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A Look at Azure Table Storage

Azure Table storage is a service that stores non-relational structured data (also known as structured NoSQL data) in the cloud. This kind of storage provides key/attribute store with a schemaless design. Because Table storage is schemaless, it’s easy to adapt your data as the needs of your application evolve.


In this lecture, the focus is on Azure Table Storage and its fundamental aspects. Azure Table Storage is introduced as a service provided by Microsoft for storing non-relational structured data in the cloud, commonly referred to as structured NoSQL data. Emphasis is placed on its key-attribute store and schemaless design, which allows for flexible adaptation of data to the evolving needs of applications.

The lecture goes on to discuss the benefits of Azure Table Storage, noting its speed and cost-effectiveness, especially when compared to traditional SQL storage for comparable volumes of data. The versatility of Table Storage is highlighted through examples of potential use cases, such as storing user data for web applications, address books, device information, or other types of metadata.

An important part of the storage structure is also covered, detailing that a single storage account can hold numerous tables, each containing any number of entities, within the capacity limits of the account. The lecture points out that Azure Table Storage supports authenticated calls both from within and outside the Azure cloud, reinforcing its flexibility.

Regarding use cases, the lecture notes that Table Storage is suitable for storing large amounts of structured data necessary for web-scale applications, especially when there is no need for complex joins or foreign keys, and where de-normalized data is preferred for rapid access. It’s also suitable for scenarios requiring fast querying through clustered indexes or when using OData protocol and LINQ queries via WCF Data Service .NET libraries.

The structure of Table Storage is also dissected: it’s composed of a storage account, tables, entities, properties, and URLs, with the URL format used by Azure Table Storage accounts presented as a point of reference.

In defining entities and properties, the lecture clarifies that an entity is akin to a database row in a SQL database and consists of a set of named value pairs, or properties. Entities can have up to 252 properties to store data.

To conclude, the lecture reiterates that Azure Table Storage serves as a key-attribute, schemaless storage service for non-relational structured NoSQL data, and understanding its application scenarios is vital for anyone preparing for an exam on the topic.

© 2023 Thomas J Mitchell / TomTeachesIT