Microsoft Ships Data API Builder for Azure SQL Databases

Microsoft today announced the general availability of the open source Data API builder (DAB), which provides REST and GraphQL endpoints for Azure databases, some three years in the making.

The description of the tool in the Microsoft Artifact Registry reads: "With Data API builder, database objects can be exposed via REST or GraphQL endpoints so that your data can be accessed using modern techniques on any platform, any language, and any device. With an integrated and flexible policy engine, granular security is assured; integrated with Azure SQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL and Cosmos DB, gives developers an efficiency boost like never seen before." It has been pulled from the registry more than 205,000 times.

The open source project's GitHub repo notes that it can be used for on-premises data stores, also.

"It's been a long road, getting from there to here," Microsoft's Jerry Nixon said in a blog post today (May 15). "Nearly three years ago, Data API builder began as just a dream. How can we reduce the friction for developers wanting to access databases in their client applications? We created Data API builder to solve this, providing secure and feature-rich REST and GraphQL endpoints over databases with zero code. DAB is developer-oriented; it's open-source and free, even for on-prem databases."

In describing its architecture, Nixon said it's a dynamic container-based, configuration-driven runtime in the ASP.NET camp, written in C# and published under the MIT license. "We use ChilliCream's Hot Chocolate for GraphQL and FusionCache for in-memory cache," he said. "We also use Swashbuckle, Polly, and several other libraries that every developer uses in well-designed API projects."

Data API Builder for Azure SQL Databases
[Click on image for larger view.] Data API Builder for Azure SQL Databases (source: Microsoft).

The full list of supported data stores includes:

  • 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

REST endpoints facilitate CRUD operations via POST, GET, PUT, PATCH and DELETE, along with support for filtering, sorting and pagination. GraphQL endpoints support queries and mutations, in addition to the filtering/sorting/pagination.

Further details of the two different kinds of endpoints provided by DAB include:

  • REST endpoints: DAB offers REST endpoints with native OpenAPI support and Swagger for developers, including in-memory caching and support for OData-like query string keywords. REST in DAB is standard and typical; it is configured per-entity with granular security and flexible database policies.
  • GraphQL endpoints: DAB provides GraphQL endpoints with automatic schema generation and Banana Cake Pop for developers, including relational queries and nested Create mutations. GraphQL in DAB can exist with or without REST endpoints and supports the same granular and flexible security features.

Other highlights include:

  • Allow collections, tables, views and stored procedures to be accessed via REST and GraphQL
  • Support authentication via OAuth2/JWT
  • Support for EasyAuth when running in Azure
  • Role-based authorization using received claims
  • Item-level security via policy expressions
  • Easy development via dedicated CLI
  • Full integration with Static Web Apps via Database Connection feature when running in Azure

"The journey from public preview to General Availability has been rewarding, and Data API builder is ready to help developers simplify database interactions, enabling more time to focus on creating outstanding user experiences and architectures," concluded Nixon, senior program manager, Azure SQL.

For more information, see Data API builder documentation.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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