Azure Cosmos DB and its common industry use cases

Azure Cosmos DB and its common industry use cases

The development of NoSQL database systems like MongoDB (document), Cassandra (wide column), and Gremlin (graph) during the past decade is undoubtedly the biggest and most revolutionary one in the field of databases. The digital transformation we have seen across all industries would not have been feasible without NoSQL.

Cosmos DB can store and analyze enormous amounts of structured and unstructured data and support large-scale operational and transactional applications with millisecond latency. By grasping opportunities and transforming them into competitive advantages, firms can adapt and innovate more quickly with the assistance of Cosmos DB.

What is Azure Cosmos Database?

The newest multi-model database from Microsoft may be globally distributed throughout any Azure region. The service is named Azure Cosmos DB, Microsoft’s Azure platform for public cloud computing. In 2017, the Cosmos DB service was introduced as an upgraded version of Document DB. Compared to Azure Document DB, Azure Cosmos DB has some improved features. Through adherence to Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in terms of its performance, including throughput, availability, and consistency, Cosmos DB manages to outperform and innovate other market participants.

Azure Cosmos DB architecture

It is always best to use SQL Application Programming Interface (API) for Azure Cosmos DB and relational database together in a solution. By default, Cosmos employs an extended SQL dialect that enables hierarchical exploration. Cosmos DB employs the terms “container” and “item” as general names for storage. A collection, graph, or table are examples of containers. A row, an edge, or a document can all be considered items. Objects jeopardize the data content of a container. The Cosmos database can be represented in this way if you choose the SQL “experience.”

Cosmos DB data architecture

Source: InfoQ – Cosmos DB data architecture

Key benefits of Azure Cosmos DB

  1. Global distribution: Presence of Azure across the globe in various regions, the data can be replicated at anyone of them.
  2. Scalability: Cosmos DB is horizontally scalable, supporting millions of read and write requests per second for every user.
  3. Schema-agnostic indexing: This helps in the automatic indexing of data so the user should not manage that schema and index.
  4. Multi-model: It can store data in various formats like Key-value pairs, Document-based, Graph-based, and Column Family-based databases.
  5. High availability: It has 99.99 % availability for reading and writes for both multi-region and single-region Azure Cosmos DB accounts.
  6. Low latency: The global availability of Azure regions allows users to store data at the nearest region, which further helps in reducing latency to retrieve data.

What are Cosmos DB containers?

Data is kept within an Azure Cosmos DB container. Azure Cosmos DB scales out in contrast to most relational databases, which scale up with larger VM (virtual machines) sizes. The data is kept on one or more servers, referred to as partitions. More partitions are introduced to boost storage capacity or throughput. This gives a container access to virtually limitless throughput and storage. You must enter a partition key when creating a container. You can choose to store this property from among your documents. The data is then sent to the partition to be written, updated, or deleted based on the value of that property.

Cosmos DB containers architecture

Source: Redgate – Cosmos DB containers architecture

Consistency levels in Cosmos DB

Azure Cosmos DB offers five consistency levels so that you can choose the right consistency level for your application.

Consistency levels in Cosmos DB

Source: DB Cloud Tech – Consistency levels in Cosmos DB

The foundation of the consistency concept is the trade-offs between partition tolerance, availability, and consistency in globally distributed databases. It helps in taking care of typical use-case scenarios and ensure that the service is up and operating as effectively as possible. As a result, Azure Cosmos DB provides five consistency levels:

  1. Strong
  2. Bounded-stateless
  3. Session
  4. Consistent Prefix
  5.  Eventual

Four factors—data consistency, app availability, latency, and throughput—vary according to consistency levels. For instance, your application can accept compromises in latency, availability, and throughput as long as the most recent write is accessible for records. So, in this case, you have the option of selecting “Strong” consistency level.

Cosmos DB common industry use cases

Cosmos DB offers all the features consolidated in one service like globally distributed, scalability, and many more, which other NoSQL databases provide separately. The single digit latency can be achieved by enabling a direct connectivity feature with Cosmos DB and if Azure security services are combined, an invulnerable protection is offered to the data. It is simple to manage configuration through the user-friendly Azure portal.

Cosmos DB can be implemented in numerous industrial applications. Here, we discuss a few common industry use cases.


