Over this weekend we released a new version of Cloud Portam. This blog post talks about what features we included in this release and what are we working on currently.

Mostly the changes are around new features introduced in Azure File Service.

File Service Enhancements

Following are the enhancements done in this release for File Service management.

Please note that File Service is still in “Preview”. What that means is that it may not be enabled in your Azure Storage account by default. To enable File Service in your Azure Subscription, you would need to visit account management portal and activate File Service by going under “Preview features” section.

CORS Support

Till now Azure Storage has CORS support for Blobs, Queues and Tables. Recently Storage Team announced CORS support for File Service as well. I’m pleased to announce that using Cloud Portam you can manage CORS rules for your File Service. It works the same way as that for other storage services.

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Share Quota Support

Now when you create a share, you can assign a quota for that share. Minimum size of the quota is 1 MB and the maximum size is 5 GB (5120 MB).

When you create a new share using Cloud Portam, you can optionally set the share quota as well. If you don’t set a value for this, by default the share quota will be 5 GB (maximum value).

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Cloud Portam enables you to change the share quota as well.

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Share Usage Support

Share Usage essentially tells you approximately how much data is stored in a share. Cloud Portam enables you to view that data as well.

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Share Access Policies

Like other Azure Storage Services, File Service now also supports Access Policies using which you can create Shared Access Signature on Share and File resources and distribute the SAS URL. Recipients of SAS URL will then be able to manage Share and File resources without using account key.

I’m pleased to announce that Cloud Portam supports management of Share Access Policies.

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Access policies for a share work much like access policies for a blob container. You define an identifier and then set other optional parameters – start/end date/time and permissions. Like blob container access policies, there can be a maximum of 5 share access policies.

Shared Access Signature

Again this is a new feature in File Service. Like Blob Containers & Blobs, Tables and Queues you can create Shared Access Signature (SAS) on File Service Shares & Files. In the current version, we have included support for creating a SAS on a File Service Share. In the next version, we will include support for creating SAS on a File Service File.

Creating a SAS on a File Service Share works the same was as that for a Blob Container. You can either create an ad-hoc SAS (i.e. without using an access policy) or create a SAS using an access policy. Then you specify other parameters like permissions and start/end date time and get a SAS token based on this. Cloud Portam also gives you both – a SAS Token as well as a SAS URL that you can use in your application or distribute it to your users.

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Blob Service Enhancements

There is only one enhancement done in this release related to blob service.

Copy To Folder

In the previous versions, when you copied a blob container or blobs to another blob container (within same or across different storage accounts), hierarchy of the source was preserved. In this version, we have included a feature where you can instruct Cloud Portam to copy to a folder inside a target container.

For example, take a look at the screenshot below. Here I am copying selected blobs and folders from “snapshot-test” blob container.

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Now I want to copy these files and folders into “snapshot-test-copy” blob container but I want these files to go under “2015-08-15” folder. All I have to do is specify this “2015-08-15” as the “Copy Blobs to Folder” as shown in screenshot below.

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Once I start copying the blobs, Cloud Portam will automatically put the blobs in “2015-08-15” folder in the target blob container.

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This feature can be very useful if you want to have a single blob container for backup purposes and put different backups in separate folders.

Hat tip to our user Mark Brown for recommending this feature! Thanks Mark!!!

What’s Next

There are still a bunch of File Service related enhancements that are pending. In the next few releases we will be working on that. Most importantly, we will be adding functionality to upload/download files in File Service Share. We have been putting this on back burner because CORS/SAS was not available. Now both of them are available, there’s absolutely no reason for us to hold back. File upload functionality would work much like blob upload functionality where files would be directly uploaded from your machine to your File Service Share. So stay tuned for that :).

Try It Out!

We humbly request you to try out these updates in Cloud Portam. This is available in both “Personal” and “Team” editions of Cloud Portam. Though extreme care has been taken regarding testing the current functionality, it is quite possible that we may have overlooked something. If you find something missing or implemented incorrectly, please feel free to reach out to us and tell us. We will fix the issues ASAP.

Closing

As you can see we’re constantly investing in making the product more and more useful. Do try out Cloud Portam and these features and let us know what you think. If you think, we can improve it in any way, please feel free to share your thoughts. The link to our website is http://www.cloudportam.com.