtime that is used to connect to the data store. You can use the Azure integration runtime or a self-hosted integration runtime (if your data store is located in a private network). If not specified, it uses the default Azure integration runtime. No

Example:

{
    "name": "SnowflakeLinkedService",
    "properties": {
        "type": "Snowflake",
        "typeProperties": {
            "connectionString": "jdbc:snowflake://<accountname>.snowflakecomputing.com/?user=<username>&password=<password>&db=<database>&warehouse=<warehouse>&role=<myRole>"
        },
        "connectVia": {
            "referenceName": "<name of Integration Runtime>",
            "type": "IntegrationRuntimeReference"
        }
    }
}

Password in Azure Key Vault:

{
    "name": "SnowflakeLinkedService",
    "properties": {
        "type": "Snowflake",
        "typeProperties": {
            "connectionString": "jdbc:snowflake://<accountname>.snowflakecomputing.com/?user=<username>&db=<database>&warehouse=<warehouse>&role=<myRole>",
            "password": {
                "type": "AzureKeyVaultSecret",
                "store": { 
                    "referenceName": "<Azure Key Vault linked service name>",
                    "type": "LinkedServiceReference"
                }, 
                "secretName": "<secretName>"
            }
        },
        "connectVia": {
            "referenceName": "<name of Integration Runtime>",
            "type": "IntegrationRuntimeReference"
        }
    }
}

Dataset properties

For a full list of sections and properties available for defining datasets, see the Datasets article.

The following properties are supported for the Snowflake dataset.

Property Description Required
type The type property of the dataset must be set to SnowflakeTable. Yes
schema Name of the schema. Note the schema name is case-sensitive. No for source, yes for sink
table Name of the table/view. Note the table name is case-sensitive. No for source, yes for sink

Example:

{
    "name": "SnowflakeDataset",
    "properties": {
        "type": "SnowflakeTable",
        "typeProperties": {
            "schema": "<Schema name for your Snowflake database>",
            "table": "<Table name for your Snowflake database>"
        },
        "schema": [ < physical schema, optional, retrievable during authoring > ],
        "linkedServiceName": {
            "referenceName": "<name of linked service>",
            "type": "LinkedServiceReference"
        }
    }
}

Copy activity properties

For a full list of sections and properties available for defining activities, see the Pipelines article. This section provides a list of properties supported by the Snowflake source and sink.

Snowflake as the source

Snowflake connector utilizes Snowflake’s COPY into [location] command to achieve the best performance.

If sink data store and format are natively supported by the Snowflake COPY command, you can use the Copy activity to directly copy from Snowflake to sink. For details, see Direct copy from Snowflake. Otherwise, use built-in Staged copy from Snowflake.

To copy data from Snowflake, the following properties are supported in the Copy activity source section.

Property Description Required
type The type property of the Copy activity source must be set to SnowflakeSource. Yes
query Specifies the SQL query to read data from Snowflake. If the names of the schema, table and columns contain lower case, quote the object identifier in query e.g. select * from "schema"."myTable".
Executing stored procedure is not supported.
No
exportSettings Advanced settings used to retrieve data from Snowflake. You can configure the ones supported by the COPY into command that the service will pass through when you invoke the statement. No
Under exportSettings:
type The type of export command, set to SnowflakeExportCopyCommand. Yes
additionalCopyOptions Additional copy options, provided as a dictionary of key-value pairs. Examples: MAX_FILE_SIZE, OVERWRITE. For more information, see Snowflake Copy Options. No
additionalFormatOptions Additional file format options that are provided to COPY command as a dictionary of key-value pairs. Examples: DATE_FORMAT, TIME_FORMAT, TIMESTAMP_FORMAT. For more information, see Snowflake Format Type Options. No

Direct copy from Snowflake

If your sink data store and format meet the criteria described in this section, you can use the Copy activity to directly copy from Snowflake to sink. The service checks the settings and fails the Copy activity run if the following criteria is not met:

  • The sink linked service is Azure Blob storage with shared access signature authentication. If you want to directly copy data to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 in the following supported format, you can create an Azure Blob linked service with SAS authentication against your ADLS Gen2 account, to avoid using staged copy from Snowflake.

