Ways you can share Cloud Storage files using the SME Gateway

It’s been a while since we looked at file sharing so we thought it was worth revisiting the ways you can share files for multiple Storage clouds via the SMEStorage Gateway:

Email Sharing (Individual files):

When you share a file via email from the web file managers or from the windows tooling then the user will be notified that a file is shared with him in an email from SMEStorage. To access this file the user has to login to SMEStorage so if he does not have an account he will need to create a free account. The reason for this is that this mechanism of sharing lets you assign an expiry time for the link so you can, for example, set the link to expire in two days.

The email branding and email account can be changed to your own organisation if you have a SMEStorage Organisation account.

Email sharing (multiple files)

You can use the cloud clipboard from the Rich File Manager to add files that you want to share. Once you have added all the files you want to share, you can again set expiry links and the email that is sent is done using the SMEStorage branding and the recipient needs to login to SMEStorage or create a free account to access the files.

As above the email branding and email account can be changed to your own organisation if you have a SMEStorage Organisation account.

Sharing via URL

You can get a SMEStorage URL or TinyURL for any file and you can send this to a anyone via email or use in a blog etc. They will not require a SMEStorage account to access the file. This URL does not expire and will only be unusable if you change any details of the file otherwise it will always be able to be used to download the file.

Public Files

You can set a file to be public from the web, windows tools or from the mobile clients. Once a file is made public it is accessible from your public files page which you can find on your sidebar when you login to SMEStorage. You can share the link to your public files page and users do not need to be logged in to access it. All files shared on this page are indexable by search engines and available for anyone to download.

Collaboration Groups

You can setup business Collaboration groups as a mechanism to share files. Once you have setup a group and invited users, any files that you share with the group will automatically generate an email with the file link to all other users in the Group. Other users can also be collaborators and can share files with the group in this way.  This is a great way to manage partners for example in which you want them to have the latest updated content and white papers without having to directly email each one.

Mixing and Matching the above way to share files with Encryption

All of the above options can be mixed with file encryption, even when making file public. You could for example, choose to make 1o files public, all of which are encrypted and no-one would be able to download them without the password key that you provide. The same approach works for files shared over email, or via URL or even with collaboration group members.

For example we have a user who wanted to figure out the best way of having his users access file without having to login but without making the file available to any users who came across them. To this end he uploaded his files to Amazon S3 and encrypted them on upload. He shared the public url of the page with his  user-base but gave them the key to access the files.

One last note is that we would ask you to please review our Terms of Use before sharing files. Our platform cannot be used for sharing copyrighted content, such as movies, Mp3’s or e-books.

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iSMEStorage Cloud Storage Virtualisation App for iPad is in the App Store !

iSMEStorage 1.40 update has been approved by Apple and brings with it support for the iPad and IOS 4.

iSMEStorage for iPad enables you to seamlessly access multiple cloud storage services using only the iPad. Files are displayed in a Virtual Cloud File System (VCFS) and can be managed using directly using the iPad. Visually each Cloud Provided in the file system is now distinguishable by the relevant cloud logo.

Cloud Storage Services supported include Google Docs, Amazon S3, MobileMe,  SkyDrive, Live Mesh, Mezeo, Rackspace Cloud Files, Box.net, Gmail (GDrive), Email-as-a-Cloud, FTP Clouds, and also any cloud accessible via WebDav.

Files from all Clouds can be opened within SMEStorage and saved locally or can be opened in any other application that has support for document sharing. This means you can office docs from any cloud in Documents-to-Go or QuickOffice for example.

The Application has many business and collaboration features and you can check out a video of the iPad application below.

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Using SME with your Mac. Upload your Cloud Files direct from the Finder

For many of use in the office using Mac’s we’ve yearned for some tighter integration with SMEStorage and the Mac. You can choose to use the Windows explorer via Crossover or WINE with the Mac and it works nicely, and you can also use the Firefox plug-in which also works really well, but having OS level integration is always nice.

Snow Leopard has enhanced the integration of the automator services into the OS which makes it much easier to provide contextual functionality.

Using this method there is now available an add-in for users of SMEStorage to be able to upload their files directly from the Mac to their chosen cloud of choice (and we now support over 10 storage clouds), and after the file has been uploaded a unique link for the file will be copied to the clipboard.

