What is Data API builder for Azure Databases?

Data API builder replaces any custom API performing CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations against a database. DAB is cross-platform, open-source, and independent of language, technology, and frameworks. It requires zero code and a single configuration file. Best of all, it's free, with no premium tier, and can run in any cloud.

Illustration of the Data API builder mascot, which is a database with a construction hat featuring a cloud logo.

Data API builder is designed for developers. Data API builder features a cross-platform CLI, native OpenAPI, Swagger for REST endpoints, and Banana Cake Pop for GraphQL endpoints. Its stateless, Docker-friendly container can be secured with EasyAuth, Microsoft Entra Identity, or any JSON Web Token (JWT) server an enterprise chooses. It has a flexible policy engine, granular security controls, and automatically passes claims data to the SQL session context.

Data API builder (DAB) supports multiple backend data sources simultaneously, including relational and NoSQL sources. DAB also integrates seamlessly with Application Insights. The configuration file can reflect relationships in the database or define new, virtual ones. GraphQL endpoints allow multiple nested Create statements within a single transaction, while REST endpoints feature in-memory caching and support OData-like query string keywords.

DAB natively integrates with Azure Static Web Apps. DAB also works great with Azure Container Apps, Azure Container Instances, Azure Kubernetes Services, and Azure Web Apps for Containers. DAB works with these services while fully supporting custom, on-premises deployments.

DAB supports:

  • SQL Server
  • Azure SQL
  • Azure Cosmos DB for NoSQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL
  • Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • Azure Database for MySQL
  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse

DAB can reduce a typical codebase by a third, eliminate suites of unit tests, shorten CI/CD pipelines, and introduce standards and advanced capabilities typically reserved for the largest development teams. It’s secure and feature-rich while remaining incredibly simple, scalable, and observable.


This diagram breaks down the relationship between all of the components of the Data API builder.

Diagram that shows an overview of the Data API Builder architecture. The diagram includes schema files, abstractions, configuration files, and resulting GraphQL+REST endpoints.

Key Features

  • Support for NoSQL collections
  • Support for relational tables, views, and stored procedures
  • Support multiple, simultaneous data sources
  • Support for authentication via OAuth2/JWT
  • Support for EasyAuth and Microsoft Entra Identity
  • Role-based authorization using received claims
  • Item-level security via policy expressions
  • REST endpoints
    • Filtering, sorting, and pagination
    • In-memory cache
    • Support for OpenAPI
  • GraphQL endpoints
    • Queries and mutations
    • Filtering, sorting and pagination
    • Relationship navigation
    • Dynamic schemas
  • Easy development via dedicated CLI
  • Integration for Static Web Apps via Database Connection
  • Open Source & free

Open source

Data API builder is open source and released under the MIT license. The repository is available on GitHub at azure/data-api-builder.