Quickstart: Build a Table API app with Java and Azure Cosmos DB

This quickstart shows how to use Java and the Azure Cosmos DB Table API to build an app by cloning an example from GitHub. This quickstart also shows you how to create an Azure Cosmos DB account and how to use Data Explorer to create tables and entities in the web-based Azure portal.

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.


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

Alternatively, 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 for this tutorial with a URI of https://localhost:8081 and the following key:


In addition:

  • Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.7+
    • 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


You need to create a new Table API account to work with the generally available Table API SDKs. Table API accounts created during preview are not supported by the generally available SDKs.

  1. In a new browser 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.

    Screen shot of the Azure portal, highlighting More Services, and Azure Cosmos DB

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

    Setting Suggested value Description
    ID Enter a unique name Enter a unique name to identify this Azure Cosmos DB account. Because documents.azure.com is appended to the ID that you provide to create your URI, use a unique but identifiable ID.

    The ID can contain only lowercase letters, numbers, and the hyphen (-) character, and it must contain 3 to 50 characters.
    API Azure Table The API determines the type of account to create. Azure Cosmos DB provides five APIs to suits the needs of your application: SQL (document database), Gremlin (graph database), MongoDB (document database), Azure Table, and Cassandra, each which currently require a separate account.

    Select Azure Table because in this quickstart you are creating a table that works with the Table API.

    Learn more about the Table API
    Subscription Enter the same unique name as provided above in ID Select Azure subscription that you want to use for this Azure Cosmos DB account.
    Resource Group The same value as ID Enter a new resource-group name for your account. For simplicity, you can use the same name as your ID.
    Location Select the region closest to your users Select geographic location in which 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.
    Enable geo-redundancy Leave blank This creates a replicated version of your database in a second (paired) region. Leave this blank.
    Pin to dashboard Select Select this box so that your new database account is added to your portal dashboard for easy access.

    Then, click Create.

    Screen shot of the New Azure Cosmos DB blade

  4. The account creation takes a few minutes. During account creation the portal displays the Deploying Azure Cosmos DB tile.

    The Azure portal Notifications pane

    Once the account is created, the Congratulations! Your Azure Cosmos DB account was created page is displayed.

Add a table

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

  1. Click Data Explorer > New Table.

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

    Data Explorer in the Azure portal

  2. In the Add Table page, enter the settings for the new table.

    Setting Suggested value Description
    Table Id sample-table The ID for your new table. Table names have the same character requirements as database ids. Database names must be between 1 and 255 characters, and cannot contain / \ # ? or a trailing space.
    Storage capacity Fixed (10 GB) Change the value to Fixed (10 GB). This value is the storage capacity of the database.
    Throughput 400 RUs Change the throughput to 400 request units per second (RU/s). If you want to reduce latency, you can scale up the throughput later.

    Click OK.

    Data Explorer displays the new database and table.

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

Add sample data

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

  1. In Data Explorer, expand sample-table, click Entities, and then click Add Entity.

    Create new entities in Data Explorer in the Azure portal

  2. Now add data to the PartitionKey value box and RowKey value boxes, and click Add Entity.

    Set the Partition Key and Row Key for a new entity

    You can now add more entities to your table, edit your entities, or query your data in Data Explorer. Data Explorer is also where you can scale your throughput and add stored procedures, user defined functions, and triggers to your table.

Clone the sample application

Now let's clone a Table app from github, set the connection string, and run it. You'll see how easy it is to work with data programmatically.

  1. Open a git terminal window, such as git bash, and use the cd command to change to a folder to install the sample app.

    cd "C:\git-samples"
  2. 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/storage-table-java-getting-started.git 

Update your connection string

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

  1. In the Azure portal, click Connection String.

    View and copy the required connection string information from the in the Connection String pane

  2. Copy the PRIMARY CONNECTION STRING using the copy button on the right.

  3. Open config.properties from the C:\git-samples\storage-table-java-getting-started\src\main\resources folder.

  4. Comment out line one and uncomment line two. The first two lines should now look like this.

    #StorageConnectionString = UseDevelopmentStorage=true
    StorageConnectionString = DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=[ACCOUNTNAME];AccountKey=[ACCOUNTKEY]
  5. Paste your PRIMARY CONNECTION STRING from the portal into the StorageConnectionString value in line 2.


    If your Endpoint uses documents.azure.com, that means you have a preview account, and you need to create a new Table API account to work with the generally available Table API SDK.

  6. Save the config.properties file.

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

Run the app

  1. In the git terminal window, cd to the storage-table-java-getting-started folder.

    cd "C:\git-samples\storage-table-java-getting-started"
  2. In the git terminal window, run the following commands to run start the Java application.

    mvn compile exec:java 

    The console window displays the table data being added to the new table database in Azure Cosmos DB.

    You can now go back to Data Explorer and see query, modify, and work with this new data.

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.

    Metrics in the Azure portal

  2. From the list of resource groups, select the resource group you created, and then click Delete resource group.

  3. 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, create a table using the Data Explorer, and run an app. Now you can query your data using the Table API.