You can view a video below that show this working with Google Docs:

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WordPress File Sharing Plug-In for Amazon S3, RackSpace CloudFiles, Box.net, SkyDrive & More

We’ve released the second of our WordPressPlug-Ins which enables users of different Cloud Storage Providers  to make files available for download on a WordPress Blog.


The extension supports all the clouds that are available via the SMEStorage Gateway API which include Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, Box.net, Microsoft SkyDrive, MobileMe, GMail-as-a-Cloud, Email-as-a-Cloud, FTP-as-a-Cloud, and any WebDav compatible storage Cloud.


To enable your files to be shared on the WordPress Blog you need to make the files public within SMEStorage:


1. Use the SMEStorage File Manager to navigate to select files to make public. Please read this blog post for more information on how to do this. Files set to be public can then be made available from the Plug-In.


2. Login in to WP-Admin. At the bottom of your dasboard on the right hand side you will a ‘SMEStorage Public Files option’. Click on this. Here you can enter your SMEStorage username and how you want the files to be selected for display i.e. via tags you have assigned to them or * for all public files.


3. Now go to Appearance-Widgets and choose where you want the widget displaying your files to be.


The Plug-In was developed using the SMEStorage multi-cloud API.


The Plug-In is available for download from the WordPress extensions site.

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The need for a multi-cloud storage API

photo-2During a lightening talk at London CloudCamp we talked about the need for a multi-cloud storage API (slides below). We then presented the options currently available, and of course the SMEStorage multi-cloud API is one of several. We do believe we bring some nice things to the table with out API which include:


– REST based providing an SPI to multiple clouds
– Provides value added services over and above just upload/dowload, and file system view. There are too many to list, but these include file encryption, Email backup, ETL from one cloud to another cloud, content filtering, faxing and much, much more
– Ability to provide a single view of disparate data in different clouds – a cloud data unification within a single file system view. 


If you are a developer take the time to check out the API and let us know how we can do more to help and what features you are looking for.

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Multi-Cloud Storage Firefox Plug-In

The new version of the Firefox uploader for SMEStorage is now available. It has a number of new features, one of which is the support for Multi-Cloud Providers directly within the Plug-In itself. If you have a Lifetime Cloud or Organisation Cloud account, this means that you can change between using 9+ Storage Clouds when uploading files simply at the click of a button.

The number of Clouds that the Plug-In works with is Amazon S3, Mosso Cloud Files, Box.net, MobileMe, WebDav Clouds, Gmail-as-a-Cloud, Email-as-a-Cloud, FTP-as-a-Cloud.

firefox-multi-providers

Other new features include:

Obtaining file url’s from directly within the plug-in, and also sharing files with Twitter from directly within the plug-in (providing you have added your Twitter details to your account).

firefox-twitter-share

The Firefox plug-in also now shows the special folders that can be setup through the website i.e. shared folders (designated by a red square around the folder) and also Organisation Folders if you are using an Organisation Cloud Account.

firefox-special-folders

If you have thousands of files in your storage cloud then you will appreciate ‘Filter’ which allows you to filter the files viewed by either Alphanumeric values, string values or by range.

firefox-filter

Lastly, collaborative business groups can now be viewed and managed with the plug-in:

firefox-_groups

A SMEStorage Account is needed to use the plug-in. The help documentation for the plug in can be found here.

The Firefox Plug-In is another example of what can be achieved with the SMEStorage multi-cloud API.

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Using SME Multi-Cloud Explorer with Ubuntu

One of our users recently pointed out to us how they are using the SMEStorage Multi-Cloud explorer within Ubuntu. The explorer is one component of our windows tooling that is installed. The explorer itself is a dedicated .exe file so that makes it compact an easy to run when using virtualisation libararies such as WINE or Crossover.


Ubuntu provides support for WINE within its additional applications. To intalle support for Wine in Ubuntu you need to add the Wine Package:


wine_ubuntu


Once Wine is added Just double clicking on the explorer file will launch it using the WINE virtualisation.


ubuntu-s3


The Explorer can work with the Following clouds (depending on your package):


– Amazon S3
– Mosso Cloud Files
– MobileME
– Box.net
– WebDav enabled Clouds
– GMail-as-a-Cloud
– Email-as-a-Cloud
– FTP-as-a-Cloud (Private Cloud)


A single version of the explorer without having to install the entire suite on windows to extract it can be downloaded here.

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