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Introduction to Creating an App with Cosmos DB


Introduction to Cosmos DB
1m 58s
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1h 8m

Cosmos DB is one of many database solutions in a crowded market. From DynamoDB to Cassandra to CockroachDB, the questions one would naturally ask when examining Cosmos DB are, “what makes it special, and how can I get started with it?”

This course answers both of those questions as thoroughly and concisely as possible. This course is for anyone with an interest in database technologies or creating software using Microsoft Azure. Whether you are a DevOps engineer, a database admin, a product manager, or a sales expert, this course will help you learn how to power your technology with one of Azure's most innovative data solutions.

From this course, you will learn how to make use of Cosmos DB's incredible flexibility and performance. This course is made up of nine comprehensive lectures to guide you from the basics to how to create your own app using Cosmos DB.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the basic components of Cosmos DB
  • Learn how to use Cosmos DB via the web portal, libraries, and CLI tools
  • Learn how to create an application with Cosmos DB as the data backend

Intended Audience

  • People looking to build applications using Microsoft Azure
  • People interested in database technologies


  • General knowledge of IT architecture
  • General knowledge of databases

By now, you should have a pretty strong theoretical understanding of Cosmos DB. We walked through its feature set, explained its API, demonstrated its tooling and generally covered how the technology can serve as a backend for a variety of use cases. What we have not done is actually tried to build something so that we can see all this cool stuff in action. In this final section of the course, we're gonna do just that. We're gonna stop being polite and start getting real. 

This isn't a Cloud Academy lab, so you won't actually need to create anything in a Microsoft Azure account to follow along. Instead, we'll just very carefully cover step-by-step how to create a working application backend using Cosmos DB. Now, to keep things simple, we're not gonna create a frontend. The app we create will be a simple event processing system. It'll take in event data using Azure Event Hub, transmit the events to an Azure Function where we can perform transformations, and then finally, save everything to Cosmos DB. The setup for Azure Event Hub and Azure Functions will be minimal. We will include some screenshots and explanation, but we won't focus too much on those systems since they're out of scope for this class. 

There are other classes if you wanna dig into those tools. You're welcome to skip those short lessons if you don't feel like they're of use to you. The meat of this section will be the creating our app backend and validating our app lessons where we will walk through the Cosmos DB endpoint setup and then run some test data through Event Hub to see if it actually persisted in Cosmos DB. Again, you don't actually need to do any of this yourself, but if you have access to an Azure account, it's a great way to reinforce all that we have covered. So if you're ready, let's get to it.

About the Author

Jonathan Bethune is a senior technical consultant working with several companies including TopTal, BCG, and Instaclustr. He is an experienced devops specialist, data engineer, and software developer. Jonathan has spent years mastering the art of system automation with a variety of different cloud providers and tools. Before he became an engineer, Jonathan was a musician and teacher in New York City. Jonathan is based in Tokyo where he continues to work in technology and write for various publications in his free time.