When it comes to Documents in Clouds, it is Location, Location, Location

As a Cloud vendor, one of the most repetitive things we get asked is about Security, and this is often followed by “where are my documents stored” ? Rapidly followed by a soliloquy  of questions relating to this, i.e. “How can I prove what country I was in when I signed and uploaded them” “Where where they actually deposited” etc.

These are fair questions, and we don’t pretend to be experts in legislation for document storage which can vary depending on the Industry. What we can do however is try to make our platform easier for you to get these answers. To that end we have added integration with a GEO Location Service for all files that are uploaded. Using a GEO Location service enables us to figure out where you were when you uploaded a document and to what endpoint the document was sent to. We can then store this information with each file.

To access this information all you have to do from the File Manager is click “Show File Info”.  There is an example screenshot of this below:

GEO

You can see from this Screenshot where the file was uploaded from, and where it was uploaded to, down to the town, country and Country with detailed latitude and longitude. You can also see which Cloud. In the screenshot above this is stored on the SMEStorage Cloud which is underpinned by Amazon S3.

This service works across all 10 clouds that we currently support, if you upload your files to your cloud via SMStorage. If you upload them direct with your Cloud Provider then we will still have some file meta-information but there will be no GEO information.

Note that your file may not end up being stored at the endpoint in which the file is accepted, but you can prove the location at which the file was uploaded and accepted, and with vendors such as Amazon you can choose which region your file storage is restricted too.

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Share your Cloud Storage files using Joomla Components

Recently we pushed out some WordPress plug-ins that enable you to backup your wordpress blog to any of the 10+ storage clouds we support, and a separate plug-in to enable you to share your cloud storage files easily from your blog via file links.

There are now two Joomla components created by Roman Gelembjuk. One mimics the WordPress component which easily enables you to share your Cloud Storage files on your Joomla site, and the second is a rich component that displays a file directory and enables you to easily manage and share files within the directory that are hosted on your choice of cloud storage. Below is an example of this directory. You can see this for yourself here.

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SMEStorage File Directory download
SMEStorage File Share Download

Storage Clouds supported are Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, Google Docs, Box.net, Microsoft Live Mesh, Microsoft SkyDrive, Box.net, Apple MobileMe, GMail, Email Clouds, FTP, and any WebDav enabled Cloud.

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SME Cloud Storage API now supports Microsoft Live SkyDrive

One of the added benefits of the Microsoft Live SkyDrive support that we recently announced is thatit becomes accessible via the SMEStorage rich multi-cloud API becomes available for developers who want to access Microsoft Live SkyDrive programmtically. On the API’s Google Code site, as well as a detailed manual, there are PHP, PERL, and .Net examples and sample applications, and soon there will follow fully featured .Net & Cocoa libraries. Remember also, that the sames API also supports Amazon S3, Box.net, RackSpace Cloud Files, MobileMe, WebDav, Gmail Clouds, Email Clouds, FTP Clouds as well as Google Docs and Evernote. Expect to see support for at least two more storage clouds before the end of the year.


Many of the above storage clouds not only lack a proper file system (file support, but no folders, with only basic operations) but some, such as MobileMe, SkyDrive, GMail etc, lack any sort of API at all. That’s why we built the SMEStorage Multi-Cloud File System. We built it to enable us to have a universal API to support the storage clouds we plugged into our platform for our own purposes. Indeed it is what all our client tools are based on.


Given that is it is proven and more feature rich than the alternatives we made the decision to make it available as a generic storage cloud API for those wishing to use the SMEStorage platform as a Gateway to support multiple Cloud platforms in their applications or services. It supports multiple connections and multiple users and it does not impact the actual files themsevles as they are still stored on the original cloud service. SMEStorage merely keeps information about the metadata of the files and enables a file system, with services, on top of the remote storage cloud.


In the case of SkyDrive the lack of an API means our implementation is tightly coupled to Microsoft’s web implementation. Any major changes could render the API temporarily inoperable, but we are committed to make the necessary changes to continue support of this Cloud Provider as we move forward in our pursuit of supporting all major storage clouds.

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SME release WordPress multi-cloud Backup Plug-In

We’ve now released a WordPress multi-cloud backup plug-in which can be downloaded at the WordPress Plug-ins directory. This add-in enables you to backup your WordPress Blog tables to your primary supported backup cloud. We currently support Amazon S3, Mosso Cloud Files, MobileMe, Box.net, GMail-as-a-Cloud, Email-as-a-Cloud, FTP-as-a-Cloud, Microsoft Live SkyDrive, and any WebDav enabled cloud.


SMEStorage functions as an abstraction that enables you to work with any of these clouds. Your files remain stored on your cloud provider and the value we bring is that we build a sophisticated file system with additional cloud services on top of your current cloud storage provider. This is exposed using our multi-cloud API, and enables us to bring value added services, such as the WordPress multi-cloud Backup Plug-In. 


