CB Personal - User Manual

1 Introduction

CloudBuddy Personal is currently a Windows-based free Bucket-explorer tool for Amazon`s Cloud Services. It has been developed using the Microsoft .NET Framework (Version 3.0) and C#.

CloudBuddy Personal enables:

  • Management of multiple Amazon-S3 accounts
  • Easy-to-use options for performing file management operations such as:
  • New bucket and folder creation.
  • Removal of existing buckets, folders and files. CloudBuddy Personal supports multiple file deletions.
  • Asynchronous upload and download of files, folders.
  • Option to copy files from one folder/bucket to another.
  • API's expose all the above operations, enabling integration with third party applications
  • Upload and Download operations have been written as a windows service using WCF (Windows Communication Foundation)
  • Event notification is propagated for asynchronous operations such as upload and download
  • Supports file sharing using templates: A sample photo album template is available for sharing your images
  • Supports download of files that were uploaded using Jungle Disk.
  • Provides a sophisticated "Synchronization" mechanism.
  • Includes caching mechanism while uploading files.
  • Includes provision to drag files / folders from windows explorer and drop them into CloudBuddy Personal bucket explorer.

New Look and Feel

CloudBuddy Personal has a new face. It has been designed from the scratch to provide the same feel of your windows explorer. Some of the components that have been added to betterment your experiences are Address Bar with History Navigation, Menu Bar and Status Bar.

  • VISTA Style Address Bar

CloudBuddy Personal now has a VISTA style address bar. It has drop-down menus for every component of the current navigation path allowing easy backtracking of the path to other locations or even moving forward to an alternative to the current folders. Address bar allows you to type the S3 path to quickly access the folder content.

  • Menu Bar

CloudBuddy Personal has a standard windows type menu that allows quick access to all the components.

  • Status Bar

CloudBuddy Personal bucket explorer has got a status bar to show the bucket location and the number of objects that are being currently displayed on the file view. It also displays number objects that are selected on the file view.

2 Installation/Uninstallation

CloudBuddy Personal has a "Client" and a "Service" component. The service is set to run by default using the system account. This service is used during any upload/download operations.

2.1 Pre-Requisites

Windows XP or VISTA, .NET Framework 3.0

2.2 Installation

The installer is pretty straight forward and it installs the required components by itself in the given directory.

2.3 Uninstallation

The Uninstaller takes care of removing the trace of CloudBuddy Personal in your computer. Uninstallation can be done through the START menu.

2.4 Getting Started

When CloudBuddy Personal client is started, the service runs in the background.

  Figure : CloudBuddy Personal Taskbar Application

3 Manage Accounts

This is the primary configuration section where you need to register your S3Accounts in order to use CloudBuddy Personal. CloudBuddy Personal supports multiple S3 accounts.

  Figure : S3Account Manager

3.1 Adding a New Account

Enter the following fields and click on "Add" to save the account.

Account Name: a unique identifier for your S3 Account. This is user-defined and accepts any character.Access Key: S3 Account's access key, obtained from Amazon.Secret Key: S3 Account's secret key, obtained from Amazon.Note: While adding the accounts, CloudBuddy Personal validates the availability of that account. Please remove any leading or trailing spaces while you input your access key and secret key.

3.2 Removing an Account

Select the desired S3Account and click Remove to remove the account.

Clearing the display Click Clear to clear the data in the current view or display.

Closing the S3Account Manager Click Close to close the form.

4 Bucket Explorer

The CloudBuddy Personal Bucket Explorer provides various tools to support S3 related operations.In order to use these tools, you should first select the desired S3Account and Bucket. You can always change the S3Accout and Bucket at any point in time during the usage.

  Figure : Bucket Explorer

4.1 Create Folder

You can create folders in two ways. One way is using the Toolbar and other is by clicking the right mouse button. Create folder option allows you to create a folder for the selected bucket. Folder name cannot contain "\" or "/". A confirmation is displayed upon successful creation of a folder.

To create a folder :

Step 1: Click "Create Folder" icon on the Toolbar or the context menu.


Figure : Create Folder

Step 2: In the textbox, Name , enter the Folder name and click OK


Figure : Folder Name

4.2 Delete Folder/File(s)

A folder can be deleted only when all its sub-folders and their contents are loaded in CloudBuddy Personal Bucket Explorer.

