Azure Queues - An Introduction

Azure Queue Storage - What it is:

Azure Queue Storage is a message queuing service provided by Microsoft that enables the storage of a large number of messages. These messages can be accessed from anywhere in the world through authenticated calls with HTTP or HTTPS protocols. It provides the facility to store millions of messages depending upon the overall capacity limit of the storage account. Each message queue can have a size up to 64 kb and one queue can comprise millions of messages. 

The service facilitates a cost-effective storage mechanism that can be used to handle incoming messages and calls between and within different applications and services. Azure Queues are an effective way of creating a backlog of work for asynchronous processing.


Azure Queue Storage - How It Works:


Azure Queues assist in properly managing traffic disruptions and offloading background workloads to ultimately ensure scalable applications. Using this queue mechanism, system messages can be consistently delivered within and between different applications.


Primarily, application components can interact with each other using azure queue storage. Azure Queue storage facilitates this communication by decoupling components. The communication between the components can take place in the cloud, on-premises, on the desktop, or even on mobile devices with zero dependability on each other. In case of a component crash, Azure Queue Storage can easily buffer requests till the component is back in functioning and able to comprehend requests again.


Azure Queue Storage Concepts:

Azure Queue Storage helps in building workflows and managing asynchronous tasks. Azure Queue Storage is based on the following concepts:

1) URL Format:


Azure Queues are created with distinct namespaces and are addressable using the following URL format:


https://<storage account><queue>

The queue in the following diagram can be addressed using the following URL:

Diagram showing the relationship between a storage account, queues, and messages.

2) Storage Account:


The storage account is used to manage and provide and all the access to Azure Storage. For accessing Azure Storage, users are required to create a storage account. This is one of the basic required components for running Azure services. A storage account contains all the essential data objects that are used in Azure such as File Storage, Blob Storage, and Queue Storage.


3) Queue:


As discussed previously in this article, a queue represents a set of messages and can contain millions of messages. The queue name should unique and must be in lowercase.


4) Message:

A single message within a queue can be up to 64 KB in size. In the previous version before 2017-07-29, queue storage capacity or the maximum time to live for a message was seven days. For later versions that came out after 2017-07-29, the maximum time to live can bear the value of any positive number or  -1, in case the message does not expire at all. If the maximum time to live parameter is not specified, the default value for this factor is set to 7 days - be sure you keep this in mind if you have to deal with legacy applicaiotns using Azure Queues!



Azure Queue Storage is a convenient storage option provided by Microsoft for storing large amounts of messages and transferring them within and between different applications. With the management and maintenance of data queue storage being handled by Microsoft Azure, customers can easily pay for resources and focus on attaining a comprehensive analysis of the relevant data stored in queue storage. If you are developing a system with high throughput of data and need to scale out horizontally, then you should strongly consider using Queue storage.

Happy coding!

If you want to learn more about the information in this article., here are some great links for you to start with!

Official documentation for Azure Queue Storage
Microsoft labs for Azure storage

Video - Getting started with Azure Storage




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