About Version 2.0

Coordinator
Mar 29, 2009 at 6:32 AM
Here's some information about version 2.0, including a comparison to the original version and some ideas on future plans.

First, the reason for creating Azure Storage Explorer in the first place: the only method to see your cloud storage provided by the Windows Azure SDK during this preview period is a PowerShell CloudDrive extension (included in the SDK samples). This is command-line based and doesn't let you see all types of cloud storage, so I found it limiting. There seemed to be a place for a community tool, one that could access all 3 types of cloud storage.

The first version of Azure Storage Explorer has generally received good reviews and earned a 4 star rating on CodePlex. Feedback from users requested these things the most: a more polished UI, the ability to work with multiple storage accounts, easier configuration, ability to view pictures in blob storage as images, ability to create/modify/delete items rather than just view them; and import/export ability.

For version 2.0, we decided on a multiple-release approach where 2.0 would provide the first few items on that list but remain a view-only tool, and features like add/edit/delete and import/export would follow in subsequent minor releases (2.1, 2.2, etc.) Thus, the version just posted has a WPF-based UI with Outlook-style navigation, supports multiple storage accounts, has in-tool configuration, and can show pictures in blob storage visually.

I personally dislike it when software upgrades give you some nice things but also take things away from you, but there is one area where version 2.0 does this: you no longer have delete capability. The reason for this is the aforementioned plans to implement full add/edit/delete capability in a future 2.x update where we want to implement these actions together.

One last note: the 2.0 version just posted is an alpha that hasn't been widely tested yet. If you find some issues; please report them.

I hope this provides some insight into what we've done to date and why, and what you might see down the road in terms of additional features. Please provide feedback on how we can make Azure Storage Explorer better.

David Pallmann
Neudesic