File Search Operations

In addition to various analysis and file classification operations, users are provided with sophisticated file search operations allowing one to search files by the file type, name, extension, size, last modification date, etc. Azure Data Expert allows one to configure powerful search queries, search files by multiple criteria using flexible file matching rules and then perform various types of file management operations on files matching the rules.

Azure Data Expert File Search

In order to perform a simple search operation, select one or more storage containers in the Azure Data Expert navigator and press the 'Search' button located on the main toolbar. Azure Data Expert will search the selected storage containers and display a search results dialog showing data blobs matching the specified rules.

Azure Data Expert File Search Results

The file search results dialog shows files matching the rules and provides the ability to categorize and filter file search results, perform various file management operations on file search results and save file search reports to a number of standard formats including HTML, PDF, Excel, text, CSV and XML. In addition, the user is provided with the ability to download search results, delete search results, save various types of reports, display pie charts showing types of search results, export search results to an SQL database and copy search results to the clipboard.

Categorize and Filter File Search Results

The file search results dialog shows the file search results in the top results pane and allows one to perform various file management operations including download, delete, save report, etc. In order to perform an operation on one or more file search results, select the required items in the results view, press the right mouse button and select the required file management operation. The bottom pane shows categories of file search results according to the currently selected file categorization mode.

Azure Data Expert Categorize File Search Results

The user is provided with the ability to categorize and filter file search results by the file extension, file type, file size, the last modification time and the last modification date. In order to change the current file categorization mode, click on the file categories combo box and select an appropriate file categorization mode.

Azure Data Expert Filter File Search Results

For example, in order to categorize file search results by the last modification date, click on the file categorization combo box and select the 'Categorize By Modification Date' item. Now, in order to filter file search results by a specific date, double click on the required date item and the file search results dialog will display file search results matching the selected filter. In addition, all types of file search reports and pie charts will be generated according to the currently selected file categorization mode.

Save File Search Reports

Azure Data Expert allows one to save file search reports into a number of standard formats including HTML, PDF, Excel, XML, text and CSV. In the simplest case, perform a file search operation and press the 'Save' button located on the file search results dialog. On the save report dialog, select an appropriate report format, enter a report file name and press the 'Save' button.

Azure Data Expert Save File Search Reports

For the HTML, PDF, Excel, text, CSV and XML report formats, the user is provided with the ability to save short summary reports or longer detailed reports, which may be very long for large reports containing many thousands of files. By default, Azure Data Expert will save a short, summary file search report in the HTML report format, which will include a list of the first 20 file search results and a list of tables showing the disk space usage and the number of file search results per file extension, file type, top-level directory, last modification date, etc.

Azure Data Expert File Search HTML Report

A detailed file search report includes a list of file categories according to the currently selected second-level file categorization mode followed by a full list of file search results. In order to configure the number of file search results exported to the detailed file search report, press the 'Advanced Options' button located on the 'Save Report' dialog and customize the report for your specific needs.

Microsoft Excel Reports

Sometimes, it may be required to perform additional analysis of file search results using external tools such as Microsoft Excel. In order to export file search results to the Excel report format, perform a file search operation, press the 'Save' button located on the file search results dialog, select the 'Excel Summary' report format for a short summary report or the 'Excel Report' format for a detailed file search report.

Azure Data Expert Save File Search Excel Reports

A summary Excel report includes a list of the first 20 file search results and a number of tables with pie charts showing the used disk space and the number of file search results per file extension, file category, top-level directory, last modification date, etc.

Azure Data Expert File Search Excel Report

A detailed Excel report includes a list of file categories according to the currently selected file categorization mode and a full list of file search results, which may be very long for large reports containing many thousands of files. In order to control how many search results are exported in the detailed report, press the 'Advanced Options' button located on the 'Save Report' dialog and customize the file search report for your specific needs.

Graphical PDF Reports

One of the most useful ways to export file search results is to use the PDF summary or the PDF report formats. Both of these report formats include various types of graphical pie charts showing disk space usage and the number of file search results per file extension, file category, last modification date, top-level directory name, etc. In order to save file search results to a PDF report file, press the 'Save' button located on the file search results dialog and select the 'PDF Summary' report format for a short, summary report or the 'PDF Report' format for a detailed file search report.

