Dropbox DBX Platform Give Devs New Tools To Leverage Online Data

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This morning, Dropbox announced the release of DBX Platform. This is a suite of APIs and developer tools for building new capabilities on top of Dropbox that includes new integrations with Atlassian’s JIRA Software, Autodesk tools and Microsoft Outlook. I spoke with Dropbox's Head of Solutions Architecture Dan Iversen about the new features.

"This is kind of an evolution since we launched out first set of APIs in 2009," said Iverson.

He said Dropbox has had a focus on bringing together the tools of the past with those of the future. With people wanting to adopt best of breed tools, he said, you can end up building silos of disconnected data. So, while new tools can assist with some elements of collaboration, you can end up making life harder.

Iverson says that the company has always been API driven, and this is reflected in Dropbox having over 500,000 developers on its books. Iverson promised not to get on a stage and yell "Developers, developers, developers".

Part of this new push is Dropbox's release of three new APIs. These build on Dropbox API V2, which originally debuted in 2015. Iverson said Dropbox users are making over two billion API calls each day.

  • The Metadata API enables developers to assign custom metadata labels and values to Dropbox files through their third-party applications, making information more easily searchable.
  • The File Requests API allows developers to automate the creation of file requests and embed requests into other workflows. This new endpoint expands a widely-used Dropbox feature that allows users to collect files and images from others through a simple link. This allows programmatic access to the file request feature.
  • The Paper API, assists developers to create integrations with Paper, Dropbox's collaboration platform with the ability to create and edit Paper documents directly within third-party applications. The original package of APIs for paper were focussed on search so these extend the platform significantly.

Recently, Dropbox announced new design tool integrations for Paper, bringing InVision, Figma embeds, Trello boards visualization, as well as Sketch file previews.

As part of the launch of the new APIs, Iverson said a number of new software partners are coming on board.

The first is with Atlassian’s JIRA Software.

"Jira is very popular for project management, issue tracking, especially with developers and technical folks. And so, that was a much sought after integration. You can mange the structure of a project and the issues and link to unstructured information in Dropbox without having to leave the Jira interface. It's a nice way of streamlining a lot of workflows," said Iverson

That will be effective today

Sign-ups for early access to a new add-in within the Outlook email service from Microsoft. This will make it easier to save files into Dropbox from email and to access files from Dropbox.

Additionally, Dropbox is announcing a new integration with Autodesk, coming soon, allowing users to access their content directly in the AutoCAD desktop application, which expands the company’s current integrations with AutoCAD and Autodesk cloud mobile applications.

This integration is "coming soon" said Iverson.

This is on the back of recent announcements of integrations with Workplace for Facebook, Microsoft Teams, Slack and other collaboration platforms.

Iverson says Dropbox is becoming the "connective tissue" between teams, applications and devices.


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