Friday, January 25th, 2013

To the Cloud! Using Filepicker.io to Help Your Apps Collaborate With Box

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This post comes from Brett van Zuiden, founder of Filepicker.iowhich is now featured in the new Third Party Developer Tools section of our documentation.

Seamless collaboration is one of the primary benefits of using cloud-based applications over their desktop counterparts – multiple people on a team or even across teams can work together in real time. Led by services like Box, this collaborative use case is causing a major shift in the way that users think about and work with their content.

It used to be that people viewed cloud storage as a solution for backups – in case something went wrong with their computer, they could always go to the version that was saved online to recover their data. But now, as collaborative use cases come to the forefront, files on services like Box are actually looked to as the primary version of content, with the locally downloaded versions as temporary copies if needed. This is true across documents, photos, videos, you name it – especially in the enterprise.

As this shift continues, applications are recognizing that working with only the content on a user’s local device just won’t cut it – these applications should be able to work directly with the content that their users have stored online. This is where Filepicker.io comes in – we help developers connect their applications to online storage services from Box to Facebook to WebDAV in a simple, seamless way. We even handle the processing of local uploads, just in case some of your users haven’t gone fully over to the cloud.

As an example, this is how you can integrate web applications using Filepicker.io:

First, include the filepicker.io javascript library and set your API key (get one at https://www.filepicker.io)

<script type="text/javascript" src="//api.filepicker.io/v1/filepicker.js"></script>
<script>
filepicker.setKey(“Set_api_key_here”);
</script>

Then, replace your traditional file input fields with Filepicker.io input fields:

<body>
<input type=”filepicker” name=”attachment” data-fp-service=”BOX”>
</body>


That’s it! Now your users can upload files directly from Box. The Filepicker.io library will set the value of the “attachment” field to be a URL to the file contents. Filepicker.io also has libraries that make this just as easy for iOS and Android Apps.

Replacing your local upload and export functionality with Filepicker.io takes less than 5 minutes and only a handful of lines of code – so embrace the cloud, and head on over to Filepicker.io to get started. Enabling your users to work directly with their documents in Box is just a few clicks away.