hands-on lab

Run Your First SQL Queries

Up to 1h
You can pause this lab for up to 4h
Get guided in a real environmentPractice with a step-by-step scenario in a real, provisioned environment.
Learn and validateUse validations to check your solutions every step of the way.
See resultsTrack your knowledge and monitor your progress.


Structured Query Language (SQL) is a standard language for storing, manipulating and retrieving data in databases. SQL lends itself well to intuitive and clearly-defined databases, because it uses a system to create relationships among its data sets that is relatively easy to get started with. Companies use SQL when they have a need to store, update and serve data with clearly-defined relationships or using mature, proven technology.

In this Lab, you will practice the basics of SQL by connecting to a Microsoft SQL Server instance and then creating, managing and viewing data using a combination of user interface tools and SQL queries.

Take in mind that if you end the session (or it terminates due to timeout) all your progress will be lost.

Lab Objectives

Upon completion of this Lab you will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of SQL
  • Navigate within Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)
  • Create databases, tables and rows using SQL syntax
  • Insert and view data in tables

Intended Audience

This Lab is intended for:

  • Prospective developers, data scientists and database engineers
  • Anyone who needs the ability to store, edit and view data
  • Anyone interested in full-stack, backend or website development


You should be familiar with:

  • Familiarity with the Azure Portal is helpful but not required
  • A basic understanding of SQL is helpful but not required


April 21st, 2023 - Upgraded the VCF to enhance the user experience

April 12th, 2021 - Moved validation checks to the most relevant Lab step for more immediate validation feedback

January 25th, 2021 - Upgrade underlying instance size for better performance

August 24th, 2020 - Updated the Lab to use in-browser Remote Desktop to streamline the lab experience

March 13th, 2020 - Updated the Lab's SQL license and validation steps

October 14th, 2019 - Resolved an issue that caused the Lab's validation to fail to accurately assess the Lab

Environment before

Environment after

About the author

Matt Martinez, opens in a new tab
Cloud Content & Labs QA
Learning paths

Matt has worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies as a DevOps Engineer and Solutions Architect. He is an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional, and an AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate. He enjoys reading and learning new technologies.

Lab steps

Connecting to a SQL Server Instance
Inserting and Querying Data in Microsoft SQL Server