Step 1: Click on "Delete Bucket/File/Folder" icon on the Toolbar or choose "Delete" in the context menu

Choosing 'Yes' in the Choice box deletes the selected Folder/File(s). Choosing 'No' retains the folder/file(s).


Figure : Delete Confirmation

4.3 Create Bucket

You can create a new bucket for the selected S3 Account. Bucket name can contain only lower-case, periods, numbers and dashes and it cannot end with semicolon.

To create a Bucket :

Step 1: Click "Create Bucket" icon on the Toolbar.

Step 2: In the textbox, Name , enter the Bucket name and click OK.


Figure : Create Bucket

4.4 Delete Bucket

A Bucket can be deleted only when all its folders/sub-folders/files are loaded into the CloudBuddy Personal Bucket Explorer.

Step 1: Click on "Delete Bucket/Folder/File(s)" icon on the Toolbar or choose "Delete" in the context menu.

Click 'Yes' in the Choice box to delete the selected bucket or click 'No' to retain the bucket.


Figure : Delete Bucket

4.5 View Metadata

This allows you to view and manage metadata for the selected file. Duplicate keys are not allowed. The size of the metadata cannot exceed 2 KB, due to the restrictions laid down by S3.

You can view the file metadata either by using the "View Metadata" icon on the Toolbar or choosing "View Metadata" in the context menu.

Step 1: Click "View Metadata" icon on the Toolbar or choose "View Metadata" in the context menu.


Figure : View Metadata

Step 2: Populating the Metadata Enter Key and Value and click Save.


Figure : Populate Metadata

4.6 Copy File(s)/Folder

This allows you to copy file(s)/folder from one location to another, within the same account. The Metadata and the ACL's (Access Control List) of the copied objects are retained. File(s)/folder can be copied only when all the folders/sub-folders/files are loaded into the CloudBuddy Personal Bucket Explorer. You can copy the files either using the Toolbar icon or the context menu.

Step 1: Click on "Copy File(s)/Folder" icon on the Toolbar or choose "Copy" in the context menu


Figure : Copy File(s)/Folder

Step 2: Select the destination location for the copied file(s)/folder


Figure : Select Destination

4.7 Upload File(s)/Folder(s)

This allows you to upload file(s)/folder(s) into the selected destination. The destination can either be a bucket or a folder. The upload progress is shown in the activity window. You can also associate metadata to the selected file(s)/folder(s). The same metadata is applied to all the file(s)/folder(s) that are uploaded. You can upload either using the Toolbar icon or the context menu.

Step 1: Click on "Upload File(s)/Folder(s)" icon on the Toolbar or choosing "Upload" in the context menu


Figure : Upload File(s)/Folder(s)

Step2: Select the desired file(s) or folder(s).


Figure : Select File(s)/Folder(s)

Step3: Associate the Metadata (Optional)

Encryption for the current upload can be disabled by clicking on the "Encryption Enabled" checkbox. This checkbox will appear only if you have enabled "Encryption" in the "Settings" page. Click on Close to stop the upload process.


Figure : Associate Metadata

Step4: View Activity screen is displayed to show the progress of the upload operation


Figure : View Activity

4.8 Download File(s)/Folder

This allows the user to download file(s)/folder from the selected bucket to local drives. User just needs to specify the destination location for the downloaded. The download process is logged in Activity module.Downloading of folder/file(s) can be done only when they are loaded into the CloudBuddy Personal Bucket Explorer.You can download either using the Toolbar icon or the context menu.

Step 1: Click on "Download File(s)/Folder" icon on the Toolbar or choose "Download" in the context menu


Figure : Download File(s)/Folder

Step 2: Select the target location for the file(s)/folder to be downloaded

The following screen allows the user to select the download path.


Figure : Select Download Path

Step 3: View Activity screen is displayed to show the progress of the download operation.

The "View Activity" screen shows the progress details of the files being downloaded.


Figure : View Activity

4.9 Share Files

CloudBuddy Personal supports different methods of sharing files. URL method is the conventional way of sharing files in which a unique URL is generated for every file that is shared. If you choose to share 10 different files, you will end up having 10 different URL's. The other method is called "Template" and it enables you to share files effectively using custom Web pages.CloudBuddy Personal supports either public or private access types while sharing files.

