Help us redesign the connection tree in Azure Management Studio

Many users will have noticed how we’ve been focusing a lot of our energy recently on cleaning up the interface, making it easier to use, and generally improving the overall user experience.

As we continue to improve AMS, it’s becoming increasingly clearer that we need to rethink the main connection tree. While it worked well in the early days when Cloud Storage Studio was just storage, it no longer scales with the breadth of functionality we now support or the different types of user we now see.

Screenshot of AMS tree

In fact, we have many users with over 25 subscriptions, thousands of blob containers and hundreds of cloud services – “Good luck finding that blob container!”

These observations, coupled with the knowledge that even a fairly simple web application can span a few facets of Windows Azure, mean we need to take a step back and rethink our approach. To that end, we’ve decided to overhaul the tree completely to better support common tasks and to accommodate heavy use scenarios. We’ll start simple by implementing virtualised trees and clean, consistent icons. We’ll then build on this with more advanced features such as remembering state, searching, filtering and project views.

If you have some strong opinions on this or just think the tree could be much better than it is, don’t hesitate to reach out and help us shape our thinking – we would love to share mockups and pre-release builds to get early feedback!

2 Comments

  1. Thomas Jespersen on December 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Well. We try to keep it simple, and I find the current treeview to bloated. E.g. we don’t use subscriptions (because we don’t want certificates locally).

    Also we don’t use/need groups (Development, Production etc). We rarly use “Add storage account”, so this should go to the menues or right click menues.

    This would be perfect for us. I know it’s to simple for the customers you talk about.

    Developer storage
    — Tables
    — Queue
    — Blob
    — Analytics & Diagnostic
    Production storage
    — Tables
    — Queue
    — Blob
    — Analytics & Diagnostic

    • Luke on December 11, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for taking the time to share your requirements; we appreciate it!

      We are actually hoping to support this degree flexibility actually, so this is well within scope. You basically want a lightweight tree that primarily focuses on storage related functionality and diagnostics.

      So as long as we provide functionality to let users customise the visibility of the nodes in the tree, then it should accommodate this type of use case.

      Thanks again 🙂

      LJ

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