An Introduction to Azure Table Storage
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This course is intended for those who wish to learn about the basics of Microsoft Azure storage, covering the core storage services in Azure and the different storage account types that are available. You'll watch a demonstration that shows you how to create a storage account in Microsoft Azure.

The course then moves on to look at the storage services in more detail: blob storage, Azure Files, Azure Queues, and Azure Tables. We'll also cover encryption and bursting.

This course contains hands-on demonstrations from the Azure portal so that you can see the concepts covered in this course put into practice. If you have any feedback relating to this course, feel free to reach out to us at

Learning Objectives

  • Define the major components of Azure Storage
  • Understand blob storage and what it offers
  • Understand how to use Azure Files
  • Learn about Azure Queues and how to create a queue
  • Learn why and when to use an Azure Table

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone who wants to learn the basics of Azure Storage.


To get the most out of this course, you should have a basic understanding of the Microsoft Azure platform.



Hello and welcome to Azure table storage. In this lesson, we will take a look at what table storage is and what it’s used for. 

Azure table storage is a storage service offered by Microsoft that allows you to store structured no SQL data in the cloud. It provides a key/attribute store with a schema-less design. When I say schema-less here, what I mean is that the data does not conform to a rigid schema. In other words, it doesn’t conform to specific data types that a typical relational database would conform to. 

Organizations will often use table storage to store flexible databases that include things like user data for Web applications or maybe even address books or device information. Table storage allows you to store all kinds of entities in a table. Storage accounts can contain as many tables as you need up to the capacity limits of the storage account itself. 

Azure table storage, which is actually a NoSQL datastore, often comes into play when an organization needs to store large amounts of structured data. It’s perfect for scenarios that require the storage of structured non-relational data. For example, table storage would be a good choice if you need to store terabytes of structured data required for web scale applications. If you have datasets that don’t require complex joins, foreign keys, or stored procedures, table storage would be a good choice, assuming those data sets can be denormalized for fast access.

Leveraging Azure table storage allows you to store and query massive sets of structured nonrelational data.

Table storage consists of several different components. The URL format for accessing Azure table storage can be seen on your screen.

http://<storage account><table>

Notice the URL includes the storage account name and the table name. It’s the inclusion of these values that makes the URL address unique.

The storage account is another component that helps comprise the Azure table storage offering. The function of the Azure storage account is simple. Access to all Azure storage, including table storage, is provided through a storage account.

The third piece of Azure table storage is the table itself. All a table is is a collection of entities. What makes an Azure table storage table different from a typical relational database table is the fact that it doesn’t enforce a schema on the entities within it. This means that a single table can, and often does, contain all kinds of entities with many different sets of properties.

Speaking of entities, the entity is the fourth component that makes up the Azure table storage offering. The best way to describe an entity is that it is similar to a typical database row. It’s essentially a set of properties. Each entity in Azure storage can be up to 1 MB in size.

The properties, which make up the fifth component, are name-value pairs. You can include up to 252 properties for each entity. There are also three system properties associated with each entity as well. These include a partition key, a row key, and a timestamp.

The image on your screen depicts the relationship among each of these components. As you can see the storage account holds the tables. Each table consists of the entities. Each entity consists of many different properties. The URL that we mentioned earlier is how you access all of this stuff.


In the next lesson, I will show you how to create an Azure storage table using the Azure portal.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.