Azure Data Expert Save File Search PDF Reports

A summary PDF report includes a list of the first 20 file search results and followed by a number of pie charts showing the disk space usage and the number of file search results per file extension, file category, last modification date, top-level directory name, etc. A detailed PDF report includes a full list of file search results, which may be very long for large reports containing many thousands of files.

Azure Data Expert File Search PDF Report

In addition to the list of file search results, detailed PDF reports include pie charts showing the disk space usage per file category and the number of file search results per file category according to the currently selected file categorization mode. For example, if the second-level file categories mode is set to categorize file search results by the file extension, the PDF report will display pie charts showing the used disk space and the number of files per file extension.

Download File Search Results

The user is provided with the ability to download file search results from the Microsoft Azure cloud storage to a local disk, directory or network share. In order to download one or more file search results, select the required results in the file search results dialog, press the right mouse button and select the 'Download Files' menu item.

Azure Data Expert Download File Search Results

On the 'Download Files' dialog, enter a destination directory, verify the names of the files that will be downloaded and press the 'Start' button. During the download process, Azure Data Expert will reconstruct the directory structure and download the selected file search results to appropriate local directories.

Azure Data Expert File Search Results Download

In addition, power users are provided with advanced download options allowing one to control the number of parallel download threads, the speed of the download operation, the number of error retries and the error retry delay. In order to open the advanced download options dialog, press the 'Advanced Options' button located on the 'Download Files' dialog.

Delete File Search Results

Azure Data Expert provides the ability to delete file search results from the Microsoft Azure cloud storage. In order to delete one or more file search results, select the required results in the file search results dialog, press the right mouse button and select the 'Delete Files' menu item.

Azure Data Expert Delete File Search Results

On the 'Delete Files' dialog, verify the names of the files that will be deleted and press the 'Delete' button. Make sure to carefully verify that the file delete operation is performed on the correct files because there will be no option to recover previously deleted files.

Azure Data Expert File Search Results Delete

In addition, power users are provided with advanced file delete options allowing one to control the number of parallel delete threads, the speed of the file delete operation, the number of error retries and the error retry delay. In order to open the advanced file delete options dialog, press the 'Advanced Options' button located on the 'Delete Files' dialog.

Manage Data Snapshots

Azure Data Expert provides the ability to create, restore and delete data snapshots for one or more file search results. In order to manage data snapshots, select one or more data blobs in the file search results dialog, press the right mouse button, click the 'Snapshots' menu item and select an appropriate data snapshots management command.

Azure Data Expert File Search Results Data Snapshots

The user is provided with the ability to add new data snapshots, restore the latest snapshot, restore the oldest snapshot, delete the latest snapshot, delete the oldest snapshot, delete all snapshots except the last one or delete all data snapshots for all selected data blobs.

Azure Data Expert File Search Results Snapshots Command

Once finished reviewing the selected data blobs, press the 'Start' button and Azure Data Expert will perform the specified snapshots operation on all selected data blobs. For restore and delete operations, the operation will be performed only if there are any previously created data snapshots. If there are no previously created data snapshots, nothing will be performed.

Exclude Directories From the File Search Process

Sometimes, it may be required to exclude one or more subdirectories from the file search process. For example, if you need to search files in a storage container excluding one or two special directories, you may specify the storage container to search in and add the directories that should be skipped to the exclude list.

Azure Data Expert File Search Exclude Directories

In order to add one or more directories to the exclude list, open the file search command dialog, press the 'Options' button, select the 'Exclude' tab and press the 'Add' button. All files and subdirectories located in the specified exclude directory will be excluded from the file search process. In addition, advanced users are provided with a number of exclude directories macro commands allowing one to exclude multiple directories using a single macro command.

Azure Data Expert provides the following exclude directories macro commands:

  • $BEGINS <Text String> - this macro command excludes all directories beginning with the specified text string.
  • $CONTAINS <Text String> - this macro command excludes all directories containing the specified text string.
  • $ENDS <Text String> - this macro command excludes directories ending with the specified text string.
  • $REGEX <Regular Expression> - this macro command excludes all directories matching the specified regular expression.

For example, the exclude macro command '$CONTAINS Temporary Files' will exclude all directories with 'Temporary Files' at any place in the full directory path and the exclude macro command '$REGEX \.(TMP|TEMP)$' will exclude all directories ending with '.TMP' or '.TEMP'.