Dropbox on Tuesday unveiled a new platform for software developers that it said will help them add Dropbox capabilities to their applications.
The new Dropbox Platform was officially unveiled in a Dropbox blog and introduced at DBX, the company's first-ever developer conference, held this week in San Francisco.
The Dropbox Platform builds on work the company did with its introduction earlier this year of its Dropbox Sync API, which allows an iOS or Android app to treat the Dropbox file share and synch service as if it were a local file system on the device. With the Dropbox Sync API, users can list the contents of a folder or move, delete and create files and folders locally.
The Dropbox Platform could have a big impact on IT, depending on how well it is adopted by third-party developers, said Jeff Juszczak, CEO of Thirteen Guys Named Ed, a Safety Harbor, Fla.-based solution provider and Dropbox For Business partner.
Dropbox is becoming an important utility for customers, and making it widely available with third-party applications will expand its usefulness, Juszczak said.
"Any company with traditional file servers can get rid of them with Dropbox," he said. "We've helped customers take out their servers, and their users don't even notice the change. Our favorite thing to do is turn off servers. The typical SMB doesn't need servers if they use the cloud."
With Tuesday's introduction of the Dropbox Platform, Dropbox unveiled the Datastore API, which is targeted at storing and synchronizing application data.
"When you use an app built with datastores your data will be up-to-date across all devices whether you're online or offline. Imagine a task-tracking app that works on both your iPhone and the web. If it's built with the Datastore API, you can check off items from your phone during a cross-country flight and add new tasks from your computer and Dropbox will make sure the changes don't clobber each other," wrote co-founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi.
New with the Dropbox Platform is the Datastore API, which allows data used by an app to be up-to-date across all devices whether the user is online or offline. Houston and Ferdowsi cited as an example a task-tracking app that works on the iPhone and the web.
"If it's built with the Datastore API, you can check off items from your phone during a cross-country flight and add new tasks from your computer and Dropbox will make sure the changes don't clobber each other," they wrote.
Dropbox has also added a couple of drop-ins, which Houston and Ferdowsi called cross-platform user interface components that can be integrated into apps in minutes. The Chooser drop-in provides an app with instant access to files in Dropbox, while the Saver drop-in provides one-click saving of files to Dropbox.
PUBLISHED JULY 9, 2013