We use SSB’s ourselves quite a lot for email and also for online calendar applications. We thought therefore it would be good fun to release SSB’s for some of our apps. The first one we threw together is for SMEStorage. Just download it, unzip it, drag it to your applications folder, desktop or Mac Dock and voila you can start using your own SSB for SMEStorage.
Picnik photo editing has been integrated into SMEStorage. This means that you can edit any photos you have uploaded to SMEStorage seamlessly with Picnik and then save the result back to SMEStorage.
If you click the link on any image you will see that you now have an option to upload to Picnik where you can then edit your photo. Once you have made your changes you can choose “Back to SMEStorage” from Picnik and your picture will be saved back to you SMEStorage account.
Picnik has the following features:
We’ve made a couple of changes to our SMEStorage iPhone app. The first is that we re-designed the core of the application to improve speed. This has some huge improvements if you have a lot of files and folders. For example the file list for 21,000 files and folders used to take around 20 seconds to load and this now takes around 2 to 3 seconds, and this is on the Edge network.
Secondly we have implemented a “view offline” feature which allows you to load view all supported office file as a data url and therefore bookmark it for offline use. This currently works with Microsoft Word Documents, Microsoft Excel Documents, PDF’s, text files and images. It’s ideal if you want to save a particular document on the phone for reviewing later. Once you click on the link you will be warned if the size of the document is over 250K. We have tested storing 2 MB documents for offline use, but anything over 250K on Edge we feel should allow you to confirm in case you missed the document size.
We’ve been asked a few times now how we store the data and how safe it is. SMEStorage uses Amazon S3 to store the data you upload.
S3 can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It is designed to gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.
Of course, not all of us are developers, and our aim is to leverage the Amazon S3 reliable cloud to provide our own API and value added functions / features that you will want from access to your data. That is why we have implemented consumer features such as in-browser MP3 streaming via the Yahoo Media component and also a way to view your photos inline. We’ve also implemented business level features such as file sharing with file expiry. This is very useful if you want to send large files or if your files keep getting blocked by corporate firewalls. We’ve also implemented group sharing and collaboration features in which you can share a file which then appear on the person you shared it with, shared file list. Other features such as email backup from any mailbox are currently being added.
It is features like this that we believe make data storage a ‘service’ and not just a cloud. We also believe channels and access points are important, that is why we are currently building out out Iphone access and mobile access versions. You can already use the service from any web browser and we recently announced the beta of our firefox plug-in. Pretty soon we’ll also have Java desktop version that will work across Mac, PC or Linux.
Of course a question you may ask, if you already have an Amazon S3 account, is can we use our own account for and get these service features ? A fair question, although when we started to build out this service we envisage it as a way that non-technical people could take advantage of a data service without worrying about the technicalities. Having said that, we are are working on enabling you to plug-in your own Amazon keys for a $1 a month access to our service features – keep your eyes peeled, this will be launched pretty soon !