How does the Template method work?

When you share files using the "Template" method, CloudBuddy Personal generates a XML file containing the list of URL's for the selected files and saves it at a location defined by the user in the same S3 account. Subsequently it generates a single file-sharing URL that is to be used for viewing the shared content.CloudBuddy Personal comes with a photo sharing template that works well with U.S buckets.

Advantages of using the Template method

  1. Any number of files can be shared using a single URL
  2. Intuitive user interface for sharing files
  3. Multiple template support

How does the URL method work?

URL sharing is a method by which a URL is generated per file (object) and is shared. By entering the URL in the browser, the user will be able to download the shared file (object).

CloudBuddy Personal allows private and public sharing of files, with a URL or Template:

  • The private URL for the selected templates and files will be generated along with an expiration timeline. The system will allow the user to select the expiration date during the Private URL/Template generation.

Users need to click on the Share option from the context menu, which will be displayed on clicking the right mouse button on the selected file(s)/folder.

Step 1: Choose "Share" in the context menu

Select the list of files to be shared


Figure : File Sharing

Step 2: Select the access type

The selected files will be listed in Share wizard. The user has to select the access type to continue working with the share wizard. User can also remove the unwanted files with "Remove from List" option. User has to click on Next button to continue.


Figure : Access Tpye

Step 3: Select the method of sharing

User has to select the method of sharing, either URL or Template. If user selects Template the system will list the set of available templates. The user has to select a particular template to continue.


Figure : Method of Sharing

Step 4: Provision to fill metadata for the selected template

The wizard allows the user to input the metadata. Providing Metadata is optional. If this option is enabled, the corresponding files' metadata will be updated in the generated XML file and the same will be displayed while navigating through the shared files


Figure : Fill Metadata

Step 5: Select the destination path at which the generated XML file is to be saved.

User is prompted for selecting the destination path in the S3 account to save the generated XML files.

Figure : Select Destination Path

User has to click on Next button to continue.


Figure : After Selection

Step 6: Uploading the generated template


Figure : Sharing in progress

Step 7: URL generation for the selected files

The public/private URL will be generated for the selected files


Figure : URL Generation

Step 8: Sample URL generated using Template sharing method

Figure : Output

Using the generated URL, the user can view the shared files using a browser.

4.10 Refresh

It allows the user to refresh the contents of the Bucket Explorer.


Figure : Refresh

4.11 Filter

The Filter option allows the user to view a particular set of files based on the file extension provided. Multiple filters can be applied using the pipe symbol (|) as separator. For example, if we apply filter .txt, only text files are displayed in the File List View.

The two options available for filters are:
1. Apply filter
2. Remove filter

"Apply filter" option enables the filter functionality and "Remove filter" option disables the filter functionality.

Once the filter is enabled, it gets reflected in the following scenarios

Figure : Apply/Remove Filter

4.12 Bucket Logging

Bucket logging helps you to record the activities performed in the specific bucket into a log file.Enable Bucket Logging:Enable Bucket Logging provides you with a user interface where you can choose the destination bucket where the log files need to reside and you can also provide the prefix to the log file.After Bucket Logging is enabled, the activities performed in the bucket will be stored in the log file.Disable Bucket Logging:Once Disable Bucket Logging is applied, activities performed in the particular bucket will not be recorded in the log file.


Figure : Bucket Logging

4.13 Jungle Disk Support

CloudBuddy Personal now provides an interface to view and download the contents of those buckets that were created using Jungle Disk. In CloudBuddy Personal, the Jungle Disk top-level bucket will be treated as a bucket and the Jungle Disk sub-buckets will be treated as folders. The user will be prompted to supply a password if the corresponding folder has been encrypted using password.

The two options available for Jungle Disk contents are:
1. Support for viewing contents of Jungle Disk buckets
2. Support for downloading files which were uploaded using Jungle Disk.

Figure : Jungle Disk Buckets

 Figure : Jungle Disk Files

Figure : Jungle Disk Bucket - Password Required

4.14 Drag and Drop

CloudBuddy Personal now supports a drag and drop feature similar to what Windows Explorer provides. A list of files/folders can be dragged and dropped into CloudBuddy Personal from Windows explorer for uploading into S3.