  • The sink data format is of Parquet, delimited text, or JSON with the following configurations:

    • For Parquet format, the compression codec is None, Snappy, or Lzo.
    • For delimited text format:
      • rowDelimiter is \r\n, or any single character.
      • compression can be no compression, gzip, bzip2, or deflate.
      • encodingName is left as default or set to utf-8.
      • quoteChar is double quote, single quote, or empty string (no quote char).
    • For JSON format, direct copy only supports the case that source Snowflake table or query result only has single column and the data type of this column is VARIANT, OBJECT, or ARRAY.
      • compression can be no compression, gzip, bzip2, or deflate.
      • encodingName is left as default or set to utf-8.
      • filePattern in copy activity sink is left as default or set to setOfObjects.
  • In copy activity source, additionalColumns is not specified.

  • Column mapping is not specified.

Example:

"activities":[
    {
        "name": "CopyFromSnowflake",
        "type": "Copy",
        "inputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<Snowflake input dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "outputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<output dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "typeProperties": {
            "source": {
                "type": "SnowflakeSource",
                "sqlReaderQuery": "SELECT * FROM MYTABLE",
                "exportSettings": {
                    "type": "SnowflakeExportCopyCommand",
                    "additionalCopyOptions": {
                        "MAX_FILE_SIZE": "64000000",
                        "OVERWRITE": true
                    },
                    "additionalFormatOptions": {
                        "DATE_FORMAT": "'MM/DD/YYYY'"
                    }
                }
            },
            "sink": {
                "type": "<sink type>"
            }
        }
    }
]

Staged copy from Snowflake

When your sink data store or format is not natively compatible with the Snowflake COPY command, as mentioned in the last section, enable the built-in staged copy using an interim Azure Blob storage instance. The staged copy feature also provides you better throughput. The service exports data from Snowflake into staging storage, then copies the data to sink, and finally cleans up your temporary data from the staging storage. See Staged copy for details about copying data by using staging.

To use this feature, create an Azure Blob storage linked service that refers to the Azure storage account as the interim staging. Then specify the enableStaging and stagingSettings properties in the Copy activity.

Note

The staging Azure Blob storage linked service must use shared access signature authentication, as required by the Snowflake COPY command.

Example:

"activities":[
    {
        "name": "CopyFromSnowflake",
        "type": "Copy",
        "inputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<Snowflake input dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "outputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<output dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "typeProperties": {
            "source": {
                "type": "SnowflakeSource",
                "sqlReaderQuery": "SELECT * FROM MyTable"
            },
            "sink": {
                "type": "<sink type>"
            },
            "enableStaging": true,
            "stagingSettings": {
                "linkedServiceName": {
                    "referenceName": "MyStagingBlob",
                    "type": "LinkedServiceReference"
                },
                "path": "mystagingpath"
            }
        }
    }
]

Snowflake as sink

Snowflake connector utilizes Snowflake’s COPY into [table] command to achieve the best performance. It supports writing data to Snowflake on Azure.

If source data store and format are natively supported by Snowflake COPY command, you can use the Copy activity to directly copy from source to Snowflake. For details, see Direct copy to Snowflake. Otherwise, use built-in Staged copy to Snowflake.

To copy data to Snowflake, the following properties are supported in the Copy activity sink section.

