Azure Table Storage and Transactions

Azure Table Storage and Transactions


Using transactions with two Azure Storage tables can be a bit tricky, as Azure Table Storage does not support cross-table transactions in the traditional relational database sense. However, there are strategies you can implement to achieve transaction-like behaviour.

Strategy 1: Table Batch Operations

Azure Table Storage supports batch operations, which are atomic within a single table. This means you can insert, update, delete, or replace multiple entities in a single table atomically. However, this is limited to a single table and a maximum of 100 entities.

To use batch operations, you need to ensure that all entities in the batch:

  • Are in the same partition.
  • The total payload of the batch is less than 4 MB.

Here’s a basic example in C# using the Azure Data Tables client library:

var tableClient = new TableClient(connectionString, tableName);
var batch = new List<TableTransactionAction>();

// Add operations to the batch
batch.Add(new TableTransactionAction(TableTransactionActionType.Add, entity1));
batch.Add(new TableTransactionAction(TableTransactionActionType.Add, entity2));

// Submit the batch
Response<IReadOnlyList<Response>> response = await tableClient.SubmitTransactionAsync(batch);

Strategy 2: Manual Two-Phase Commit

For cross-table transactions, you’d need to implement a manual two-phase commit. This is complex and not natively supported, but it can be done by:

  1. Inserting/Updating the first table.
  2. If successful, proceeding to insert/update the second table.
  3. If the second operation fails, manually rolling back the first operation.

Here’s a simplified example:

var tableClient1 = new TableClient(connectionString, tableName1);
var tableClient2 = new TableClient(connectionString, tableName2);

    // Operation on the first table
    await tableClient1.AddEntityAsync(entity1);

    // Operation on the second table
    await tableClient2.AddEntityAsync(entity2);
    // If there's an error, rollback the first operation if needed
    // This might involve deleting or updating the entity in the first table

Strategy 3: Using Azure Cosmos DB Table API

If transaction support across tables is critical, consider using Azure Cosmos DB with its Table API. Cosmos DB supports transactions across multiple tables (or containers in Cosmos DB terminology) using stored procedures, triggers, and batch operations.

Best Practices and Considerations

  • Idempotency: Ensure your operations are idempotent, especially if you’re manually handling rollback scenarios. This means an operation can be repeated without causing unintended effects.
  • Error Handling: Robust error handling is crucial, especially in manual rollback scenarios.
  • Performance: Be mindful of the performance implications. Transactions, especially manual ones, can add complexity and reduce throughput.
  • Consistency: Understand the consistency models of Azure Table Storage and design your application accordingly.


While Azure Table Storage doesn’t support native cross-table transactions like a relational database, you can use batch operations for single-table transactions or implement a manual two-phase commit pattern for cross-table scenarios.

However, always weigh the complexity and performance implications against your application’s requirements.

For full transaction support, consider using Azure Cosmos DB with the Table API.

The official documentation for Azure Table Storage can be found here: –


Hi, my name is Stephen Finchett. I have been a software engineer for over 30 years and worked on complex, business critical, multi-user systems for all of my career. For the last 15 years, I have been concentrating on web based solutions using the Microsoft Stack including ASP.Net, C#, TypeScript, SQL Server and running everything at scale within Kubernetes.