5 View Activity

It allows user to view the download/upload process to/fro from AmazonS3. It shows the status of each file being uploaded/downloaded.Users have click on the View Activity menu item on the Taskbar icon to view the upload and download process.

Clicking the right mouse button on the listview displays a Context menu with "Clear", "Clear All", "Cancel", "Cancel All", "Retry", "Retry All" options. The "Clear" and "Clear All" options will clear only the items with status "Completed" and "Aborted". The Cancel and Cancel All options will cancel the upload and download process.

Figure : View Activity

6 Synchronization

CloudBuddy Personal provides a one-way Sync mechanism. This mechanism will ensure that the local data and its modifications are reflected in S3 depending on the schedule.

Apart from normal Sync, the following features are available :
1. Active Sync, where any modifications at local are immediately reflected in S3.
2. Option for removing local copy upon successful Sync.
3. Option for removing files at S3 if the corresponding files are deleted / not present at local.

Step 1: Choose "Synchronize" from the Taskbar context menu


Figure : Sync before Add

Step 2: Click on "Add Sync Record" icon in the Toolbar and provide the necessary information. Click on "Add" to add the record.


Figure : Add Sync Record

The following picture depicts a list of 2 Sync records. The specified schedule for the first record is shown


Figure : List of Sync Records

7 Caching

Caching is yet another add-on feature for CloudBuddy Personal. This will minimize the number of hits at S3. Configuration settings for caching can be customized at any point in time to re-define cache mechanisms.

Further customization can be done using the configuration file at installation path. This requires explicit restarting of the service.

8 Plug-in Framework

CloudBuddy Personal Plug-in is a framework by itself that allows developers and product owners/companies to either develop new features or to integrate their existing products within the CloudBuddy platform. The CloudBuddy Personal plug-in framework comes with a Workbench to quickly develop Plug-ins. Click here for more information on the Plug-in development.


Figure :Create Plug-in


Figure :Deploy Plug-in

9 Encryption

CloudBuddy Personal supports selective Encryption to secure your files and folder content. You have the option to change the encryption keys at any point in time. It allows you to export/import the keys for mobilizing between various devices. Please read the terms and conditions carefully, before you use this feature. CloudBuddy Personal provides a standalone Decryption tool to quickly decrypt your encrypted files without installing CloudBuddy Personal.

10 Keyboard short cuts

As yet another step towards providing the same feel of working with the windows explorer, CloudBuddy Personal now has incorporated keyboard shortcuts for operations such as Copy, Delete, Refresh, Help etc. For eg.,

  • Copy - Ctrl + C
  • Delete - Del
  • Refresh - F5
  • Help - F1
  • Create Folder - Ctrl + F
  • Create Bucket - Ctrl + B

12 Short URL plug-in


Short URL is a plug-in for CloudBuddy personal, it is an add-on feature for CloudBuddy personal. This plug-in helps users to share their files in short URL form instead of long URL

What is Short URL?

Short URL is a free URL forwarding service, it also called as URL redirection, allowing users to take any existing long URL and make them shorten it. Many providers are providing API to generate a short URL from long one. We use bit.ly API service to create a short URL.

Why we need Short URL in CloudBuddy personal?

CloudBuddy personal having one of the feature called share your file to your friends via URL in a period of time called (Private URL). That URL seems to be long; we right a plug-in for CloudBuddy

That helps you generate private URL in a form of short with the help of bit.ly API

How to use Short URL plug-in in CloudBuddy?

Create Account

First, you need to register you self in bit.ly and get a new account on it. After you got a new account, click account link on the bit.ly site in right side top of the page. There you find API Login & API Key

Reference : http://bit.ly/

For example seems to like below figure/

Implement Short URL plug-in in CloudBuddy

CloudBuddy Personal Version 2.0.2 having short URL plug-in by default, click the plug-in manager in Tool bar menu, you can see the screen seems to be like below figure.

Then click the settings icon in Short URL that gives you the Short URL setting window

You have to select bit.ly in the provider list and enter the API Login name to User Name text area and API key to App Key text area, then don't forgot to save the settings. Close the plug-in manager window. In bucket explore, right click on any of the file you file Short URL menu.