Add a connection to Azure SQL Database

With Visual Studio, you can connect any of the following to Azure SQL database by using the Connected Services feature:

  • .NET Framework console app
  • ASP.NET MVC (.NET Framework)
  • ASP.NET Core
  • .NET Core (including console app, WPF, Windows Forms, class library)
  • .NET Core Worker Role
  • Azure Functions
  • Universal Windows Platform App
  • Xamarin
  • Cordova

The connected service functionality adds all the needed references and connection code to your project, and modifies your configuration files appropriately.


This topic applies to Visual Studio on Windows. For Visual Studio for Mac, see Connected services in Visual Studio for Mac.


  • Visual Studio with the Azure workload installed.
  • A project of one of the supported types

Connect to Azure SQL Database using Connected Services

  1. Open your project in Visual Studio.

  2. In Solution Explorer, right-click the Connected Services node, and, from the context menu, select Add Connected Service.

  3. In the Connected Services tab, select the + icon for Service Dependencies.

    Add Service Dependency

  4. In the Add Dependency page, select Azure SQL Database.

    Add Azure SQL Database Service

    If you aren't signed in already, sign into your Azure account. If you don't have an Azure account, you can sign up for a free trial.

  5. In the Configure Azure SQL Database screen, select an existing Azure SQL Database, and select Next.

    If you need to create a new component, go to the next step. Otherwise, skip to step 7.

    Connect to existing Azure SQL Database component

  6. To create an Azure SQL Database:

    1. Select Create a SQL Database at the bottom of the screen.

    2. Fill out the Azure SQL Database: Create new screen, and select Create.

      New Azure SQL Database

    3. When the Configure Azure SQL Database screen is displayed, the new database appears in the list. Select the new database in the list, and select Next.

  7. Enter a connection string name, or choose the default, and choose whether you want the connection string stored in a local secrets file, or in Azure Key Vault.

    Specify connection string

  8. The Summary of changes screen shows all the modifications that will be made to your project if you complete the process. If the changes look OK, choose Finish.

    Summary of changes

    If prompted to set a firewall rules, choose Yes.

    Firewall rules

  9. The connection appears under the Service Dependencies section of the Connected Services tab.

    Service dependencies

See also