US cloud visibility and enablement company, Skyhigh Networks announced an advanced data governance solution for Box users at Boxworks 2014.
It’s been quiet on the Box front for some time as they no doubt prepare for the floatation, however they’re not entirely shut as the latest offering, Box Notes proves, although it’s been some seven months in getting to market – it was originally announced and launched in private beta back in September – which seems a little slow for a business, that has up until now been exceptionally nimble with its new products.
Box announces developer-ready versions of its Box View visualisation and Metadata file information tools, and API pricing for developers creating third-part apps on the Box platform.
Enterprise storage business Box launched two new products, Box View and Metadata at their Box Dev 2014 conference in San Francisco. Additionally Box also complemented its free developer offering, with platform pricing for enterprises that want to build on Box’s APIs.
The announcements were made by Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO at Box, and cover two technologies previewed at their annual conference at the BoxWorks 2013 conference at the back-end of last year.
Box View is a neat piece of technology – bought in last year from Crocodoc – that allows users to seamlessly preview content stored on Box without needing the original programs. The technology converts PDF and Office documents into very high-quality easily embeddable HTML, and visible on a wide range of platforms and devices.
To enable the use the full power of the technology in third-party apps Box has also open-sourced viewer.js, a client-side library for rendering and interacting with Box View documents. As well as displaying the files viewer.js also gives developers the ability to can create visually stunning animations and collect valuable usage and data analytics.
View will be an extra service and priced according to the number of uploads made to the service, the first 1000 per month are free and each 2500 per month after priced at £150 ($250).
Introduced as a private beta at BoxWorks 2013, Metadata allows users to associate keywords and a raft of customisable file info with the files saved on Box, and it’s now available to all developers as a beta and is integrated with Box’s iOS, Android, and Windows SDKs. Part of the Box Content API,
Metadata is also now integrated with Box’s search functionality so searches can be done for things like “all files created by..” “all files containing Chris created by Aaron” etc.
Box has also introduced new pricing plans for its API use. This is the first time that Box has offered a way for customers to purchase Box as a platform, and there’s a simple three tier pricing structure. Build is free and is for users with up to 25,000 API actions per month, Scale which is for those using over 25,000 APIs per month and is priced at £300 ($500) per month/per 25,000 API Actions, and Transform and customisable plan aimed at large users. API access for third party developers will continue to be free of charge.
According to Box more than 35,000 developers are building services on the Box platform, with over one billion third-party API calls made to the Box platform every month, and usage of third-party apps by Box customers has increased by 292% over the year.
Third parties are a big growth area for Box its OneCloud program just passed 1,000 platform partners and interestingly it’s where businesses like Salesforce got their stellar growth from. In the mid-noughties SalesForce saw their APIs from third-parties surge past the 60% of all API calls and have never looked back. Likewise if Apple hadn’t created an eco-system and a store for third-parties to create apps and get paid for the apps they made for the iPhone, then the mobile market would probably still be dominated by Nokia. It’s an IT case of “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Creating an ecosystem should be a no-brainer and while Box was quick to build their own, it was being held back by a lack of clarity on returns. It’s good to see that Box have finally worked out a payment structure and it will be interesting to see how the developers take to the new pricing.