Quickstart: Run a Spark job on Azure Databricks Workspace using the Azure portal

In this quickstart, you use the Azure portal to create an Azure Databricks workspace with an Apache Spark cluster. You run a job on the cluster and use custom charts to produce real-time reports from Seattle safety data.


  • Azure subscription - create one for free. This tutorial cannot be carried out using Azure Free Trial Subscription. If you have a free account, go to your profile and change your subscription to pay-as-you-go. For more information, see Azure free account. Then, remove the spending limit, and request a quota increase for vCPUs in your region. When you create your Azure Databricks workspace, you can select the Trial (Premium - 14-Days Free DBUs) pricing tier to give the workspace access to free Premium Azure Databricks DBUs for 14 days.

  • Sign in to the Azure portal.


If you want to create an Azure Databricks workspace in the Azure Commercial Cloud that holds US Government compliance certifications like FedRAMP High, please reach out to your Microsoft or Databricks representative to gain access to this experience.

Create an Azure Databricks workspace

In this section, you create an Azure Databricks workspace using the Azure portal or the Azure CLI.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Create a resource > Analytics > Azure Databricks.

    Databricks on Azure portal

  2. Under Azure Databricks Service, provide the values to create a Databricks workspace.

    Create an Azure Databricks workspace

    Provide the following values:

    Property Description
    Workspace name Provide a name for your Databricks workspace
    Subscription From the drop-down, select your Azure subscription.
    Resource group Specify whether you want to create a new resource group or use an existing one. A resource group is a container that holds related resources for an Azure solution. For more information, see Azure Resource Group overview.
    Location Select West US 2. For other available regions, see Azure services available by region.
    Pricing Tier Choose between Standard, Premium, or Trial. For more information on these tiers, see Databricks pricing page.
  3. Select Review + Create, and then Create. The workspace creation takes a few minutes. During workspace creation, you can view the deployment status in Notifications. Once this process is finished, your user account is automatically added as an admin user in the workspace.

    Databricks deployment tile

    When a workspace deployment fails, the workspace is still created in a failed state. Delete the failed workspace and create a new workspace that resolves the deployment errors. When you delete the failed workspace, the managed resource group and any successfully deployed resources are also deleted.

Create a Spark cluster in Databricks


To use a free account to create the Azure Databricks cluster, before creating the cluster, go to your profile and change your subscription to pay-as-you-go. For more information, see Azure free account.

  1. In the Azure portal, go to the Databricks workspace that you created, and then click Launch Workspace.

  2. You are redirected to the Azure Databricks portal. From the portal, click New Cluster.

    Databricks on Azure

  3. In the New cluster page, provide the values to create a cluster.

    Create Databricks Spark cluster on Azure

    Accept all other default values other than the following:

    • Enter a name for the cluster.

    • For this article, create a cluster with (5.X, 6.X, 7.X) runtime.

    • Make sure you select the Terminate after __ minutes of inactivity checkbox. Provide a duration (in minutes) to terminate the cluster, if the cluster is not being used.

      Select Create cluster. Once the cluster is running, you can attach notebooks to the cluster and run Spark jobs.

For more information on creating clusters, see Create a Spark cluster in Azure Databricks.

Run a Spark SQL job

Perform the following tasks to create a notebook in Databricks, configure the notebook to read data from an Azure Open Datasets, and then run a Spark SQL job on the data.

  1. In the left pane, select Azure Databricks. From the Common Tasks, select New Notebook.

    Create a new notebook

  2. In the Create Notebook dialog box, enter a name, select Python as the language, and select the Spark cluster that you created earlier.

    Enter notebook details

    Select Create.

  3. In this step, create a Spark DataFrame with Seattle Safety Data from Azure Open Datasets, and use SQL to query the data.

    The following command sets the Azure storage access information. Paste this PySpark code into the first cell and use Shift+Enter to run the code.

    blob_account_name = "azureopendatastorage"
    blob_container_name = "citydatacontainer"
    blob_relative_path = "Safety/Release/city=Seattle"
    blob_sas_token = r"?st=2019-02-26T02%3A34%3A32Z&se=2119-02-27T02%3A34%3A00Z&sp=rl&sv=2018-03-28&sr=c&sig=XlJVWA7fMXCSxCKqJm8psMOh0W4h7cSYO28coRqF2fs%3D"

    The following command allows Spark to read from Blob storage remotely. Paste this PySpark code into the next cell and use Shift+Enter to run the code.

    wasbs_path = 'wasbs://%s@%s.blob.core.windows.net/%s' % (blob_container_name, blob_account_name, blob_relative_path)
    spark.conf.set('fs.azure.sas.%s.%s.blob.core.windows.net' % (blob_container_name, blob_account_name), blob_sas_token)
    print('Remote blob path: ' + wasbs_path)

    The following command creates a DataFrame. Paste this PySpark code into the next cell and use Shift+Enter to run the code.

    df = spark.read.parquet(wasbs_path)
    print('Register the DataFrame as a SQL temporary view: source')
  4. Run a SQL statement return the top 10 rows of data from the temporary view called source. Paste this PySpark code into the next cell and use Shift+Enter to run the code.

    print('Displaying top 10 rows: ')
    display(spark.sql('SELECT * FROM source LIMIT 10'))
  5. You see a tabular output like shown in the following screenshot (only some columns are shown):

    Sample data

  6. You now create a visual representation of this data to show how many safety events are reported using the Citizens Connect App and City Worker App instead of other sources. From the bottom of the tabular output, select the Bar chart icon, and then click Plot Options.

    Create bar chart

  7. In Customize Plot, drag-and-drop values as shown in the screenshot.

    Customize pie chart

    • Set Keys to source.

    • Set Values to <\id>.

    • Set Aggregation to COUNT.

    • Set Display type to Pie chart.

      Click Apply.

Clean up resources

After you have finished the article, you can terminate the cluster. To do so, from the Azure Databricks workspace, from the left pane, select Clusters. For the cluster you want to terminate, move the cursor over the ellipsis under Actions column, and select the Terminate icon.

Stop a Databricks cluster

If you do not manually terminate the cluster it will automatically stop, provided you selected the Terminate after __ minutes of inactivity checkbox while creating the cluster. In such a case, the cluster automatically stops, if it has been inactive for the specified time.

Next steps

In this article, you created a Spark cluster in Azure Databricks and ran a Spark job using data from Azure Open Datasets. You can also look at Spark data sources to learn how to import data from other data sources into Azure Databricks. Advance to the next article to learn how to perform an ETL operation (extract, transform, and load data) using Azure Databricks.