Create a Synapse workspace

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a Synapse workspace, a SQL pool, and an Apache Spark pool.

Create a Synapse workspace

  1. Open the Azure portal, and at the top search for Synapse.
  2. In the search results, under Services, select Azure Synapse Analytics (workspaces preview).
  3. Select Add to create a workspace.
  4. In Basics, choose a workspace name. In this tutorial, we'll use myworkspace.
  5. You need an ADLSGEN2 account to create a workspace. The simplest choice it to create a new one. If you want to re-use an existing one you'll need to perform some additional configuration.
  6. OPTION 1 Creating a new ADLSGEN2 account
    1. Navigate to Select Data Lake Storage Gen 2.
    2. Click Create New and name it contosolake.
    3. Click File System and name it users.
  7. OPTION 2 Using an existing ADLSGEN2 account. See the Preparing an ADLSGEN2 Storage Account instructions at the bottom of this document.
  8. Your Azure Synapse workspace will use this storage account as the "primary" storage account and the container to store workspace data. The workspace stores data in Apache Spark tables. It stores Spark application logs under a folder called /synapse/workspacename.
  9. Select Review + create > Create. Your workspace is ready in a few minutes.

Open Synapse Studio

After your Azure Synapse workspace is created, you have two ways to open Synapse Studio:

  • Open your Synapse workspace in the Azure portal. On the top of the Overview section, select Launch Synapse Studio.
  • Go to the and sign in to your workspace.

Create a SQL pool

  1. In Synapse Studio, on the left-side pane, select Manage > SQL pools.

  2. Select New and enter these settings:

    Setting Suggested value
    SQL pool name SQLDB1
    Performance level DW100C
  3. Select Review + create > Create. Your SQL pool will be ready in a few minutes. Your SQL pool is associated with a SQL pool database that's also called SQLDB1.

A SQL pool consumes billable resources as long as it's active. You can pause the pool later to reduce costs.

Create an Apache Spark pool

  1. In Synapse Studio, on the left-side pane, select Manage > Apache Spark pools.

  2. Select New and enter these settings:

    Setting Suggested value
    Apache Spark pool name Spark1
    Node size Small
    Number of nodes Set the minimum to 3 and the maximum to 3
  3. Select Review + create > Create. Your Apache Spark pool will be ready in a few seconds.


Despite the name, an Apache Spark pool is not like a SQL pool. It's just some basic metadata that you use to tell the Azure Synapse workspace how to interact with Spark.

Because they're metadata, Spark pools can't be started or stopped.

When you perform Spark activity in Azure Synapse, you specify a Spark pool to use. The pool tells Azure Synapse how many Spark resources to use. You only pay for the resources that you use. When you actively stop using the pool, the resources automatically time out and are recycled.


Spark databases are independently created from Spark pools. A workspace always has a Spark database called default. You can create additional Spark databases.

The SQL on-demand pool

Every workspace comes with a pre-built pool called SQL on-demand. This pool can't be deleted. The SQL on-demand pool allows you to work with SQL without having to create or think about managing a SQL pool in Azure Synapse.

Unlike the other kinds of pools, billing for SQL on-demand is based on the amount of data scanned to run the query, not the number of resources used to execute the query.

  • SQL on-demand has its own SQL on-demand databases that exist independently from any SQL on-demand pool.
  • A workspace always has exactly one SQL on-demand pool named SQL on-demand.

Preparing a ADLSGEN2 storage account

Perform the following steps BEFORE you create your workspace

  1. Open the Azure portal.
  2. Navigate to your existing storage account
  3. Select Access control (IAM) on the left pane.
  4. Assign the following roles or make sure they're already assigned:
    • Assign yourself to the Owner role.
    • Assign yourself to the Storage Blob Data Owner role.
  5. On the left pane, select Containers and create a container.
  6. You can give the container a name. In this document, we use the name users.
  7. Accept the default setting Public access level, and then select Create.

Perform the following steps AFTER you create your workspace

Configure access to the storage account from your workspace. Managed identities for your Azure Synapse workspace might already have access to the storage account. Follow these steps to make sure:

  1. Open the Azure portal and the primary storage account chosen for your workspace.

  2. Select Access control (IAM) from the left pane.

  3. Assign the following roles or make sure they're already assigned. We use the same name for the workspace identity and the workspace name.

    • For the Storage Blob Data Contributor role on the storage account, assign myworkspace as the workspace identity.
    • Assign myworkspace as the workspace name.
  4. Select Save.

Next steps