How to connect to a database from an Azure Function

I migrated this article to its new home here:

I created a simple Azure Function and now I want to connect it to a database.  Check out these other articles as well.

I found this article also useful “Code and test Azure Functions locally”

I used ADO.NET to make this simple connection to a database.  The following is the code I used.

I included these namespaces:

using System;
using System.Data.SqlClient;

Keep in mind that this is only an example and there may be a few places to optimize the code pattern.  I am fine if you point them out, just for fun.

public static class Function1
        private static SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection();

        public static async Task<HttpResponseMessage> 
                "get", "post", Route = null)]HttpRequestMessage req, TraceWriter log)
            log.Info("C# HTTP trigger function processed a request.");

                connection.ConnectionString = 
                await connection.OpenAsync();
                return req.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.OK, 
                    $"The database connection is: {connection.State}");
            catch (SqlException sqlex)
                return req.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.BadRequest, 
                    $"The following SqlException happened: {sqlex.Message}");
            catch (Exception ex)
                return req.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.BadRequest, 
                    $"The following Exception happened: {ex.Message}");

While I was testing locally I wasn’t able to get the Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable() method to get the ConnectionStrings values contained in my local.settings.json file.  So I placed my connection string into the Values section and it worked fine.

When I executed the function locally using CURL I received the following successful result as seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1, Azure Function App connecting to a database example

After I deployed my Function, see here “Deploy an Azure Function created from Visual Studio” the code to read the information from the local.settings.json did not work any more.  I received this, Figure 2, when I attempted to execute the Azure Function.

"The following Exception happened: The ConnectionString property has not been initialized."


Figure 2, Azure Function App connecting to a database example

To make this work, I simply added an Application Setting from my Azure Function App named “DatabaseConnectionString” with a value of the ADO.NET SQL connection string, Figure 3.


Figure 3, Azure Function App connecting to a database example, cannot read from local.settings.json file

While I was messing around with the Application Settings I got these errors, Figure 4.

"The following Exception happened: Keyword not supported: '\"server'."
"The following Exception happened: Format of the initialization string does 
  not conform to specification starting at index 0"


Figure 4, Azure Function App connecting to a database example, cannot read from local.settings.json file

The first one I resolved by Restarting the Azure App.  I didn’t get a chance to troubleshoot it more.  Or it was because I had the Application settings value wrapped in double quotes…?

The second one was because I fat fingered my connection string, once I got the correct value in there, all worked fine.

Comments (2)
  1. Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable() still locally not working also i passed connection string as a value.

    connection.ConnectionString = Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable(“Data;Initial Catalog=MicroServiceDemo;User Id=xxxxxxx;Password=xxxxxx;”);

    can you look over it

    1. Hi Mohit, the parameter to pass that method is the name of the environment variable and not the connection string itself. HTH

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