Monday, June 9, 2014

Difference between Public Blob, Public Container and Private container in Microsoft Windows Azure Storage


If you create a storage account in Windows Azure subscription, you can have 3 options to create containers. There are many ways by which you can create container.
Creating Container from Management Portal –
You can create azure storage account container from management portal as shown below –

From the above figure it is clear that, while creation of container you can specify 3 types of Access Control List (ACL’s) or restrict access properties. They are – Private, Public Blob and Public Container.
Let’s understand them one by one.
Private –
As the name specifies, private container will not provide anonymous access to container or blobs within it. Anonymous access means no user can get use blob URL top download blob contents from browser itself without specifying azure storage account name and key. You must have storage account credentials to retrieve it or use SAS(Shared Access Policy) or configure Stored Access Policy for the blob or container level.
Public blob –
Means your container is having restricted access and hence cannot be used anonymously to list the blobs present in container however all the blobs within container can be access publicly with anonymous access from browser directly.
For example, “con” container in below screenshot is having public access for all blobs in it however does not have public access on container itself. Hence the blob training.pdf in below screenshot can be accessed from browser with below link –




I am using Azure Storage Explorer to view the container and blob as it is free. -


http://azurestorageexplorer.codeplex.com/

Public Container -
Public container means, container can be accessed publically in anonymous way. Hence any one can list the blobs present in the container directly from browser with the help of REST API and all blobs within the container will have public access by default. Hence in case of public container the URL to list down all the blobs present within that container and list of blobs screenshot is as follows –

 


Similarly all the blobs in public container can be accessed directly and downloaded from browser.
Hope above article explains the private, public blob and public container concepts in detail.
Note - While creating container from Visual Studio 2012 and above, as of now you don’t have option to specify access level. Another option is to use, Azure Storage Explorer to create container and you get same options as that azure management portal so that you can create container with public container, public blob or private options.
Hope this helps.
Cheers…
Happy Restricting!!

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