Configure and Query Cognitive Services Computer Vision API

This IT Pro Challenge lab introduces the learner to advanced AI services that make creating complex applications simple to create. This AI application will utilize the Azure Cognitive Services Computer Vision API. Utilizing this API makes it possible for any user to use AI capabilities to analyze image characteristics.

1 hour
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Lab Overview:

One of the most exciting features of cloud computing is the accessibility of advanced computing resources to any app developer. This lab puts the learner in the role of an AI consultant for a data and analytics vendor. It is your job to set up and demonstrate the Azure Cognitive Services Computer Vision API service. You will learn important concepts about setting up the resource, understanding a rest api and running AI computer vision searches.

Create a Cognitive Services Computer Vision API service:

Azure allows you to do much more than just create virtual machines, load balancers and other common devices. There are also managed services that provide access to technology that may otherwise be beyond an organization’s abilities. One such service is the Computer Vision API. The purpose of this service is to allow users to integrate complex image searches in their apps. The resource created is a service and thus you will have an endpoint that is where the api calls will be sent and a key that will authenticate that it is you sending the requests.

Test the Computer Vision API:

A very important concept in this lab is that of a Rest API. When we have complicated services to interact with it is very common to make simple commands that will undertake specific user needs. Since these services are usually over a network it is very practical to use the same HTTP requests used for web traffic. Most requests sent to a Rest API will have the url of the service followed by a json body that includes the users commands. It is also possible to use several programming languages to interact with the Rest API and thus it can be utilized in several applications with relative ease. Azure provides the ability to test the Rest API from a web interface so quick confirmation of the service’s functionality can be confirmed.

Test the ability to analyze an image:

The web interface provided by Azure is a very useful tool as it is changing the parameters of the HTTP request for you, without you having to write the options in manually. Notice the options of the search are going into the url of the request, while the json body directs the service where it can find the image. Azure also provides the ability to monitor just how many requests are being sent to the service. This is useful for a variety of purposes that range from budgeting, health metrics and security.

Lab Summary Conclusion:

Cloud providers such as Azure do so much more than provide common networking needs. In addition they expand the level of technology available to app developers. A very important tool for this purpose is the Cognitive Services Computer Vision API. This Rest API allows any app to send HTTP requests that designate what type of search and which image to use. Development with the API can be done in almost any programming language while simple testing can be accomplished through an Azure web portal.