Once you have registered for a SMEStorage account (and there are many free plans) all you do is install the plug-in, go to Tools->Backup from WordPress Admin, enter your SMEStorage log-in details, ensure the plug-in is set to backup to SMEStorage rather than to email or file, and click ‘Backup’. The Backup will then run and your Backup can be found in the root node, “All Files” in your SMEStorage Cloud File System.


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Multi-Cloud File Manager released for Open Office

The first independent release of the SMEStorage file Manager is now released and available for download on the OpenOffice.org extension site.


The extension enables you to open and save files directly to/from your primary SMEStorage cloud, be that Amazon S3, Gmail-as-a-Cloud, Email-as-a-Cloud, FTP-as-a-Cloud, Box.net, MobileMe, Mosso CloudFiles, WebDav Cloud, and now MIcrosoft Live SkyDrive also ( next post).


Once installed you will see a new SMEStorage toolbar which you can then use to open and save documents to your cloud of choice.


smestorage


The extension currently works only for OpenOffice on windows but if enough people request it, we will also enable it to work on other OS’s also.


A SMEStorage account is required to use the plug-in.


You can view a video demo of the Plug-In on YouTube.


This plug-in is again based on our Multi-Cloud API.


Update: For those who had an issue saving file, please see this support thread.

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Share your Cloud Files over RSS

rss_iconWe continue to add new features to the platform, often at the request of users, and the newest is the ability to share files that have been set to public over RSS feeds. For quite a while now user have had the ability to share public files. An example of such a feed can be found here. This is the RSS feed for these public files which are shared via Amazon S3.


RSS for files  supporta all the Clouds SMEStorage supports i.e. Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, MobileMe, Box.net, Gmail, Email, FTP, Evernote, Google Docs, and any WebDav enabled cloud.


If a user clicks on a the links of the RSS item in the feed, the file will be downloaded.


RSS links are in the format:
http://SMEStorage.com/rss/[order]/[user]/[tag]/[limit]


The order can be ‘last’ or ‘popular’


For Example .
http://storagemadeeasy.com/rss/last/TestUser/*/20


If a user or tag is ‘*’ then any user/tag is used (no filter with user/tag)


Also the link can be truncated if default values are used. For Example:


http://storagemadeeasy.com/rss
This shows all the latest files


http://smetorage.com/rss/last
This shows the the same as the previous example


http://storagemadeeasy.com/rss/popular
This show the most popular files of all users


http://storagemadeeasy.com/rss/popular/TestUser
The shows the popular user files of a user called ‘TestUser’


http://storagemadeeasy.com/rss/last/Testuser/mp3
This show the last files of   a user called ‘Testuser’ with tag mp3


The default values are: order – last, limit – 100, user – * (all users), tag – * (no filter with tag)


Cool things you can do ? Well you could store all your files in your GMail account and then give access to them over an RSS Feed. Alternatively, if you are a company you could have an RSS link at the bottom of your email signature that gives access to white papers or product documentation for download. Or how about displaying the files you want to be available for download on your WordPress or Joomla CMS using the RSS plug-in’s they provide. If you come up with a unique use, let us know !


Please note our terms of use as appertains using the SMEStorage service.

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SME announces the Organisation Cloud File Server

Today we released our Organisational Cloud Package. This is specifically for businesses who want to take advantage of Cloud Storage.  The Organisational Cloud package supports Amazon S3, Mosso Cloud Files, Box.net, Email-as-a-Cloud, Private Cloud, and GMail-as-a-Cloud.

Specific features are:

– Mix and Match Cloud Providers and view all your files from all providers in one File System



– Use one or more Cloud Providers between as many users as you prefer. We offer 5 and 10 user packages but ask us if you want more than this.

– Administrator can invite and manage users, decide which clouds are used, is responsible for public organisation folders, and can monitor logs.

      

– Use your preferred client – Web, Firefox plug-in, Windows Virtual Drive (with explorer, shell and sync tools), iGoogle, iPhone

– Easily Backup or import from different Cloud Providers, which also includes Google Docs and Evernote.

– Integration with Microsoft Office and Open Office

– All Backups can be scheduled to happen in real-time or offline at a specific time each hour,day,week or month.

– Support automated emails backup using POP3 or IMAP with plug-ins available for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express.

Encrypt your files at any time using SHA-1 secure encryption. Only you have the private key so your files can be absolutely secure.

– Incorporate your own Private Organisation Cloud using a simple FTP Server. This can be used to access files in the virtual file system or even backup from private to public cloud or vice-versa.

– Web platform offers integrations with Zoho Office (create documents directly in the cloud), Evernote, Google Docs, Picnik (inline image editing), ScribD (view PDF’s and other documents), and Twitter (file share using Twitter or be notified of users sharing files with you)

– Rich Collaboration, document workflow and file sharing features.

– Ability to edit HTML, PHP, C++, Ruby, Python, .Net, JavaScript and other languages inline using built in code editor in the web platform.



Sophisticated Filter mechanisms to deal with large volume of files

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