Azure SQL Database External REST Endpoints Integration Public Preview

Davide Mauri

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The ability to call a REST endpoint natively from Azure SQL Database, which was made available via an Early Adopter Preview in May, is now moving to Public Preview. I’m extremely happy that as of today the new system stored procedure sp_invoke_external_rest_endpoint is available to everyone, automatically and transparently: you can use it right away, from any Azure SQL Database that you may already have or that you’ll create in future.

With sp_invoke_external_rest_endpoint you can call a REST endpoint, like an Azure Function, for example, with just a line of code:

declare @ret as int, @response as nvarchar(max);

exec @ret = sp_invoke_external_rest_endpoint 
	@method = 'GET',
	@url = ' world',
	@response = @response output;
select @ret as ReturnCode, @response as Response;

Here’s a screenshot of the result of calling an Azure Function that provides information about local restaurants. The screenshot also shows that you can also query using GraphQL, if that is supported by the called endpoint.

sp_invoke_external_rest_endpoint invoking an Azure Funcrtion passing a GraphQL query

Azure Function is just one of the services you can use with sp_invoke_external_rest_endpoint. In fact, you can call any of the following Azure services:

Azure Service
Azure Functions Azure Apps Service
Azure App Service Environment Azure Static Web Apps
Azure Logic Apps Azure Container Instances
Azure Event Grid Azure Event Hubs
PowerApps / Dataverse Azure Cognitive Services
Power BI Microsoft Graph
Analysis Services IoT Central
API Management

Aside from calling an Azure Function, as you can see, you really have a lot of options which will enable you to create more user-friendly and responsive solutions. Just a few ideas, for example:

  • integrate with Azure Event Hubs and Azure Event Grid is extremely easy now to push data out of Azure SQL to make it available to event-driven solutions.
  • integrate with Power BI so that you can execute a DAX query using the executeQueries REST endpoint and get the result right into Azure SQL DB
  • invoke any REST endpoint anywhere in the world, thanks to the integration with API Management
  • send a notification to a SignalR website right from Azure SQL DB thanks to already mentioned Azure Function integration
  • enrich your data using AI and ML models – for example to detect anomalies – via the integration with Azure Cognitive Services

To learn everything about sp_invoke_external_rest_endpoint, the newly added security permission needed to use it, the support for Managed Service Identities and much more, take a look at the official documentation: sp_invoke_external_rest_endpoint (Transact-SQL) (Preview).

To make it easy to start and use sp_invoke_external_rest_endpoint right away, you can also use this GitHub Repo full of samples: azure-sql-db-invoke-external-rest-endpoints.

Enjoy and let us know if you like this feature and how you are using it, using the comment section below to give us your feedback and to tell us how you’d like to see this feature evolving, in the future. If you have some specific request, make sure to add it to the Azure SQL and SQL Server feedback portal, so that other users can contribute and help us prioritize future development. Looking forward to reading your ideas!


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  • Rutz Helge 0

    This is great and long waited 🙂
    But I have a question about the API/URL limitation.
    Is the list of known URLs allowed for external calls checked against the given string, or is it possible to resolve DNS alias?
    We typically use APIM to expose endpoints, and use custom domains there.

    • Davide MauriMicrosoft employee 0

      Great to hear that you like the feature! 🙂 The allow-list is checked both using string matching *and* resolved IPs. If you have an endpoint hosted in Azure that is using a custom domain name and you want to reach that endpoint using the custom domain name, then you have to use API Management to call it (and use the domain)

  • Krishna Kumar Natarajan 0

    Great to know about the feature. Have a question –
    Is this supported for “Azure Database for PostgreSQL servers”

    • Davide MauriMicrosoft employee 0

      Hi Krishna. Great to hear that like the feature! No, this feature is not available on PostgreSQL (or MySQL or MariaDB) databases: it is available only on Azure SQL databases.

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