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What Are Tables?


What Are Blobs?
Implement Azure Storage Blobs and Azure Files
Implement Storage Tables
8m 50s
Implement Azure Storage Queues
Manage Access
Monitor Storage
Implement SQL Databases
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1h 18m

Course Description

This course teaches you how to work with Azure Storage and its associated services.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you'll have gained a firm understanding of the key components that comprise the Azure Storage platform. Ideally, you will achieve the following learning objectives:

  • How to comprehend the various components of Azure storage services.
  • How to implement and configure Azure storage services. 
  • How to manage access and monitor your implementation. 

Intended Audience

This course is intended for individuals who wish to pursue the Azure 70-532 certification.


You should have work experience with Azure and general cloud computing knowledge.

This Course Includes

  • 1 hour and 17 minutes of high-definition video.
  • Expert-led instruction and exploration of important concepts surrounding Azure storage services.

What You Will Learn

  • An introduction to Azure storage services.
  • How to implement Azure storage blobs and Azure files.
  • How to implement storage tables.
  • How to implement storage queues.
  • How to manage access and monitor storage.
  • How to implement SQL databases.  

Hello and welcome back. In this session, we'll be talking about tables. We'll cover the use of tables within Azure. We'll cover core concepts, including how tables fit within the storage account, as well as the table service data model and how data is structured using entities and properties.

Tables are laid to store structured but non-relational data in the cloud with a schemeless design. It fits into the no SQL category as a key/ value store, however it's not suitable for data sets that require complex joins, foreign keys, or stored procedures. For these, a relational database is needed such as Azure, a SQL database. Tables are for automatic scaling, which is moving elements to data suffering heavier requests to other servers.

One of it's main benefits-- one of the main benefits of tables is the ability to quickly execute queries against large amounts of data. You can also use thee Odata protocol and related libraries to access the data. This clause explains how to implement creates, reads, updates, and deletes, known as CRUD, design and manage partitions, query using Odata and scale tables and partitions.

This diagram illustrates how tables fit within the storage hierarchy. You first create a storage account within which we can create multiple tables. Each table is a collection of entities used to organize our data. Each entity holds a set of properties which are similar to rows of a database. Each property is a name value pair. In this case, we have created a storage account for movies. We have then created tables to hold details about the directors and actors.

Table storage gives you a way to store non-relational structured data in line with a no SQL approach as a key/ value store. It offers a significantly cheaper option to the Azure SQL database relational approach. It can adapt to highly variable data sets, so it's an appropriate option for such data as information, address books, and variable metadata.

In addition to the user-defined properties, the key/ value pairs, there are three system properties in each entity. The partition key is used to segment the data and it shows that data with the same partition key can be very quickly queried and updated. The row key is used as the unique identifier for the entity. The tables are accessed using a similar URL to blobs and files.

In this case, we have a high level address to access tables within a storage account. Moviesstorageaccount.table.core.windows.net followed by a string for the table name, which is directors. In this demo, we'll illustrate how to create a table directly using Visual Studio. So let's head there now and get started.

I'm here in Visual Studio and I'm gonna show you now how you can create and work with tables within the cloud explorer of Visual Studio. If you've logged in, you should be able to see a screen similar to this and you can go to storage accounts and then select the storage account that you have created. I'm gonna choose one that we have created, which is the CA Block storage and we're gonna right click on tables and click create table. And we'll call this table Directors and press Enter and then you should have a table there called Directors. Now we go down to the option at the bottom called Open Table editor and now we have a view where we can click and add an entity because there's no rows here, no entity. So we click the Add Entity button, just at the top and for the partition key, we're gonna put the word in here Sci-Fi. And then for the row key, we'll put the name of the Director. In this case, we'll put Steven Spielberg and we'll add an extra property. And this one will be called Movies and we'll just put a pipe separated list of the movies that he's directed. So we put E.T. and Jaws. He's done many others, but let's just stick with those for now. Once you've done that, click Okay and that's essentially all it takes to create a table and manipulate the data within that table.

Stay tuned because in the next section, we'll discuss and see how queues work in Azure.

About the Author

Isaac has been using Microsoft Azure for several years now, working across the various aspects of the service for a variety of customers and systems. He’s a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Azure Insider, as well as a proponent of functional programming, in particular F#. As a software developer by trade, he’s a big fan of platform services that allow developers to focus on delivering business value.