Customers’ expectations can change faster than you might have thought feasible. Retailers need to be aware of seasonal trends and abrupt shifts in consumer shopping habits. A single mishap and the business can turn into a loss. It is one of the major challenges faced by the retail industry.

Cosmos DB helps retailers manage mobile shopping apps, real-time personalization and user profile management, shopping carts, product catalogs, real-time stock inventory, and real-time order processing.

Cosmos DB architecture for retail

Source: Microsoft documentation – Cosmos DB architecture for retail


Most cybercrime targets are financial services companies. They are more likely to be targeted since they contain sensitive information. Financial services companies were impacted 300 times more than other types of companies. The difficult element is keeping data secure and making it accessible whenever needed.

Azure Cosmos DB helps the finance industry to manage mobile banking and payments irrespective of location, detects fraud which can cause mishaps to other consumers, risk assessments and real-time insights to make key business decisions.

Cosmos DB architecture for finance

Cosmos DB architecture for finance

Manufacturing & automotive

The production of automobiles has ceased due to supply chain disruption. The functioning of industrial factories has also been hampered by the novel coronavirus outbreak, in addition to exports. Maintaining social distance inside a production facility would require the mobility of complicated machinery, which highlights the need for supply chain digitization.

Azure Cosmos DB helps the manufacturing and automotive industry by tracking the live location of goods ordered or needed to be delivered, save data generated from millions of IOT (Internet of Things) devices and use it in innovative solutions. It also helps in stock inventory management to make sure they are not out of stock.

Cosmos DB architecture for manufacturing

Source: Microsoft documentation – Cosmos DB architecture for manufacturing


The oil and gas industry is facing increasing demands to clarify the implications of energy transitions for their operations and business models, and to explain the contributions that they can make to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Along with energy conservation, one must take precautionary measures to save people from disasters occurring in hazardous areas. The challenge of adequately transporting gas to its destination while saving human lives must be overcome.

The energy industry can make use of Azure Cosmos DB in their solutions to manage payments, utility bills and manage millions of devices to track each part of transit process to avoid complications and solve it immediately if arise.

Cosmos DB architecture for energy industry

Cosmos DB architecture for energy industry

Logistics & transportation

Global trade has expanded. This has made understanding the impact of demand and supply crucial to managing global trade flows and geopolitics. Integrating a supply chain, however, is not just about following the current trade laws. To avoid data silos, businesses must integrate every important supply chain link. Elevating flexibility while discussing shipping is one of the transportation sector’s biggest issues.

The transportation industry can use Azure Cosmos DB to manage orders placed, membership programs, tracking the live location of placed orders, and loyalty programs.


Manual inventory and delivery systems allow for all-too-common human errors. These mistakes cause faulty inventory counts and an imbalance in supply and demand. Manual counting requires significant effort and time, causing the process to be entirely inefficient. The key is finding an inventory system that has the technical specs needed and is user-friendly.

Azure Cosmos DB is commonly used in the healthcare industry to manage doctor appointments, insurance claims and track settlements. It also uses IoT devices to manage patient’s health from remote locations, manage or diagnose patients. It also helps in research data which is mostly in a semi-structured format.

Cosmos DB architecture for healthcare

Source: Microsoft documentation – Cosmos DB architecture for healthcare industry


Augmented reality and virtual reality experiences have begun to emerge in various applications. From Snapchat filters to companies using virtual reality to train their employees, this technology has exciting applications in the gaming sector. Managing vast amounts of data generated by games and securing it at a safe location is the biggest challenge.

There is no doubt that gaming companies need massive amounts of data to make games more interesting and manage difficulty or characters in real-time. To save this data, they use Azure Cosmos DB. It is also used to manage profiles, inventory of gaming profiles, and scoreboards.

Cosmos DB architecture for gaming

Source: Microsoft documentation – Cosmos DB architecture for gaming industry


An improved version of Document DB called Cosmos DB outperforms it in many ways. Depending on the need, Cosmos DB offers a range of consistency levels. Developers can select any one of the familiar APIs to query data from a database. Due to its versatility, Azure Cosmos DB can be used in any non-relational data solution, regardless of the industry.

Neal Analytics helps companies preserve their data as effectively as possible and develops a cost-effective fix for the problem they are experiencing. We always endeavor to create the best possible solution by considering every conceivable case into account, which elevates the solution to a great level.

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