Exercise - Deploy a SQL database in Azure SQL Database


In the last unit, you wrote a function app in Azure that passes each photo that's uploaded to a blob container to the Custom Vision service to determine whether the photo contains a polar bear. The only output from the function app was a log output that shows the verdict that was rendered by the Custom Vision service, and the ID and location of the camera that captured the photo.

Now, you'll use Azure SQL Database to create a SQL database and modify the function app to write to the database. The SQL Database sets the stage for visualizing polar bear sightings in Power BI, which draws information from the database.

Create a SQL database

Let's begin by using Azure Cloud Shell to create a SQL database in Azure SQL Database. The database collects output from the function app you deployed. Later, you'll connect the SQL Database to Power BI to show where cameras are capturing photos of polar bears.

  1. In a browser, go to the Azure portal. In the global controls, select Azure Cloud Shell.

    Screenshot of the global controls in the Azure portal with the Azure Cloud Shell icon highlighted.

    Open Azure Cloud Shell

    You also can open Cloud Shell by going to https://shell.azure.com in a separate browser window.

  2. Run the following code to create values for the SQL Database server, the admin username, the admin password, and the database name. Replace <server-name>, <admin-username>, <admin-password>, and <database-name> in the code example with your own values.

    Keep in mind the following constraints when you choose the values:

    • SERVER_NAME must be unique in Azure. The server name can use only lowercase letters, numbers, and hyphens. The first character and the last character in the name can't be a hyphen.
    • ADMIN_USERNAME can't be a name that's reserved in SQL Server, such as admin or sa. You can use the name adminuser.
    • ADMIN_PASSWORD must be at least eight characters in length.


    Copy and save the admin username and password values to use later.

  3. In Cloud Shell, run the following command to create a SQL database server in the polar-bear-rg resource group. To paste commands in Cloud Shell, you can select Shift+Insert.

    az sql server create --name $SERVER_NAME --resource-group polar-bear-rg --location southcentralus --admin-user $ADMIN_USERNAME --admin-password $ADMIN_PASSWORD
  4. Create a SQL database that's assigned to the S0 service tier.

    az sql db create --resource-group polar-bear-rg --server $SERVER_NAME --name $DATABASE_NAME --service-objective S0
  5. In the Azure portal, open your new SQL Database server. Then, in the resource menu, under Security, select Networking:

    1. So you can connect to the database from Power BI Desktop later, select Add your client IPv4 address.
    2. Select the checkbox Allow Azure services and resources to access this server.
    3. Select Save. If prompted, select OK.

    Screenshot that highlights networks settings to select for the s q l database server.

    Configure the SQL database server

  6. Next, open the database. Then, in the resource menu, select Query editor, and enter the admin username and password you set in step 2. Select OK.

  7. Copy the following code and paste it in the query window. Then, to create a SQL database table, select Run to run the code.

    CREATE TABLE [dbo].[PolarBears]
        [Id] [uniqueidentifier] NOT NULL,
        [CameraId] [nvarchar](16) NULL,
        [Latitude] [real] NULL,
        [Longitude] [real] NULL,
        [Url] [varchar](max) NULL,
        [Timestamp] [datetime] NULL,
        [IsPolarBear] [bit] NULL,
    ALTER TABLE [dbo].[PolarBears] ADD DEFAULT (newid()) FOR [Id]
    ALTER TABLE [dbo].[PolarBears] ADD DEFAULT (getdate()) FOR [Timestamp]
    ALTER TABLE [dbo].[PolarBears] ADD DEFAULT ((0)) FOR [IsPolarBear]
  8. Select the Tables folder to check that the dbo.PolarBears table was created and that it has the following schema:

    Image that shows the Tables folder above the d b o dot Polar Bears table.

    The dbo.PolarBears table

    In the table, the IsPolarBear column is set to 1 or 0 to indicate whether the image in a row contains a polar bear. A value of 1 (True) means that the image shows a polar bear.

Modify the function app

The next step is to modify the function app you created to write output to the SQL Database.

  1. In the Azure portal, go to your function app. In the resource menu, under Development Tools, select Console.

    • In the function app console, run the following code to install the npm tedious package. You can ignore any warning messages. The tedious package provides an API that Node.js apps use to talk to SQL Server and Azure SQL Database.
    npm install tedious
  2. In the resource menu, select Functions and go to your BlobTrigger function. Select Code + Test.

  3. In line 5 of the function, add the following code. Replace DATABASE_SERVER_NAME with the name you assigned to the database server, and replace DATABASE_NAME with the database name.

    var databaseUserName = process.env.DATABASE_USER_NAME;
    var databasePassword = process.env.DATABASE_PASSWORD;
    var databaseServer = 'DATABASE_SERVER_NAME.database.windows.net';
    var databaseName = 'DATABASE_NAME';


    In the code, don't replace the DATABASE_USER_NAME or DATABASE_PASSWORD placeholders with other values. You'll create values for these placeholders in a later step.

  4. Near the end of the function, find the following statements:

            if (isPolarBear) {
                context.log('POLAR BEAR detected by ' + id + ' at ' + latitude + ', ' + longitude);
            else {
                context.log('Other wildlife detected by ' + id + ' at ' + latitude + ', ' + longitude);
        else {

    Replace the statements with the following code. Adjust the code indentation as needed.

    // Update the database
    var Connection = require('tedious').Connection;
    var Request = require('tedious').Request;
    var config =
            type: 'default',
                userName: databaseUserName,
                password: databasePassword
        server: databaseServer,
            database: databaseName,
            encrypt: true
    var dbConnection = new Connection(config);
    dbConnection.on('connect', err => {
        if (!err) {
            var query = "INSERT INTO dbo.PolarBears (CameraId, Latitude, Longitude, URL, Timestamp, IsPolarBear) " +
                "VALUES ('" + id + "', " + latitude + ", " + longitude + ", '" + blobUri + "', GETDATE(), " + (isPolarBear ? "1" : "0") + ")";
            var dbRequest = new Request(query, err => {
                // Called when request completes, with or without error
                if (err) {
        else {
            context.log('DBConnection failed ' + err);
        context.log('after dbConnection.connect()');

    These statements connect to the database and execute an INSERT command to record the latest polar bear sighting. The row added to the database includes the ID, latitude, and longitude of the camera that took the photograph, the URL of the blob that contains the photograph, the current date and time, and an IsPolarBear value that indicates whether the photograph contains a polar bear.

    Select Save.

  5. In the portal, return to your function app overview page. Add two application settings to the function app:

    1. In the resource menu, select Settings, and then select Configuration.
    2. Select Application settings, and then select New application setting.
    3. In Add/Edit application setting, add a setting named DATABASE_USER_NAME. Set the value to the admin name you specified when you created the database server. Select OK.
    4. Repeat the preceding step to add a setting named DATABASE_PASSWORD. Set the value to the password you specified when you created the database server. Select OK.
    5. Select Save. If you're prompted, select Continue.
  6. In a Command Prompt or terminal window, return to the project directory. Then, run run.js.

    node run.js
  7. Let run.js run for a couple minutes. Then, return to the database in the portal. In the query editor, run this code:

    SELECT * FROM dbo.PolarBears
  8. Check that the table contains a few rows that represent images that were submitted to Custom Vision for analysis. Look at the IsPolarBear column in each row. How many images that were analyzed contain a polar bear?

    Screenshot that shows the rows written to the database by the function app.

    Rows written to the database by the function app

  9. Return to the Command Prompt or terminal window, and select Ctrl+C to stop run.js.

Next, you'll use Power BI to produce a more compelling graphical visualization of the data.