Getting started with DataStax Astra

Create an account and then create a database to get started with DataStax Astra.

To get started with DataStax Astra, create your first database. Then, download the secure connect bundle from the DataStax Cloud console and connect to your DataStax Astra database:

  1. Create an Astra database.
  2. Download the secure connect bundle.
  3. Connect to your database.

Creating a DataStax Astra database

Create and launch an Astra database.

Complete the following steps to create and launch an Astra database using the DataStax Cloud console.

Procedure

  1. Open a browser, navigate to the DataStax Cloud console, and log in.
  2. Click Create New Database.
  3. In the Create New Database page, select AWS as the cloud provider.
  4. Choose the compute size for the database.
    Note: Compute size cannot be changed after database creation. However, you can add Compute Units (CUs) to increase the storage size of the database for the selected service tier.
    • Free: Free, with 10 GB storage.
      Note: You can have only one active database on the Free tier.
    • C10: Starter configuration for development and light production workloads.
  5. Select the cloud provider for your database.
    • AWS
    • GCP
  6. Select the region where you want to launch your database from the dropdown menu.
    Note: Premium regions are denoted by an icon with double dollar signs (Premium region icon).
  7. Define the database details:
    1. Enter a name for the database.
      Important: The database name cannot be altered after the database is created. When entering a database name, use a meaningful name.
    2. Enter the keyspace name where tables for the database will be created.
    3. Enter the name of the database user, which can be reentered as the database user for additional databases.

      DataStax Astra forces all names to lowercase; enclose the name in quotes to preserve case or use special characters in the name.

      CAUTION: Do not enter cassandra as the username for the database. By default, cassandra is reserved as the superuser.
    4. Enter a password for the database user.
  8. To view estimated costs for the database, select Per Minute or Per Month.

    The estimates are calculated for when the database is running and parked.

  9. If this is your first database, click Enter Payment Details.
    1. Enter the required credit card information and associated billing details.
    2. Click Submit to save the entered billing information.
  10. Click Launch Database to create the database.

    A message indicates the database creation start time and an estimated time to complete database creation.

Results

An email is sent when database creation is complete, including a link to the database. Click View Database to view your database.

What's next

  1. Take a tour of your database and learn about how you can use it.
  2. When the database is active, obtain access credentials for connecting your database.
  3. Connect to your database using DataStax Studio, CQLSH, or one of the DataStax drivers.

Using your new database

Learn about your new database and how you can get connected.

Welcome! While your Astra database is being created, let's cover some basics and review how you can get connected.

Your database

Your database provides the following specifications:

  • A single datacenter
  • A single keyspace
  • 500 GB of storage
  • Capacity for up to 200 tables
Note: If you chose the Free tier as the compute size, then your database has a 10 GB capacity, which is great to start development.

All paid Astra databases are created with a replication factor of three to provide optimal uptime and data integrity. Free tier databases have a replication factor of one. By default, each Astra database launches with one capacity unit (CU), which represents three database nodes that are grouped together.

You can later resize the database to increase the number of CUs if required.

To better understand your database capabilities, review the DataStax Astra database limits.

No configuration necessary

Use the integrated DataStax Studio instance, which is preconfigured to work with your Astra database. No configuration required. Even better, we added a DataStax Studio notebook that you can use to create tables in your keyspace, generate data, and learn the Cassandra Query Language (CQL) as you go.

CQL is the primary language for communicating with your Astra database. Use CQL to insert, update, and query data in tables, drop tables, and much more. Like SQL, CQL statements change data, look up data, store data, or change the way data is stored. If you're new to CQL, see the DataStax documentation for understanding the CQL command syntax.

Use CQL in the provided DataStax Studio notebook to interact with data:


Animated gif of a user entering CQL commands in a DataStax Studio notebook, with data returning after submitting the commands.

You have apps

We bet you do! If you want to connect those apps to your Astra database, you need the DataStax drivers. As an application developer, the drivers are your primary resource for creating solutions. Think of the drivers as on-ramps for connecting apps to your Cassandra database.

If you're new to DataStax drivers, review the best practices. These guidelines cover the rules and recommendations for improving performance and minimizing resource utilization in applications that use DataStax drivers.

After reviewing the best practices, download the driver for your preferred language. You can then use the guide for your selected driver to learn more about submitting queries and handling error conditions.

Get connected

When your database is active, it's time to get connected. There are multiple ways to connect to your database, depending on your familiarity with CQL and how you want to connect.

First, download the secure connect bundle for your database. Then, choose the option that best fits your experience and intended interaction:

Table 1. How do you want to connect?
Choices Options
I don't know CQL, but want to use my database now. Use the Astra Data API to create an authorization token and begin interacting with your database.
I'm new to CQL, but want to use my database right now. Write queries, visualize results, and inspect the database schema using DataStax Studio, which is integrated into your Astra database.
I know some CQL and want to connect quickly to use my database. Use the integrated CQLSH console or the standalone CQLSH tool to interact with your database using CQL.
I have an application and want to use the DataStax drivers. Initialize one of the DataStax drivers to manage database connections for your application.

Obtaining database credentials

Download the connection credentials for your Astra database.

To connect to your Astra database, download the secure database bundle from the DataStax Cloud console that contains the connection credentials.

Prerequisites

Create an Astra database using the DataStax Cloud console.

Procedure

  1. Open a browser, navigate to DataStax Astra, and log in.
  2. From the Databases page, under Actions, click the ellipsis () for the database you want to connect to and select Connection details.
  3. In the Connection Details window, click Download secure connect bundle to download the secure-connect-database_name.zip file.

    This file contains the security certificates and credentials for your database.

    Tip: Alternatively, you can right-click the Download credentials link, copy the link source, and then use a curl command to download the secure-connect-database_name.zip file:
    curl -L "<secure-connect-database_name-download-URL>" > database_name.zip

What's next

Use one of the following methods to connect to your Astra database to issue CQL commands and begin developing your application.