Azure Management Studio and Blob Container ACLs

Here’s a quick tip I recently learned from my friend, and Cerebrata evangelist, Mike Wood . . .

When using Cerebrata’s Azure Management Studio to work with Windows Azure blob storage, you need to explicitly tell AMS to retrieve the access permissions for blob containers.  By default, AMS will only list the containers.

no_acls

To make this tool even more useful, instruct AMS to retrieve the permissions when listing the containers.

  1. Under the “Tools” menu at the top, select “Options”.
  2. In the “Options” window, go to the “Blob” tab.
  3. In the “Blob behaviour” section, check the box next to “Fetch Blob Container ACL when listing Blob Containers”.

set_option

This will instruct AMS to get the permissions and thus color highlight the containers.  Ooooh . . . pretty colors!

with_acls

How is AMS getting this info to know what the permission is for the containers?  Simple – it’s just calling into the Windows Azure storage API.  The Get Container ACL operation retrieves the blob container permissions.  If we open Fiddler and take a look at the requests AMS is making, we can see 4 requests for my example – one to retrieve the list of containers and one for each of the containers.

Note: I instructed AMS to not use HTTPS for connections.  I did this only to make visualizing the requests/responses in Fiddler easier.  I would recommend HTTPS for most production scenarios.

all_reqeusts

Let’s look at just the request to get the ACL for the “myimages” container.

request-response

Notice the “x-ms-blob-public-access” response header.  It is set to “Container”.  This indicates full public read access for the container and blob data.  Therefore, AMS colors this container a lovely shade of green.

A word to the wise – there is a reason why this option is not enabled in Azure Management Studio by default.  If the storage account contains many containers, this could result in many extra requests to Windows Azure to determine the ACL – one roundtrip per container.  This could slow down your time to view all the containers.  If you just have a few containers, it’s probably not a big deal as this request/response dance happens pretty fast.

So that didn’t exactly turn out to be a quick tip.  But, still hopefully useful.  Enjoy!

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Posted in Windows Azure
3 comments on “Azure Management Studio and Blob Container ACLs
  1. One word of caution: If you have many blob containers, you may want to turn off this setting as a separate request is sent for each blob container to fetch ACL which would slow down the entire process considerably.

  2. […] shared 5 times • michaelcollier.wordpress.com Azure Management Studio and Blob Container ACLs | Michael S. Collier’s Blog […]

  3. […] Azure Management Studio and Blob Container ACLs by Michael Collier (published […]

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