Dropbox bursts the cloud – new APIs go beyond traditional file storage

10 Jul 2013

Dropbox’s inexorable journey from a file storage provider in the cloud to a fully IT powerhouse is gaining pace. The San Francisco, California-headquartered company has revealed new APIs that can save and store any meta data for an app and allow developers to create apps that display files within their apps.

The company, which is locating its international headquarters in Dublin, has introduced a new suite of tools that simplifies how developers can build across devices and platforms.

The Datastore API moves beyond files and provides a new model for storing and syncing app data, keeping app data up-to-date across all devices, whether offline or online. For example, users will be able to check off items on their phones and add items to their computers during a flight.

Drop-ins allows developers to connect to millions of Dropbox users with just a few lines of code, giving people access to their Dropbox from web and mobile apps. A ‘Saver’ feature allows users to save files from within an app to their Dropbox folders in one click. The feature is already live in Yahoo! Mail, Shutterstock and Mailbox.

“Back in 2007, when it was just the two of us coding in an apartment, we never imagined that six years later there’d be over 175m people using Dropbox and more than a billion files synced each day,” CEO Drew Houston told developers at Dropbox’s annual developer conference DBX.

“We’re proud that Dropbox has become the home for millions of people’s most important stuff. So we want to be sure that stuff is always available, no matter if you’re on your laptop at work, a tablet on a plane, or a smartphone on the bus. Keeping devices and apps synced with your most up-to-date info has gone from ‘nice-to-have’ to essential, which creates a real challenge for the people developing apps,” Houston added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years