Mastering Azure DocumentDB Part 1

If you are looking for a full coverage of DocumentDB and developing web services based on DocumentDB in ASP.Net C# MVC, you have come to the right place. well, almost, working on it.


Index

  • What is DocumentDB
  • Pricing
  • Using DocumentDB
    • Getting Started with .Net SDK
    • CRUD of Database
    • CRUD of Collection

 

What is DocumentDB

DocumentDB is the NoSQL database service from Azure.

DocumentDB is native in JSON, means you can post JSON format data and be able to query them like SQL.  This is convenient in modern web services, because the service is not tied to previously defined data schema, which has been a headache for all web service developers, because the service needs ever improvement and that often means data schema changes.

DocumentDB  is configurable to scale linearly.  This is important concept so I ll cover this fully later.

DocumentDB is manageable via REST API, or can be managed from SDK for JavaScript, Java, Node.js, Python and .Net. But I ll be covering SDK for .Net first.


Pricing

Pricing is applicable at collection level and charged per hour. (What is collection? I ll get to that later) There are 3 tiers, all same storage capacity, difference is how much request units they can handle per second.  Request unit is basically a transaction of the database.

  • S1 250 request unit / sec reserved and  $0.039 per hour (that is up to $29 per month)
  • S2 1,000 request unit / sec reserved and $0.076 per hour (that is up to $57 per month)
  • S3 2,500 request unit / sec reserved  and $0.154 per hour (that is up to $114 per month)

This sounds pretty reasonable for me.  Please be sure to refer to limitation of DocumentDB when you choose your service grade.


 

Using DocumentDB

In DocumentDB, there are 3 layers of structures

  • Database
  • Collection
  • Document

What are all these means?  Don’t worry about details for now-now, but these are containers and how each object exist within.  And I ll talk more about what each of these containers are and mean.


 

Getting Start with .Net SDK

I will be using SDK first, so ., once you create ASP.Net MVC project, the first step is to download SDK. You can nuget it or get it from github (https://github.com/Azure/azure-documentdb-dotnet).  You can also do same by calling REST API, but I will cover that when I use DocumentDB with other programming language later.


The top level container of DocumentDB is database.  So, first, let’s go over CRUD of database.

CRUD of Database

When you work with DocumentDB you need end-point URI and authorized key code.  I will store these values into my Web.config file like below.

If you already know which database to work with, you can also store database name to make your life simpler and easier.

Get A List of Databases

Controller

View

And now you should list of database you have in the account like below.

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I currently have one in my account already.  Let’s add another one and see.

Create Database

Database is simply a container of JSON document, with capability to have user access logic built in.  If you want to have different user access level at server side, then you can have separate that database and create collections within.  Creating database is free but you can only make up to 100 databases per account.  (see more at limitation of DocumentDB)

Controllers

View

This is what it looks like at input interface.

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After I run and create database, I am redirected to the list of existing databases and see SandBagDatabase which is database I just added. Super.

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Now that you can view and add databases, let’s take a look at collections.  Which is one below level container of DocumentDB Databases. Collection is where Azure charges and can choose performance levels and more.

CRUD of Collection

Get A List of Collections

List of collection can be obtained from building CollectionQuery (CreateDocumentCollectionQuery) and running it. That is;

I am totally trusting that databaseName which is passed variable to be rigid, but I may want to think about that later.

Controller

View

Right now I don’t have any collection so I should see nothing like below;

スクリーンショット_020116_020826_AM

Creating Collection

Now let’s create collection and see.

Controller

View

The input interface looks like below;

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After I type in collection name and click on Create Collection button, now I see new collection being added properly. Super!

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Please continue on to part 2 for reading more about working with Documents.

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