How to connect azure database from SQL server management studio

Published on
June 21, 2022
Pravin Ghavare
Azure Synapse DBA
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Before the advent of Azure, enterprises were restricted to connecting and using the SQL server in the traditional manner where individuals logged in to the on-premises instance of the SQL server through a user ID and password. Now with Azure, this process had become much more straightforward and streamlined. Besides the ease of use, Azure also provides more flexibility, cost savings, and less overhead management, compared to an on-premises setup of SQL server.

While companies are transitioning to azure, employees who have been working on the legacy infrastructure have to familiarize themselves with the newer modes of operations in the latest technology. For people new to Azure, it’s confusing to figure out what to use as a server name because they are used to entering the server’s IP address to log in the on-premises SQL Server. While in Azure, it’s the server connection string which is used instead.

The process of connecting with an Azure SQL database from the SQL server management studio is similar to the process of logging into the on-premises SQL server except for a few key differences. Below mentioned steps will help you to connect to your Azure database hassle-free.

Step 1:

  • Get the server name and database name  

(If you already have the server name and database name skip this step or if you don’t have access to the Azure portal ask your data team to provide you with the details)

  • If you have Azure portal access then go to  and log in with the user’s organizational username and password. Please make sure you have permission to access the portal and SQL database resources.
  • Search for SQL database in the global search window as per the below image and click on SQL database


  • Click on SQL database from the list which you wish to log in, It will open up an overview page
  • Click on connection strings, after clicking it you will enter into the below page

In highlighted portion server is your server name, and the Initial Catalog is your database name. All the values in this connection string are separated by semicolons.  

The server name will always end with  

Step 3:

  • Now you got the server name and database name open SSMS which is installed on your VM.You will see the usual login pop-up screen, once you open the SSMS.
  • Select the server type as Database engine
  • Server Name- Enter the name which you have got from the Azure portal ending with
  • Authentication- If you are an AD user select Azure active directory-Universal with MFA/Azure active Directory – Password. Enter your AD details (Organization email id and password) username and password.
  • If you are a SQL user then select SQL Server authentication and enter your username and password accordingly.  

Step 4

  • Click on the connection properties tab next to login.
  • Enter your database name in Connect to database field.

Finally, click on connect and you are logged in to the Azure SQL database using SSMS.

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