Azure Table Storage

Last time I wrote about how to setup a table storage account and how to get started using the Azure Storage Explorer. This time I am going to show you how to use .NET to interact with an Azure Table storage account.

With a Storage Account you can do many things as shown by this picture. I will be focusing on just tables in this post. I will build a sample WPF app that shows you how to use table storage as the database.

Getting started

You need two NuGet packages to get started: One is Windows Azure Storage and the other is Microsoft Azure Configuration Manager. You need to configure a connection string in the app.config file. I am using the storage emulator for testing so my app.config will look like this. The UseDevelopmentStorage is a shortcut to use when using the storage emulator.

    <supportedRuntime version="v4.0" sku=".NETFramework,Version=v4.7" />
    <add key="StorageConnectionString" value="UseDevelopmentStorage=true;" />

If you want to use the emulator you will need to download the emulator. Once installed see here to start the emulator on your local machine. To use an actual account all you do is get the connection string from the Azure portal and paste in in for the value.

You need to create an instance of a CloudStorageAccount and CloudTableClient. In my test app I did that in my ViewModel constructor.

private CloudStorageAccount storageAccount;
private CloudTableClient tableClient;

public MainViewModel()
    storageAccount = CloudStorageAccount.Parse(CloudConfigurationManager.GetSetting("StorageConnectionString"));
    tableClient = storageAccount.CreateCloudTableClient();

It is very easy to create a table with code like this. As you can probably guess this creates the table for you if it isn’t there.

customersTable = tableClient.GetTableReference("Customers");

Querying for all records is easy:

var query = new TableQuery<CustomerEntity>();
var results = customersTable.ExecuteQuery(query);

When you have to update a record you need a replace TableOperation. Like this:

var update = TableOperation.Replace(entity);
await customersTable.ExecuteAsync(update);

If you want to delete an entity it also is easy and similar.

var deleteOperation = TableOperation.Delete(entity);
await customersTable.ExecuteAsync(deleteOperation);

The API for interacting with table storage is easy to use and it doesn’t take very long to figure things out from my little experience with it so far. Also the documentation is very helpful and is a must if you are new to this.

So if you want to check out my little sample app to see how you can use Table storage do so here.

Have you used the .NET api to interact with Table Storage? What did you think of it?