Appendix E: Windows Azure Storage Management Tools

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There are a number of scenarios where it is useful to have the ability to manage your Windows Azure storage accounts remotely. For example, during development and testing, you might want to be able to examine the contents of your tables, queues, and blobs to verify that your application is behaving as expected. You may also need to insert test data directly into your storage. In a production environment, you may need to examine the contents of your application's storage during troubleshooting or view diagnostic data that you have persisted. You may also want to download your diagnostic data for offline analysis and to be able to delete stored log files to reduce your storage costs.

A web search will reveal a growing number of third-party tools that can fulfill these roles. This appendix describes three simple tools to get you started.

Windows Azure Management Tool (MMC)

This MMC snap-in is available at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsazuremmc. Using this tool, you can define connections for managing multiple storage accounts, including local development storage. The snap-in includes the following features:

  • For blob storage, you can create containers, delete containers, and manage container permissions. You can also upload, download, and delete blobs. There is also a useful feature that enables you to upload and download containers as folders.
  • For queue storage, the snap-in enables you to view the contents of queues, create new queues, and delete queues. You can also add messages to queues and purge queues.

The current version of this tool does not support Windows Azure table storage.

Windows Azure Storage Explorer

This stand-alone graphical user interface (GUI) tool is available at http://azurestorageexplorer.codeplex.com/. Using this tool, you can define connections for managing multiple storage accounts, including local development storage. The utility includes the following features:

  • For blob storage, you can create containers, delete containers, and manage container permissions. You can upload, download, and delete individual blobs. You can also preview some data types and edit text blobs.
  • For queue storage, the utility enables you to view the contents of a queue, create new queues, and delete queues. You can also add messages to queues, pop messages off queues, preview messages, and purge queues.
  • For table storage, you can use the utility to browse the contents of tables, create, delete, and empty tables. You can also upload and download tables as comma-separated value (CSV) data.

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