Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Azure Storage Explorer 6 Preview 2 Now Available, with Table Support

I'm pleased to announce that the next installment of Azure Storage Explorer, Preview 2, is now available. The big feature in Preview 2 is table support, allowing you to create, delete, and work with with tables and entity records. In addition, we've made some UI improvements and extended our blob support. We've already posted a detailed walk-through of Preview 1, now let's take a tour of what's new in Preview 2.

User Interface Changes

Blob List and Table List Styling
The main pane list view (showing blobs or table entities) now shows alternating rows in contrasting shades of grey. Selections are highlighted in the color associated with the artifact (yellow for blobs, blue for table entities).

Updated Styling of Blob List

Blob List Filters
One thing we've been thinking about is how to limit the display when you have a large number of blobs or table entities in a container; if you have thousands of items, you likely don't want them all listed every time you click on a container or table. In version 5 we implemented results paging, but in version 6 we wanted to do something more versatile. You can limit what is displayed with the new Filter toolbar button. For blobs, this lets  you specify filters such as max records to display, blob type, search text to match, or min and max sizes. You have a similar facility for table entities.

Filter Dialog for Blob List

When filters are active, the Filter toolbar button is highlighted so you're aware you're not seeing all results.

Filtered Blob List

Error Messages
Instead of pop-up dialogs for error reporting, error messages now smoothly stack on the bottom of the main pane, just as background tasks do.

Stacking Error Messages

Table Storage Support
Preview 2 introduces table storage support. When you navigate to a table in the left pane outline, you'll now get a list of entity records and toolbars for acting on the table and its entities.You can click on a column to sort by that property; click a second time to change ascending/descending direction.

Table Entity List

Table Entity Queries
Instead of retrieving all entities from the table, you can specify a query. The Query toolbar button allows to select up to three sets of columns, conditions (equals, not equal to, contains, starts with, ends with), and values. LINQ is then used to retrieve matching entities and the list is refreshed.

Table Query Dialog

Table Entity Filters
You can further restrict your entity list by specifying filters. These include a maximum entity count to display and search text. You can also control which columns should be displayed or hidden in the result list. You can click the check box to save these filter settings as a default.

Table Filter Dialog

Filtered Entity List

Creating, Copying, Editing, and Deleting Entities

You can use the toolbar buttons to create, modify, and remove individual entities.

Creating a New Entity
To enter a new entity, click the New Entity toolbar button and complete the record definition in the dialog that appears. You can add one or more records from here. You can enter binary (01 02 03...), boolean values (True/1/Yes/On, False/0/No/Off), DateTime values, numerics (double, Int32, Int64), GUIDs, or Strings. To not store a field, either set the type to Null or remove the field from the list.

Insert Entity Record Dialog

Updating an Entity
To update an entity, either double-click it or select it and click the View toolbar button. You can modify and update the record.

Copying an Entity
To copy an entity, select it and click the Copy toolbar button. Update the record (minimally changing RowKey/PartitionKey).

Deleting Entities
To delete entities, select one or more entities and click the Delete toolbar button. Confirm the dialog to perform the delete.

Delete Entities Confirmation Dialog

Table Entity Downloads
When viewing a table, you can download selected entities, or all entities, using the Download toolbar button. On the download dialog, select a file format and an output file. You can download to CSV, JSON, or XML format.

Entity Download Dialog

CSV Download
The comma-separated values (CSV) format can be opened in Microsoft Excel.

Result of CSV Download 

JSON Download
The JSON download is one of the more popular web data exchange formats today.

Result of JSON Download

XML Download
The XML download provides another commonly-used data exchange format.

Result of XML Download

With Preview 2, we've added a significant amount of table functionality to the blob functionality from Preview 1. We hope you find Azure Storage Explorer 6 useful and productive as we continue to move it forward. Do keep in mind the software is still very new and only in preview - please exercise appropriate caution as you use it.

Next: Azure Storage Explorer Preview 3


csells said...

This rocks, David! When can we expect something similar to your Table Storage Support for Azure Mobile Services?

Anonymous said...

When navigate to a table in the left pane outline, it will query all entities in the table. If there many entities in the table, this will hang the application. please limit the max number of entities to be queried, on make it be a option to set.

Pini Krisher said...

Where can i download it? i can not find it in codeplex


Pini Krisher said...

I can not find the download.
where can it be?

David Pallmann said...

To download:
1. Go to http://azurestorageexplorer.codeplex.com
2. Click Downloads tab
3. At right, click "Azure Storage Explorer 6 Preview 2"
4. Click the download link.
5. After the zip is downloaded, unblock it, unzip the .exe, and run it.

Anonymous said...

Most of my blobs are in virtual directories and they are not shown in this release anymore.


David Pallmann said...

You can limit the number of table entities displayed by clicking the Filter button and setting a max count. There is a checkbox to save your filter settings as a default.

Anderson Rocha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anderson Rocha said...

Removed the option to upload entities to tables that were in the previous version? I can not find. Is only available for blobs.

David Pallmann said...

Anderson, table upload capability is now available in Preview 3.

Anderson Rocha said...

Thanks for the quick response and action, David.