Quickstart: Build a Java application using Azure Cosmos DB SQL API account

This quickstart shows how to create and manage resources of an Azure Cosmos DB SQL API account by using a Java application. First, you create an Azure Cosmos DB SQL API account using the Azure portal, create a Java app using the SQL Java SDK, add resources to your Cosmos DB account by using the Java application. The instructions in this quickstart can be followed on any operating system that is capable of running Java. After completing this quickstart you'll be familiar with creating and modifying Cosmos DB databases, collections in either the UI or programmatically, whichever is your preference.


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

You can Try Azure Cosmos DB for free without an Azure subscription, free of charge and commitments. Or, you can use the Azure Cosmos DB Emulator with a URI of https://localhost:8081. The Primary Key is provided in Authenticating requests.

In addition:

  • Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.8+
    • On Ubuntu, run apt-get install default-jdk to install the JDK.
    • Be sure to set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to point to the folder where the JDK is installed.
  • Download and install a Maven binary archive
    • On Ubuntu, you can run apt-get install maven to install Maven.
  • Git
    • On Ubuntu, you can run sudo apt-get install git to install Git.

Create a database account

Before you can create a document database, you need to create a SQL API account with Azure Cosmos DB.

  1. In a new browser window, sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Select Create a resource > Databases > Azure Cosmos DB.

    The Azure portal Databases pane

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

    Select Core(SQL) because in this article you create a document database and query by using SQL syntax.

    Learn more about the SQL API.
    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 Azure Cosmos DB account was created page.

    The Azure portal Notifications pane

Add a collection

You can now use the Data Explorer tool in the Azure portal to create a database and collection.

  1. Click Data Explorer > New Collection.

    The Add Collection area is displayed on the far right, you may need to scroll right to see it.

    The Azure portal Data Explorer, Add Collection pane

  2. In the Add collection page, enter the settings for the new collection.

    Setting Suggested value Description
    Database id Tasks Enter Tasks as the name for the new database. Database names must contain from 1 through 255 characters, and they cannot contain /, \\, #, ?, or a trailing space.
    Collection id Items Enter Items as the name for your new collection. Collection ids have the same character requirements as database names.
    Partition key Enter a partition key such as /userid.
    Throughput 400 RU Change the throughput to 400 request units per second (RU/s). If you want to reduce latency, you can scale up the throughput later.

    In addition to the preceding settings, you can optionally add Unique keys for the collection. Let's leave the field empty in this example. Unique keys provide developers with the ability to add a layer of data integrity to the database. By creating a unique key policy while creating a collection, you ensure the uniqueness of one or more values per partition key. To learn more, refer to the Unique keys in Azure Cosmos DB article.

    Click OK.

    Data Explorer displays the new database and collection.

    The Azure portal Data Explorer, showing the new database and collection

Add sample data

You can now add data to your new collection using Data Explorer.

  1. In Data Explorer, the new database appears in the Collections pane. Expand the Tasks database, expand the Items collection, click Documents, and then click New Documents.

    Create new documents in Data Explorer in the Azure portal

  2. Now add a document to the collection with the following structure.

        "id": "1",
        "category": "personal",
        "name": "groceries",
        "description": "Pick up apples and strawberries.",
        "isComplete": false
  3. Once you've added the json to the Documents tab, click Save.

    Copy in json data and click Save in Data Explorer in the Azure portal

  4. Create and save one more document where you insert a unique value for the id property, and change the other properties as you see fit. Your new documents can have any structure you want as Azure Cosmos DB doesn't impose any schema on your data.

Query your data

You can now use queries in Data Explorer to retrieve and filter your data.

  1. See that by default, the query is set to SELECT * FROM c. This default query retrieves and displays all documents in the collection.

    Default query in Data Explorer is `SELECT * FROM c`

  2. Stay on the Documents tab, and change the query by clicking the Edit Filter button, adding ORDER BY c._ts DESC to the query predicate box, and then clicking Apply Filter.

    Change the default query by adding ORDER BY c._ts DESC and clicking Apply Filter

This modified query lists the documents in descending order based on their time stamp, so now your second document is listed first. If you're familiar with SQL syntax, you can enter any of the supported SQL queries in this box.