Property Description Required
type The type property of the Copy activity sink, set to SnowflakeSink. Yes
preCopyScript Specify a SQL query for the Copy activity to run before writing data into Snowflake in each run. Use this property to clean up the preloaded data. No
importSettings Advanced settings used to write data into Snowflake. You can configure the ones supported by the COPY into command that the service will pass through when you invoke the statement. No
Under importSettings:
type The type of import command, set to SnowflakeImportCopyCommand. Yes
additionalCopyOptions Additional copy options, provided as a dictionary of key-value pairs. Examples: ON_ERROR, FORCE, LOAD_UNCERTAIN_FILES. For more information, see Snowflake Copy Options. No
additionalFormatOptions Additional file format options provided to the COPY command, provided as a dictionary of key-value pairs. Examples: DATE_FORMAT, TIME_FORMAT, TIMESTAMP_FORMAT. For more information, see Snowflake Format Type Options. No

Direct copy to Snowflake

If your source data store and format meet the criteria described in this section, you can use the Copy activity to directly copy from source to Snowflake. The service checks the settings and fails the Copy activity run if the following criteria is not met:

  • The source linked service is Azure Blob storage with shared access signature authentication. If you want to directly copy data from Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 in the following supported format, you can create an Azure Blob linked service with SAS authentication against your ADLS Gen2 account, to avoid using staged copy to Snowflake..

  • The source data format is Parquet, Delimited text, or JSON with the following configurations:

    • For Parquet format, the compression codec is None, or Snappy.

    • For delimited text format:

      • rowDelimiter is \r\n, or any single character. If row delimiter is not “\r\n”, firstRowAsHeader need to be false, and skipLineCount is not specified.
      • compression can be no compression, gzip, bzip2, or deflate.
      • encodingName is left as default or set to "UTF-8", "UTF-16", "UTF-16BE", "UTF-32", "UTF-32BE", "BIG5", "EUC-JP", "EUC-KR", "GB18030", "ISO-2022-JP", "ISO-2022-KR", "ISO-8859-1", "ISO-8859-2", "ISO-8859-5", "ISO-8859-6", "ISO-8859-7", "ISO-8859-8", "ISO-8859-9", "WINDOWS-1250", "WINDOWS-1251", "WINDOWS-1252", "WINDOWS-1253", "WINDOWS-1254", "WINDOWS-1255".
      • quoteChar is double quote, single quote, or empty string (no quote char).
    • For JSON format, direct copy only supports the case that sink Snowflake table only has single column and the data type of this column is VARIANT, OBJECT, or ARRAY.

      • compression can be no compression, gzip, bzip2, or deflate.
      • encodingName is left as default or set to utf-8.
      • Column mapping is not specified.
  • In the Copy activity source:

    • additionalColumns is not specified.
    • If your source is a folder, recursive is set to true.
    • prefix, modifiedDateTimeStart, modifiedDateTimeEnd, and enablePartitionDiscovery are not specified.

Example:

"activities":[
    {
        "name": "CopyToSnowflake",
        "type": "Copy",
        "inputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<input dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "outputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<Snowflake output dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "typeProperties": {
            "source": {
                "type": "<source type>"
            },
            "sink": {
                "type": "SnowflakeSink",
                "importSettings": {
                    "type": "SnowflakeImportCopyCommand",
                    "copyOptions": {
                        "FORCE": "TRUE",
                        "ON_ERROR": "SKIP_FILE",
                    },
                    "fileFormatOptions": {
                        "DATE_FORMAT": "YYYY-MM-DD",
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
]

Staged copy to Snowflake

When your source data store or format is not natively compatible with the Snowflake COPY command, as mentioned in the last section, enable the built-in staged copy using an interim Azure Blob storage instance. The staged copy feature also provides you better throughput. The service automatically converts the data to meet the data format requirements of Snowflake. It then invokes the COPY command to load data into Snowflake. Finally, it cleans up your temporary data from the blob storage. See Staged copy for details about copying data using staging.

To use this feature, create an Azure Blob storage linked service that refers to the Azure storage account as the interim staging. Then specify the enableStaging and stagingSettings properties in the Copy activity.

