View your Docs from S3, RackSpace SkyDrive + more via Google Viewer with SME on iPad, iPhone, Android

Google has rolled out support for Google Viewer on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. This is great news for SMEStorage users as the web version of SMEStorage is integrated with Google Viewer which means you can now easily view PDFs, .ppt, .doc and .docx files within the browser without downloading the file to the device.

SMEStorage Virtual Cloud File System (VCFS) works directly from the web on these devices, and is integrated with Google Viewer. This means that using Google Viewer to view supported files will work for all the Storage Clouds we support which include Amazon S3, RackSpace, MobileMe, Box.net, Google Docs, GMail, Mezeo, SkyDrive, and Live Mesh.

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The Growing Pains of Google Docs: Currently accepting uploads intermittently

One of the things we do with our multi-cloud platform is too monitor the clouds that we support. Today Google Docs has had intermittent problems both with uploading and downloading files.

Right now it is not possible to upload files via the SMEStorage platform because it’s not possible to upload files via Google Docs itself – if you try uploading files via Google Docs you get the message that you can see on the screenshot below:

The same error can be seen in the HTTP response:

{“errorMessage”:{“reason”:”REQUEST_REJECTED”,”additionalInfo”:{“uploader_service.
GoogleRupioAdditionalInfo”:{“completionInfo”:{“status”:”REJECTED”,”statusDescription”
:”Sorry, there was an error saving the file. Please try again.”,
“customerSpecificInfo”:{“errorMessage”:”Sorry, there was an error saving the file. Please try again.”}},”requestRejectedInfo”:{“reasonDescription”:”agent_rejected”}}}}}

Either Google are updating something or there are some issues with the platform right now. We’ll continue to monitor this and post an update when we see  things settle down. Right now the issue is intermittent. Sometimes it works fine other times it just fails.

Update: Our monitoring shows that the Google Docs platform has been stable for the last 2 hours so the intermittent issue seems to have been resolved

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Cloud Storage update

A lot has been going on in the world of Cloud Storage in the last 24 hours ! Amazon have introduced a new storage option for Amazon S3 called Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) that enables customers to reduce their costs by storing non-critical, reproducible data at lower levels of redundancy than the standard storage of Amazon S3. We’ll be adding the ability to take advantage of RRS into our S3 solution in the next couple of weeks and will provide more details when this is done.

It seems that Google is also going to have a Google Storage solution similar to Amazon S3. Google is positioning this as a direct competitor with Amazon’s S3 cloud storage and the service will be called Google Storage for Developers, or ‘GS’.  We look forward to this launch. We already support a very fully-featured version of Google Docs and we will also  add support for this GS cloud as soon as it is available.

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How to access Google Docs, S3, SkyDrive and more from a cloud drive on your Mac

We recently released beta two of our FUSE based Cloud Drive for the Mac. The drive was developed on Snow Leopard but seems to work fine under Leopard also.

The drive enables you to use the Cloud Accounts that you access via the SMEStorage Cloud Gateway directly on your Mac throughFinder. The drive is installed as a Preferences Pane within the Mac System Preferences. Once mounted there is a SME icon that appears in the taskbar that turns red or green depending whether data is being uploaded or downloaded. The icon also lets you mount/ unmount the drive and refresh the view.

You can also access the files directly from Terminal using ‘/Volume/SMEFileSystemRW’. We notice in a forum post that someone had even tried using rsync with their Googe Docs account which is pretty neat.

The drive is now starting to become more stable as we would expect from a beta 2 release. We are now going to concentrate on 3 main things for the drive: Performance, Encryption support, and Sync (much in the same way DropBox support sync).

You can watch a short video below of the drive in action:

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Sync Files to Google Docs, Amazon S3 and other Clouds through the web browser with the SME Firefox Plugin

For a little while now we have had the SMEStorage Firefox Plug-In available as an option to use from the FireUploader tool as provided by Rahul Jonna. This is a great Plug-In to use to be able to bulk upload to any of the clouds we support, including of course Google Docs, Amazon S3, MobileMe, RackSpace Cloud Files, Microsoft Live Mesh / SkyDrive + more.

It has a lot more functionality than that providing the ability to share files by email, get a tinyurl link, use group collaboration and other functions SMEStorage overlays over the clouds.

Imagine if you could use a web browser plug-in like this to sync a local directory up to clouds like Google Docs or Amazon S3. Well now you can ! After registering for a SMEStorage account with the cloud of your choice you can use the plug-in to select a directory and Sync it to a folder called My Syncs on Google Docs, Amazon S3 et al.  If you change files, either on the cloud, or on the local file system then  then next time you sync, only the changed files will be uploaded or downloaded.

The Firefox tool is one of our oldest plug-ins and is built on the rich multi-cloud SMEStorage API. It is just one of the many data access points that SMEStorage provides into Cloud Storage. It’s been a while since it had an update, and you can download it from our Cloud Tools page.

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Syncing Text notes with Google Docs on the iPhone

We noticed (see the first comment) a use case in which someone was using SMEStorage recently to sync notes from the iSMEStorage iPhone App. In this case they were syncing notes directly from their back to Google Apps, but this could just as easily have been on Amazon S3, Microsoft Live Mesh or SkyDrive, RackSpace Cloud Files, or any of the other storage clouds we support.

As well as letting you access your files from any cloud in one virtual view, iSMEStorage lets you edit and keep simple memos and notes on your iPhone which are then sync’d back to nominated clouds. Practically these are stored in a folder called “My Memos” on the storage cloud. Any text file added to this directory can be sync’d back to the iPhone and any file created on the iPhone whilst on the move will be sync’d back to the storage cloud.

There are plenty of note taking apps and To Do Apps for the iPhone that are much more sophisticated than what we provide but ultimately we added this feature because we take lots of notes on the move and we didn’t want to have to use proprietary data stores to store the files. We wanted to have then on the cloud we use. In the next revision of the iPhone app we’ll be upgrading this feature so that notes can have categories and adding some other bells and whistles !

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