Version 2.11 of iSMECloud File Manager for iPad and iPhone now in App Store

The latest version of the iSMEStorage Cloud File Manager for iPhone / iPad is now in the App Store. There are a host of new features including a re-designed workflow for easier Cloud Files (and local flies) interactions, a new PDF component that supports large PDF files, and support for OpenStack and Google Sites Clouds.

The below presentation showcases the Cloud File Manager for the iPad:

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What does Apple iCloud mean to users and vendors ?

Lauren Carlson recently published an interesting post entitled “Can the Apple iCloud Make it Rain in the Enterprise”. The premise of the post was to explore whether iCloud has a future in the Enterprise as well as for the consumer market.

Our own view on this is that the requirements for small business users, never mind Enterprise, far outstrip what most storage vendors build into their products. Our own Cloud File Server offering has educated us regarding what some of these features and functions are. Let me outline just a few:

User Management – sounds easy right ? Not so easy when you throw in managing also file and directory permission

Ubiquitous Access – Users want to be able to access their data over standard API’s such as WebDav and FTP and also from heterogeneous operating systems using integration and tools that also support the other features they want such as the user permission we talked about earlier. They want desktop drives, support on all mobile devices, support on a plethora of Operating Systems. They want what their business demands and they are all different…..

Groups / Shared Directories: Shared directory structures and the ability to manage groups at a granular level is another ‘must’

Encryption’: Managed encryption of data from the file store to the device is also one of the things many users request.

On premise solution: Many customers want an appliance as they want to use local data as well as public clouds. It’s hard to see a time when absolutely all data will be managed in the Cloud and we see many customers who want a best of breed combination of both. It’s unlikely that Apple would make iCloud available as a server-side solution.

Other Data Clouds: As per our recent InfoGraphic we see must of our business customers and even single knowledge workers do not use only one cloud. They use best of breed public clouds combined with private storage clouds and want ease of use and access to manage these in one file system.

– Best of Breed Integrations: Apple is likely to integrate with everything they provide, the same way that Google does with its product set and Microsoft does with its own product set. This is fine if you only ever want to use these products, but what if you  want to mix and match or have your data integrate with other best of breed solutions ?

We could go on and on I guess. We don’t see anyone vendor becoming dominant. The world is quite big enough for all of them to co-exist and we will support iCloud and continue to broker between them all and provide innovative additional services, access from any mobile client and desktop and providing our open cloud file server platform so that users can choose to work with the clouds that they need, in the way they want to.

To summarise we see iCloud as an opportunity, not a threat, for users and small businesses who wish to extend iCloud’s functionality and who wish to integrate it into their information and collaboration processes.

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New Drag and Drop Web Uploader for batching file uploads to multiple clouds

We’ve made some update to our HTML file uploader for the Rich File Manager on the website. Uploading a few files over the web was always difficult because you had to browse each file one by one. Now you can choose to launch the uploader and just drag and drop multiple file which will then be uploaded in sequence.

Of course as the File Manager view lets you see multiple clouds due to the Virtual Cloud File System that SMEStorage providers through its Cloud Gateway, you can easily batch upload files to different cloud or information stores and as such works with all those we support which includes DropBox, Google Docs, Amazon S3, RackSpace, Microsoft SkyDrive etc.

A short video below demonstrates how this works:

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Edit your Google Docs, SkyDrive, S3 or DropBox files using iWork and CloudDav !

Apple recently updated iWork to support WebDav, which is great news if you are a SMEStorage user because it means that you can edit your Storage Cloud files even if the underlying storage clouds does not support WebDav as is the case for DropBox, Amazon S3, Microsoft SkyDrive, and DropBox.

CloudDav is our implementation of WebDav that overlays all the storage clouds we support, whether the underlying storage cloud supports it or not. This is another value add of our Cloud Gateway appliance which tries to fill the holes left in some of the silod storage clouds and lets you get access to your files the way you want rather than the way that is prescribed.

CloudDav is a $5  paid add-on but it is available to any user, free or paying. You can choose to purchase it from the sidebar after login.

If you intend to be a new (or are an existing) iSMEStorage user, send us a screenshot of the login screen with your username and we’ll enable CloudDav for you for free ! (available until the end of 2010).

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Mac Cloud Drive updated to beta 3

We’ve updated the Mac Cloud Drive to beta 3. This resolve an issue relating to Google Docs and Skydrive. When these two cloud providers are first sync’d it is not possible to know the file size. After the files are first downloaded through the SMEStorage platform the file size is discovered and available thereafter. This does not cause problems in other clients but the Mac file system has a problem with downloading what appears to be zero sized files.

We have therefore introduced a fix in this build that enable any zero length files to be downloaded within the file system when using the Virtual Drive. The Mac Drive is available for download on our Labs page.

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