That completes our work in Data Explorer. Before we move on to working with code, note that you can also use Data Explorer to create stored procedures, UDFs, and triggers to perform server-side business logic as well as scale throughput. Data Explorer exposes all of the built-in programmatic data access available in the APIs, but provides easy access to your data in the Azure portal.

Clone the sample application

Now let's switch to working with code. Let's clone a SQL API app from GitHub, set the connection string, and run it. You'll see how easy it is to work with data programmatically.

  1. 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-sql-api-async-java-getting-started

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 Run the app .

  • AsyncDocumentClient initialization. The AsyncDocumentClient provides client-side logical representation for the Azure Cosmos DB database service. This client is used to configure and execute requests against the service.

    client = new AsyncDocumentClient.Builder()
  • Database creation.

    Database databaseDefinition = new Database();
    client.createDatabase(databaseDefinition, null)
  • DocumentCollection creation.

    DocumentCollection collectionDefinition = new DocumentCollection();
    client.createCollection(databaseLink, collectionDefinition, requestOptions)
  • Document creation by using the createDocument method.

    // Any Java object within your code
    // can be serialized into JSON and written to Azure Cosmos DB
    Family andersenFamily = new Family();
    // More properties
    String collectionLink = String.format("/dbs/%s/colls/%s", databaseName, collectionName);
    client.createDocument(collectionLink, family, null, true)
  • SQL queries over JSON are performed using the queryDocuments method.

    FeedOptions queryOptions = new FeedOptions();
    String collectionLink = String.format("/dbs/%s/colls/%s",
    Iterator<FeedResponse<Document>> it = client.queryDocuments(
            "SELECT * FROM Family WHERE Family.lastName = 'Andersen'",
    System.out.println("Running SQL query...");
    while (it.hasNext()) {
        FeedResponse<Document> page = it.next();
                String.format("\tRead a page of results with %d items",
        for (Document doc : page.getResults()) {
            System.out.println(String.format("\t doc %s", doc));

Run the app

Now go back to the Azure portal to get your connection string information and launch the app with your endpoint information. This enables your app to communicate with your hosted database.

  1. In the git terminal window, cd to the sample code folder.

    cd azure-cosmos-db-sql-api-async-java-getting-started/azure-cosmosdb-get-started
  2. In the git terminal window, use the following command to install the required Java packages.

    mvn package
  3. In the git terminal window, use the following command to start the Java application (replace YOUR_COSMOS_DB_HOSTNAME with the quoted URI value from the portal, and replace YOUR_COSMOS_DB_MASTER_KEY with the quoted primary key from portal)


    The terminal window displays a notification that the FamilyDB database was created.

  4. Press a key to create the database, and then another key to create the collection.

    Switch back to Data Explorer in your browser to see that it now contains a FamilyDB database, and FamilyCollection collection.

  5. Switch to the console window and press a key to create the first document, and then another key to create the second document. Then switch back to Data Explorer to view them.

  6. Press a key to run a query and see the output in the console window.

  7. The app doesn't delete the created resources. Switch back to the portal to clean up the resources. from your account so that you don't incur charges.

    Console output

Review SLAs in the Azure portal

The throughput, storage, availability, latency, and consistency of the resources in your account are monitored in the Azure portal. Let's take a quick look at these metrics.

  1. Click Metrics in the navigation menu.

    Metrics in the Azure portal

  2. Click through each of the tabs so you're aware of the metrics Azure Cosmos DB provides.

    Each chart that's associated with the Azure Cosmos DB Service Level Agreements (SLAs) provides a line that shows if any of the SLAs have been violated. Azure Cosmos DB makes monitoring your SLAs transparent with this suite of metrics.

    Azure Cosmos DB metrics suite

Clean up resources

If you're not going to continue to use this app, delete all resources created by this quickstart with the following steps so you don't incur any charges:

  1. In the Azure portal, select Resource groups on the far left, and then select the resource group you created.

    If the left menu is collapsed, click Expand button to expand it.

    Metrics in the Azure portal

  2. In the new window select the resource group, and then click Delete resource group.

    Metrics in the Azure portal

  3. In the new window, type the name of the resource group to delete, and then click Delete.

Next steps

In this quickstart, you've learned how to create an Azure Cosmos DB account, document database, and collection using the Data Explorer, and run an app to do the same thing programmatically. You can now import additional data into your Azure Cosmos DB collection.