Note

The staging Azure Blob storage linked service need to use shared access signature authentication as required by the Snowflake COPY command.

Example:

"activities":[
    {
        "name": "CopyToSnowflake",
        "type": "Copy",
        "inputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<input dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "outputs": [
            {
                "referenceName": "<Snowflake output dataset name>",
                "type": "DatasetReference"
            }
        ],
        "typeProperties": {
            "source": {
                "type": "<source type>"
            },
            "sink": {
                "type": "SnowflakeSink"
            },
            "enableStaging": true,
            "stagingSettings": {
                "linkedServiceName": {
                    "referenceName": "MyStagingBlob",
                    "type": "LinkedServiceReference"
                },
                "path": "mystagingpath"
            }
        }
    }
]

Mapping data flow properties

When transforming data in mapping data flow, you can read from and write to tables in Snowflake. For more information, see the source transformation and sink transformation in mapping data flows. You can choose to use a Snowflake dataset or an inline dataset as source and sink type.

Source transformation

The below table lists the properties supported by Snowflake source. You can edit these properties in the Source options tab. The connector utilizes Snowflake internal data transfer.

Name Description Required Allowed values Data flow script property
Table If you select Table as input, data flow will fetch all the data from the table specified in the Snowflake dataset or in the source options when using inline dataset. No String (for inline dataset only)
tableName
schemaName
Query If you select Query as input, enter a query to fetch data from Snowflake. This setting overrides any table that you've chosen in dataset.
If the names of the schema, table and columns contain lower case, quote the object identifier in query e.g. select * from "schema"."myTable".
No String query

Snowflake source script examples

When you use Snowflake dataset as source type, the associated data flow script is:

source(allowSchemaDrift: true,
	validateSchema: false,
	query: 'select * from MYTABLE',
	format: 'query') ~> SnowflakeSource

If you use inline dataset, the associated data flow script is:

source(allowSchemaDrift: true,
	validateSchema: false,
	format: 'query',
	query: 'select * from MYTABLE',
	store: 'snowflake') ~> SnowflakeSource

Sink transformation

The below table lists the properties supported by Snowflake sink. You can edit these properties in the Settings tab. When using inline dataset, you will see additional settings, which are the same as the properties described in dataset properties section. The connector utilizes Snowflake internal data transfer.

Name Description Required Allowed values Data flow script property
Update method Specify what operations are allowed on your Snowflake destination.
To update, upsert, or delete rows, an Alter row transformation is required to tag rows for those actions.
Yes true or false deletable
insertable
updateable
upsertable
Key columns For updates, upserts and deletes, a key column or columns must be set to determine which row to alter. No Array keys
Table action Determines whether to recreate or remove all rows from the destination table prior to writing.
- None: No action will be done to the table.
- Recreate: The table will get dropped and recreated. Required if creating a new table dynamically.
- Truncate: All rows from the target table will get removed.
No true or false recreate
truncate

Snowflake sink script examples

When you use Snowflake dataset as sink type, the associated data flow script is:

IncomingStream sink(allowSchemaDrift: true,
	validateSchema: false,
	deletable:true,
	insertable:true,
	updateable:true,
	upsertable:false,
	keys:['movieId'],
	format: 'table',
	skipDuplicateMapInputs: true,
	skipDuplicateMapOutputs: true) ~> SnowflakeSink

If you use inline dataset, the associated data flow script is:

IncomingStream sink(allowSchemaDrift: true,
	validateSchema: false,
	format: 'table',
	tableName: 'table',
	schemaName: 'schema',
	deletable: true,
	insertable: true,
	updateable: true,
	upsertable: false,
	store: 'snowflake',
	skipDuplicateMapInputs: true,
	skipDuplicateMapOutputs: true) ~> SnowflakeSink

Lookup activity properties

For more information about the properties, see Lookup activity.

Next steps

For a list of data stores supported as sources and sinks by Copy activity, see supported data stores and formats.