Introduction to Azure Queue Storage
Queue Storage is an important component of Azure Storage. In this post, we'll first learn the fundamentals of Azure queue storage and then dive into the methods to store data in Azure queue storage.
To the unversed, Microsoft Azure Queues are similar to your regular queues. They are ready-to-use services that work on the Azure platform infrastructure to connect loosely connected components or applications.
With that basic introduction, let’s begin the post.
Table of contents
- What is a Queue?
- What is Azure Queue Storage?
- Structure of Azure Queue Storage
- Advantages of Azure Queue Storage
- Disadvantages of Azure Queue Storage
- Azure Storage queues vs. Azure Service Bus queues
What is a Queue?
Here is the classic definition of a queue - It’s a data structure working on the First-In-First-Out (FIFO) principle. Put simply, in this, elements are pushed to the back of the line and taken away from the front. The phrase "enqueue" refers to the operation of inserting data into a queue, whereas "dequeue" refers to the activity of removing data from a queue. The Azure Storage Queues and Azure Service Bus queues are the two types of queues supported by Azure.
What is Azure Queue Storage?
Azure Queue Storage is a type of message queuing service offered by the Azure Platform. It provides a queue storage architecture for a REST-based interface within and between applications and services. You may store a huge number of messages using the Azure Queue storage service, which can be accessed from anywhere using HTTP or HTTPS authenticated calls. So, in a nutshell, Azure queues are cloud platform queues that may be used to exchange messages across different components, either in the cloud or on-premise.
Every message is typically a task that was created by someone (the "producer") and must be processed by another person (the "consumer"). Similarly, every message contains a brief body and various parameters, such as time-to-live, that you can use to customize the service. Because each dequeued message is always unseen to the other consumer or listener, you may envisage a scenario with multiple producers and consumers, as well as a one-to-one interaction. This flexible coupling is the fundamental advantage of the Azure Queue Service.
Azure Queues, as mentioned in the previous section, is a RESTful service that you can use to enqueue and dequeue messages as well as operate (create, delete) queues. Microsoft Azure provides a number of language-specific wrapper APIs (such as.NET, Node.js, Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, and others) through which you can construct apps that send or receive REST calls directly to use Azure Queue storage.
Structure of Azure Queue Storage
Let's take a look at how Azure Queue Storage is set up:
- Storage account: This is used for gaining access to any type of Azure Storage. You must first create a storage account. A storage account can have any number of queues and is used to access them as namespaces. Blobs, Queues, Tables, and other storage types are all possible.
- Queue: A queue can contain a group of messages, and a storage account can have numerous queues. A queue's name must begin with a letter or a number, and it can only contain lowercase letters, numbers, and hyphens (-). If we have several messaging features in our application, it is a good practice to organize messages into different queues.
- Message: A message can have a maximum size of 64 KB. A message's expiry time can be set to anything between 1 second and 7 days. There is also the option to make a message never expire, which will override the expiration term. Messages can contain string values. If we need to provide user-defined objects, we can send serialized JSON strings.
Advantages of Azure Queue Storage
The following are the main benefits of Azure Queue Storages:
- When compared to similar services, Azure Queue Storage is not expensive. This is because they are priced on a pay-per-use model. You will be charged based on the desired amount of redundancy, necessary storage space, and the number of transactions (i.e., read, write, delete).
- Data in Queue Storage is substantially more secure because it must be accessed over the HTTP or HTTPS protocol through apps.
- All you have to pay for is storage and operations. An Event Hub or a Service Bus, for example, has no ongoing costs.
Disadvantages of Azure Queue Storage
Despite the benefits listed above, Azure Queue storage has certain drawbacks, such as:
- There is no provision or ability to specify any message order sequence; therefore, messages may be received by the queue service randomly from multiple producers.
- The Azure Queue service does not have a subscription system. So, in order to determine whether new messages have come, we must run a pull to delete the new messages.
- Every message has only a maximum size of 64 KB.
For handling high volumes of messages, Azure Queue Storage provides a simple, cost-effective, and long-lasting message queueing solution. One of the most useful functions of a Storage Queue is to start a background process asynchronously. You can also include data in the message.