Overview

Microsoft Azure Storage is a set of services that allows you to store large volumes of data in a cost-effective manner and in a way that makes the data readily and reliably available to services and applications that consume it. Data committed to Azure Storage can be stored in blobs, tables, queues, or files. Azure blobs are ideal for storing images, videos, and other types of data, and are frequently used to provide input to and capture output from other Azure services such as Azure Stream Analytics. Azure tables provide NoSQL storage for semi-structured data. Azure queues support queued message transfers between applications (or parts of applications) and can be used to make applications more scalable and robust by loosely coupling them together. Finally, Azure Files use the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol to share files through the cloud and access storage as network drives.

Data stored in Microsoft Azure Storage can be accessed over HTTP or HTTPS using straightforward REST APIs, or it can be accessed using rich client libraries available for many popular languages and platforms, including .NET, Java, Android, Node.js, PHP, Ruby, and Python. The Azure Portal includes features for working with Azure Storage, but richer functionality is available from third-party tools, many of which are free and some of which work cross-platform.

In this lab, you will use Visual Studio Code to write a Node.js Web site that accepts images uploaded by users and stores the images in Azure blob storage. You will learn how to read and write blobs in Node.js, and how to use blob metadata to attach additional information to the blobs you create. You will also get first-hand experience using Microsoft Cognitive Services, a set of intelligence APIs for building smart applications. Specifically, you'll submit each image uploaded by the user to Cognitive Services' Computer Vision API to generate a caption for the image as well as search metadata describing the contents of the image and an image thumbnail. And you will discover how easy it is to deploy apps to the cloud using Git and Visual Studio Code.

Objectives

In this hands-on lab, you will learn how to:

  • Create a storage account and storage containers using the Azure Portal
  • Write a Node.js app in Visual Studio Code and deploy it to Azure using Git
  • Read and write blobs and attach metadata to them
  • Use the Computer Vision API to extract information from images and generate thumbnails
  • Use the cross-platform Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer to work with Azure Storage

Prerequisites

The following are required to complete this hands-on lab:

Resources

Click here to download a zip file containing the resources used in this lab. Copy the contents of the zip file into a folder on your hard disk.


Exercises