Microsoft Azure Storage Table Reader/Writer

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Desktop Professional Edition.

Microsoft Azureā„¢ Tables is a cloud storage service that is part of the Azure platform.

Product and System Requirements



Operating System


FME Desktop License

FME Server

FME Cloud

Windows 64-bit




Available in FME Professional Edition and higher







Available in FME Professional Edition and higher






Usage Notes

This chapter assumes familiarity with the Microsoft Azure Platform, tables, column types, connection parameters and cloud computing in general.

Connecting to Azure Storage Tables requires knowledge of a Storage Service name or URL and a Primary Access Key that is granted access to that service. The Primary Access Key is usually provided when creating an Azure account for that service and should be stored by the user (since it is not easily human-readable but it must be provided for new connections using the reader and writer).

Usage of FME defaults is strongly recommended.


Azure Storage Tables is designed to store simple tabular data in the cloud. In many aspects it behaves like a database. Azure Storage Tables can store terabytes of data providing and is very is scalable. The key limitation of Azure Storage Tables is that they are not relational, however Tables are not limited to a specific set of fields. Two different entity sets within a table may have completely different fields thus schema is a fluid concept within Azure Tables. At the row level, every entry has a Partition key and row key. These two keys together form the identity of the entry. The partition key is also use to load-balance the table across multiple servers.

The Azure Storage Tables reader and writer does not include any native geometry support but provides a mechanism for custom storage. For example, a related format based on Azure Storage Tables is Microsoft Azure OGDI which adds its own geometry and metadata support. Currently, Azure Storage Tables connects with the Azure architecture and retrieves data from the Table storage type. Reading and writing from or to Blob or Queue storage types is not supported.

As it is not a relational database, the Azure Storage Tables reader and writer does not support a SQL interface. Instead the Microsoft Azure over SQL Server should be used if this is desirable. The Azure Storage Tables reader and writer communicate with Azure servers directly through the REST API.


Additional information on the Microsoft Azure Platform is available on the Microsoft Azure Product web page.

For more information on the Azure Storage Table storage service, see the Summary of Table Service Functionality.

Reader Overview

The Azure Storage Table Reader produces an FME feature for each row in a table in the provided source.

Reader Dataset

The dataset is the Azure storage account that contains the tables.

Writer Overview

You can choose your own keys as long as every Partitionkey-RowKey pair is unique, or you can let FME create them for you.

If FME creates the keys, it will assign a unique Partition key per translation. This Partition key will be the same for all the features on the same translation to optimize batch transfer to the server. The row key will be a random UUID for each feature.

Writer Dataset

The dataset is the Azure storage account that will contain the tables.