Explore Azure Cosmos DB Without Azure Subscription


Azure Cosmos DB emulator is an exciting tool for getting started with Cosmos Db. This allows us to play with Cosmos DB without even having an Azure Subscription. That means you can write Cosmos DB code in your .net application and view your data on emulator.

System Requirements

You cannot run emulator on Window 7, 8. Below are the software and hardware requirements

  • Software requirements
    • Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, or Windows 10

  • Minimum Hardware requirements
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 10 GB available hard disk space

Download Cosmos DB Emulator

You can download emulator from Microsoft Download Center

Running Cosmos DB Emulator

  • Extract setup and run emulator exe.
  • Once you completed the setup, type Azure Cosmos DB Emulator in Start menu.

    Azure Cosmos DB

  • You can see emulator icon in Windows Trey area (Right Bottom Corner)

Data Explorer

  • To view data explorer, right click Emulator icon in Windows Trey area.
  • Click on Open Data Explorer option

    Azure Cosmos DB

  • You can now see the website opened with URL as https://localhost:8081/_explorer/index.html

    Azure Cosmos DB

  • You can see three options,

    1. Quick Start: Helps you to download sample projects
    2. Explorer: Helps you to view Cosmos DB data store by applications
    3. Feedback

Downloading Sample Project

You can download following sample project from Quick Start menu

  • .Net
  • .Net Core
  • Java
  • js
  • Python

Let’s download a sample project for .Net and open it in Visual Studio.

Exploring .Net Sample Project

It is a simple To DO List web application written using MVC and Cosmos DB

Let’s view web.config file. You can find two main settings registered in web.config required for Cosmos DB connectivity.

Azure Cosmos DB

  • Endpoint
    Endpoint is always set to https://localhost:8081/ as Cosmos DB is available at port 8081.

  • AuthKey
    This work as Primary Key is Cosmos DB environment

In Production Environment you need to replace values of these two settings with actual values.

You can explore DocumentDbRepository.cs file to observe CRUD operation code.

Running Sample Project

  • Click Run to run the application
  • Click on Create New Item, Add details and click on Create Button

    Azure Cosmos DB

View Cosmos DB Data

To view Cosmos DB data:

  1. Open Data Explorer
  2. Click on Explorer menu
  3. You can observe data under ToDoList database

    Azure Cosmos DB


  • https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/cosmos-db/local-emulator

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