Over this weekend we released a new version of Cloud Portam. This blob post talks about the enhancements done in this release.

Azure Search Service Enhancements

There are a few enhancements done for Search Service Support in this release.

Advanced Search

As you may know, Cloud Portam allows you to perform searches against your indexes. Till now the search functionality here only allowed you to perform free form text searches. However Search Service offers advanced searching capabilities. I’m pleased to announce that we have included advanced search functionality in Cloud Portam which will allow you to perform fine-tuned searches against your Search Service Indexes.

image

image

Apart from that, we have also included search query executed against your index that you can then copy and use it in your application.

image

Indexer Data Source Support

Indexer is one of the coolest feature in Azure Search Service! As Search Service is not a crawler and you need to push data in your Search Service Indexes to make them searchable, it has been a pain to do that. Indexer takes away that pain. Essentially an Indexer will fetch the data from a “Data Source” and populate your index. Not only that, an indexer can also monitor changes in the source data and keep on updating index data accordingly.

I’m pleased to announce that we have started working on supporting Indexer management in Cloud Portam and in this release, we are including support for managing “Data Sources” component of an Indexer. In the next release, we will include support for managing “Indexers”.

When it comes to managing Data Sources, following functionality is supported:

List Data Sources

You can list data sources defined in your Azure Search Service.

image

image

Create Data Source

You can create a new data source. Currently Indexer functionality only supports SQL databases hosted in Azure and DocumentDB as valid data sources and Cloud Portam supports both of them.

image

image

A few things to keep in mind:

  • When you specify a connection string, we don’t store it anywhere in the application. we simply pass it to the Search Service which then stores it in encrypted format.
  • Currently Cloud Portam does not validate the connection string. You can input any text value for connection string but please note that if you do so, your Indexer will not work.

Update Data Source

You can update existing data sources. When updating data source, there are certain properties which are not updatable (like data source name, type etc.). Cloud Portam disables those fields accordingly. Also please note that Search Service does not return the connection string when you fetch details about a data source. Thus this field is disabled by default though you can enable it by clicking/pressing on edit icon next to connection string text box. If you don’t specify a connection string, old connection string is preserved by Search Service.

image

image

Delete Data Source

You can delete one or more data sources from your Search Service account.

image

Blob Service Enhancements

There’s one enhancement we have done in blob service.

Promote Snapshot

Promoting a snapshot means overwriting the base blob with the snapshot data. Essentially snapshot data is copied over the base blob’s data. In this version we have included support for promoting a snapshot.

To promote a snapshot, first you have to view all the available snapshots of a blob and from there you will be able to promote appropriate snapshot.

image

What’s Next

In this release we started implementing Indexer functionality by including support for managing Data Sources. In the next release we will finish it by implementing Create/Update/List/Delete functionality on Indexers.

In the next release, we will also include the functionality to copy blob snapshots to same or different storage accounts. This functionality will enable to back up your VHD snapshots (and other blobs obviously) to another storage account as recommended by Microsoft.

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.