SME Android Application updated to 1.6 and adds support for Samsung Galaxy Tab and other Linux Tablets

We’ve now released the update to the Android SMEStorage application which adds support for the Samsung Galaxy Tab and other Linux Tablets. Other updates to the Application include:

– Now supports in-app registration

– Added support for large file downloads

– Enhanced sync and added support for background sync on login

– Added a simplified view option

– Changed folder navigation to make it easier for those without trackpads or thumbwheels (now double click supported)

– Adds support for DropBox and Google Storage Clouds

– Updated Notes to support categories

You can find out more about the App and it’s features on our wiki here.

User who already purchase this through SMEStorage can update their App bu logging in from the website and going to “My Cloud add-in’s”. Other users can update from the Android marketplace.

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Why an S3 compatible API ? A rebuttal

I read a post by Gladinet yesterday that talked about why, in their opinion, an S3 compatible API is not a good idea, and to be honest I was surprised at their viewpoint. If an S3 compatible API is such a bad idea, why do Eucalyptus offer it ? Why do Mezeo ? Why do Google Storage ? I’ll tell you why, because right now Amazon S3 is the big gorilla in Cloud Storage and to make it easy for developers, and tool vendors, to move to/use their platforms they are offering the nearest thing there is to a standard (apart from WebDav….and I’ll come back to that), which is an S3 compatible interface, or way into their storage clouds.

If you extend that thinking further you can see why it would be useful to users, developers, and Organisations, to use an S3 API above other Storage Clouds, that don’t currently have it. For example using an S3 endpoint with RackSpace or Google Docs could solve some key integration problems if you already use S3 and want to manage files against these clouds.

The issue really is about standards, and the lack of standard API’s in Cloud. There is an old, but still relevant ,post from Gartner on this that I tend to agree with. Having standardised API’s from day one is not good because it stifles innovation, however the basic object cloud storage is pretty basic in terms of an API and for lots of users, developers, and companies, being able to standardise around the dominant API, has in certain circumstances, many benefits.

This brings me back to WebDav. Dav was the first real  (and still the only) standard for working with files over http. I’m amazed by how many vendors don’t support it as an entry point to their cloud ie. Google Docs, Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, DropBox etc etc. Someone made a comment to me recently that WebDav “was so 20th century”. It made me smile as WebDav is still one of the most implemented integration points for Applications. Consider the Apple App Store. It’s two years old and there are a myriad of Applications that support WebDav and also have to support the clouds that don’t support WebDav, and if your cloud is not on the list, then, well it’s tough !  Need a more recent example? The new Nokia N8 Smartphone. It supports WebDav as a native client and users have already picked up that they can use our service to access their cloud data on the device. When we launched our ubiquitous WebDav over any cloud (whether it support it natively or not), CloudDav interface, we did it because we had the same frustrations. We launched this on August 25th.  In only 3 months it is responsible for 30% of our traffic and it has lead to a huge increase in our user base ! That is an amazing statistic and shows that users really want standardisation when it enables them to access their data the way they want to, and of course this is our raison d’etre 😉

Interestingly, in the past Gladinet also had a positive point of view about the S3 API, at least in earlier blog posts, so I’m not sure what lead to their change of heart, but one thing is for sure, I expect more storage companies, not less, to continue issuing compatible S3 endpoints as entry points into their storage clouds.

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How to Access Google Docs, Amazon S3, DropBox and more using the Nokia N8 integrated WebDav client

The new Nokia N8 is a next generation smartphone from Nokia. We’ve had a few requests as to whether we will build a mobile client for it. The answer ? There is no need. The Nokia N8 has an integrated WebDav client built directly into the phone and with our CloudDav implementation we are able to offer WebDav access into many clouds, even if the underlying cloud does not support WebDav (which Google Docs, Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files and DropBox don’t).

To start managing your files directly from your N8 phone with WebDav you need to do the following:

1. Register for a free account for your clouds of choice with SMEStorage.com

2. Purchase the CloudDav add-on. You can do this from the “Purchase add-on’s” link in the sidebar.

3. Now go to your N8 phone and ensure you have a WiFi or data-connection

4. Go to Menu -> Applications -> Office.

5. Go to File Manager-> Options ->Map new Drive

6. Enter ‘SMEStorage’ for the name of the drive to be mapped

7. Enter the SMEStorage WebDav url (https://webdav.storagemadeeasy.com)

8. Select the access point you would like

9. Provider the username and then the password for your SMEStorage account.

10.Now tap the ‘back’ button.

11. You will now see the file listed in the File Manager and you can tap to connect (as long as you have a data connection)

You will now see your file listing for the clouds you have mapped to your SMEStorage Account

Using CloudDav and the N8 WebDav feature in this way, you can not only access files, but copy files, create new files, and delete files from a multitude of storage clouds directly from your phone.

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iSMEStorage 2.0 is released

iSMEStorage 2.0 is now in the App Store. It has a ton of new features, which you can refer to from our prior post. There is unfortunately a bug that was picked up on release when using the folder actions when in the Cloud Files view which crashes the App. We’ve already issued a 2.01 release fix for this and this should be in the App Store around about the 5th November if Apple keep to their normal weeks approval timeline.

In the meantime we put together a short slide set so you can have a quick browse of the features in the 2.0 release:

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ExtJS Storage enabled Portlets – integrated with Google Docs, Amazon S3 + 10 other storage clouds

We’ve recently been doing some integration work with a large engineering company that has been focused on integrating multiple clouds with their Portal framework which in this case is Ext JS. Ext (pronounced “Eee Eks Tee”) is a JavaScript library for building interactive web applications using techniques such as Ajax, DHTML and DOM scripting. It has gained quite a following and is a popular choice for a Portal infrastructure.

The main advantage of that ExtJS has over other frameworks is its component-oriented model which leads to a consistent and easy to use API to build widget-based interfaces. It also now features integrated touch sensitive web apps using HTML5 which makes it an even stronger Ajax tools and Portal framework

The integration that we have done for the engineering company is going to be  key to enabling data access for storage clouds when users sign into the Portal. Clouds such as S3, and internal storage clouds, will be mapped into the on-premise SMEStorage Cloud Gateway appliance. Authentication is being handled by integration with an internal identity management server so that single sign-on can be accomplished.

The real power of the on-premise appliance and the rich API is that not only can users use the Portal to access files, they can also use the white label version of the Windows / Mac / Linux desktop tools , and also the Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, IPad mobile clients.

If you are interested in integrating ExtJS with an on-premise Cloud Gateway then please contact us

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