QuickStart: Build a Xamarin.Forms app with .NET SDK and Azure Cosmos DB's API for MongoDB

Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally distributed multi-model database service. You can quickly create and query document, key/value, and graph databases, all of which benefit from the global distribution and horizontal scale capabilities at the core of Azure Cosmos DB.

This quickstart demonstrates how to create a Cosmos account configured with Azure Cosmos DB's API for MongoDB, document database, and collection using the Azure portal. You'll then build a todo app Xamarin.Forms app by using the MongoDB .NET driver.

Prerequisites to run the sample app

To run the sample, you'll need Visual Studio or Visual Studio for Mac and a valid Azure CosmosDB account.

If you don't already have Visual Studio, download Visual Studio 2019 Community Edition with the Mobile development with .NET workload installed with setup.

If you prefer to work on a Mac, download Visual Studio for Mac and run the setup.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Create a database account

  1. In a new window, sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. In the left menu, click Create a resource, click Databases, and then under Azure Cosmos DB, click Create.

    Screenshot of the Azure portal, highlighting More Services, and Azure Cosmos DB

  3. In the Create Azure Cosmos DB Account page, enter the settings for the new Azure Cosmos DB account.

    Setting Value Description
    Subscription Your subscription Select the Azure subscription that you want to use for this Azure Cosmos DB account.
    Resource Group Create new

    Then enter the same unique name as provided in ID
    Select Create new. Then enter a new resource-group name for your account. For simplicity, use the same name as your ID.
    Account Name Enter a unique name Enter a unique name to identify your Azure Cosmos DB account. Because documents.azure.com is appended to the ID that you provide to create your URI, use a unique ID.

    The ID can use only lowercase letters, numbers, and the hyphen (-) character. It must be between 3 and 31 characters in length.
    API Azure Cosmos DB's API for MongoDB The API determines the type of account to create. Azure Cosmos DB provides five APIs: Core (SQL) for document databases, Gremlin for graph databases, Azure Cosmos DB's API MongoDB for document databases, Azure Table, and Cassandra. Currently, you must create a separate account for each API.

    Select MongoDB because in this quickstart you are creating a table that works with the MongoDB.
    Location Select the region closest to your users Select a geographic location to host your Azure Cosmos DB account. Use the location that's closest to your users to give them the fastest access to the data.

    Select Review+Create. You can skip the Network and Tags section.

    The new account page for Azure Cosmos DB

  4. The account creation takes a few minutes. Wait for the portal to display the Congratulations! Your Cosmos account with wire protocol compatibility for MongoDB is ready page.

    The Azure portal Notifications pane

The sample described in this article is compatible with MongoDB.Driver version 2.6.1.

Clone the sample app

First, download the sample app from GitHub. It implements a todo app with MongoDB's document storage model.

  1. Open a command prompt, create a new folder named git-samples, then close the command prompt.

    md "C:\git-samples"
  2. Open a git terminal window, such as git bash, and use the cd command to change to the new folder to install the sample app.

    cd "C:\git-samples"
  3. Run the following command to clone the sample repository. This command creates a copy of the sample app on your computer.

    git clone https://github.com/Azure-Samples/azure-cosmos-db-mongodb-xamarin-getting-started.git

If you don't wish to use git, you can also download the project as a ZIP file

Review the code

This step is optional. If you're interested in learning how the database resources are created in the code, you can review the following snippets. Otherwise, you can skip ahead to Update your connection string.

The following snippets are all taken from the MongoService class, found at the following path: src/TaskList.Core/Services/MongoService.cs.

  • Initialize the Mongo Client.

    MongoClientSettings settings = MongoClientSettings.FromUrl(
        new MongoUrl(APIKeys.ConnectionString)
    settings.SslSettings =
        new SslSettings() { EnabledSslProtocols = SslProtocols.Tls12 };
    MongoClient mongoClient = new MongoClient(settings);
  • Retrieve a reference to the database and collection. The MongoDB .NET SDK will automatically create both the database and collection if they do not already exist.

    string dbName = "MyTasks";
    string collectionName = "TaskList";
    var db = mongoClient.GetDatabase(dbName);
    var collectionSettings = new MongoCollectionSettings {
        ReadPreference = ReadPreference.Nearest
    tasksCollection = db.GetCollection<MyTask>(collectionName, collectionSettings);
  • Retrieve all documents as a List.

    var allTasks = await TasksCollection
                    .Find(new BsonDocument())
  • Query for particular documents.

    public async Task<List<MyTask>> GetIncompleteTasksDueBefore(DateTime date)
        var tasks = await TasksCollection
                        .Where(t => t.Complete == false)
                        .Where(t => t.DueDate < date)
        return tasks;
  • Create a task and insert it into the collection.

    public async Task CreateTask(MyTask task)
        await TasksCollection.InsertOneAsync(task);
  • Update a task in a collection.

    public async Task UpdateTask(MyTask task)
        await TasksCollection.ReplaceOneAsync(t => t.Id.Equals(task.Id), task);
  • Delete a task from a collection.

    public async Task DeleteTask(MyTask task)
        await TasksCollection.DeleteOneAsync(t => t.Id.Equals(task.Id));

Update your connection string

Now go back to the Azure portal to get your connection string information and copy it into the app.

  1. In the Azure portal, in your Azure Cosmos DB account, in the left navigation click Connection String, and then click Read-write Keys. You'll use the copy buttons on the right side of the screen to copy the Primary Connection String in the next steps.

  2. Open the APIKeys.cs file in the Helpers directory of the TaskList.Core project.

  3. Copy your primary connection string value from the portal (using the copy button) and make it the value of the ConnectionString field in your APIKeys.cs file.

You've now updated your app with all the info it needs to communicate with Azure Cosmos DB.

Run the app

Visual Studio 2019

  1. In Visual Studio, right-click on each project in Solution Explorer and then click Manage NuGet Packages.
  2. Click Restore all NuGet packages.
  3. Right click on the TaskList.Android and select Set as startup project.
  4. Press F5 to start debugging the application.
  5. If you want to run on iOS, first your machine is connected to a Mac (here are instructions on how to do so).
  6. Right click on TaskList.iOS project and select Set as startup project.
  7. Click F5 to start debugging the application.

Visual Studio for Mac

  1. In the platform dropdown list, select either TaskList.iOS or TaskList.Android, depending which platform you want to run on.
  2. Press cmd+Enter to start debugging the application.

Review SLAs in the Azure portal

The Azure portal monitors your Cosmos DB account throughput, storage, availability, latency, and consistency. Charts for metrics associated with an Azure Cosmos DB Service Level Agreement (SLA) show the SLA value compared to actual performance. This suite of metrics makes monitoring your SLAs transparent.

To review metrics and SLAs:

  1. Select Metrics in your Cosmos DB account's navigation menu.

  2. Select a tab such as Latency, and select a timeframe on the right. Compare the Actual and SLA lines on the charts.

    Azure Cosmos DB metrics suite

  3. Review the metrics on the other tabs.

Clean up resources

When you're done with your web app and Azure Cosmos DB account, you can delete the Azure resources you created so you don't incur more charges. To delete the resources:

  1. In the Azure portal, select Resource groups on the far left. If the left menu is collapsed, select Expand button to expand it.

  2. Select the resource group you created for this quickstart.

    Metrics in the Azure portal

  3. In the new window, select Delete resource group.

    Metrics in the Azure portal

  4. In the next window, type the name of the resource group to delete, and then select Delete.

Next steps

In this quickstart, you've learned how to create an Azure Cosmos DB account and run a Xamarin.Forms app using the API for MongoDB. You can now import additional data to your Cosmos DB account.