Daniel Calbimonte

How to connect our C# application in Azure

October 30, 2015 by

Azure is a simple and cheap way to have a Database. You can rent your Azure Database of 2 GB per 5 USD per month. That is a very cheap price. You can also administer your Database from your Android or your iPhone, which is very interesting.

It is also possible to create your Windows Application using Visual Studio and connect to SQL Azure. In this new chapter, we are going to create Windows application in C# and connect to a SQL Azure database. We are going to retrieve the information of a table stored in Azure in our Windows application.


Getting started

  1. Open the Visual Studio, go to the Server Explorer pane and open the SQL Server Object Explorer for the database created (see the requirements if you do not have a SQL Azure installed):

    Figure 1. The Server Explorer

  2. In the SQL Server Object explorer go to the Server>Databases>the database created>Tables and right click and select the Add New Table option:

    Figure 2. The SQL Server Object Explorer

  3. Create a table and press the Update button. In this sample, we will create a table named Employees. There are few steps after pressing the update icon that were already explained in the previous chapter. Also, insert some data in the table:

    Figure 3. Creating a new table in SQL Azure

  4. To create the Project go to File>New>Project and select Windows Forms Application. You can create Console applications, Web applications, WPF applications, etc. In this example, we will create a Windows Application:

    Figure 4. Creating a New Project

    Figure 5. The Windows Forms Application

  5. In the Toolbox, drag and drop a Button and a Data Grid View:

    Figure 6. The Toolbox

  6. Your application will be similar to the following one:

    Figure 7. The Windows Form

  7. Now, change the text of the Form and the text and also change the DataGridView name:

    Button1.Text= Fill with Azure Data

  8. The form will now look like as follows:

    Figure 8. The Windows Form changed

  9. Now, we are going to create the connection information in the App.config file. The App.config file is a XML file used to store configuration. In this example, we will store the connection string. Go to the App.config in the solution explorer and double click it.

    Figure 9. The App.config

  10. In the App.config, write this code in order to add the SQL Azure connection information:

    The most important part of this code is the name specified (add name=”MyConnection”) because we will call this connection using that name.

    The rest is the connection string. We are using a TCP connection to a server named myservertested.database.windows.net. The port used is the 1433 and the name of the database is sqlschack. The User used to connect is specified when the azure database was created. In this example, the user name is daniel@myservertested, the password is ThisIsmyPwed123 and the encryption is set to true and the Trust Server Certificate is set to false. The Timeout is 30 seconds.

  11. Now let’s add code to the button. Double click on the button to add some code:

    Figure 10. Adding code to the button

  12. Write this code in order to fill the datagridview with the SQL Azure information:

    Let’s analyze the code:

    This line creates a string with the connection of the app.config file created on step 10. Note that the name MyConnection must match with the name of the app.config file.

    We are storing the query in a string variable.

    This line is just creating a connection using the string created before.

    The SqlDataAdapter is the bridge between SQL Server and a DataSet. We need to specify the query and connection for the SqlDataAdapter.

    We are creating a DataSet here. The dataset is an in-memory cache of data retrieved from a data source

    In these 3 lines we are opening the connection and filling the dataset with data of the employees table.

    In these two last lines, we are assigning the dataset to the Data Grid view dgv and assigning the employees as the data members

  13. At the top of the code add these lines:

    By default, only these two lines should be missing:

    These lines are used to connect to SQL Server (SQL Azure in this case) and the Configuration is used to retrieve information from the app.config file.

  14. The complete code should be like this:

  15. Finally, if it was not added the System.Configuration. In the Solution Explorer, go to references:

  16. Right click on references and select Add Reference:

  17. Select the System Configuration. This is necessary to retrieve information from the App.config file:

  18. Once you have the code done, you can start the application:

  19. Press the Fill with Azure Data and you will be able to see the SQL Azure Data:


In this new article, we created a Windows Application in a local machine that access to the Azure information. You can create applications in C#, Visual Basic J# or any other language to connect to Azure. The process is very simple once you are familiar the Azure Portal.

Daniel Calbimonte
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About Daniel Calbimonte

Daniel Calbimonte is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft Certified IT Professional for SQL Server. He is an accomplished SSIS author, teacher at IT Academies and has over 13 years of experience working with different databases. He has worked for the government, oil companies, web sites, magazines and universities around the world. Daniel also regularly speaks at SQL Servers conferences and blogs. He writes SQL Server training materials for certification exams. He also helps with translating SQLShack articles to Spanish View all posts by Daniel Calbimonte