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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Multi-Cloud Storage API

All our client tools are developed using the SMEStorage Multi-Cloud API. It has been used to develop our iphone web client, Windows Tooling, Firefox plug-in, iGoogle Widget, Facebook Widget and more. It provides an abstraction against several storage clouds and features:


– File like system for manipulation
– Services, such as Email Backup, Send to Twitter, Create Business Collaboration group, email share, and many more


The API manual can be downloaded from Google Code and it is our intention to keep providing code examples. Currently on the site there is a .Net code example for creating a MS Office toolbar plug-iin which will work against all the clouds SMEStorage support. We will follow this soon with PHP examples and XCode / Cocoa examples.

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New Features added to SME

We’ve added some new features to the site. These are:

Favourites: You can now make any file a “favourite file” by clicking on the favourites star.

filemanagerfavs

Once a file is a favourite it is accessible on your desktop from the favourites tab and in your FileManager from the Favourites group.

desktopfavs

You can configure your Favourites tab to open on login from My Account -> Options tab.

We’ve also tweaked the file explorer based on user feedback so that it is larger and has a scrollbar on the directories making it easier to browse and use.

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New version of SME API Manual

We’ve updated our API manual and you can download it from Google Code. It provides a files system on top of one cloud or many.  The SMEStorage API is what is used to build all our client tools. You can use it to access any of the clouds we support (which is pretty much all of them) and you can use it to import/export between different cloud, in real-time or as a scheduled sync. You can use the API to backup email to any cloud, as it has specific functionality for this, or pretty much anything you can think of.

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SME now supports Apple MobileME, iDisk & any WebDav Storage Cloud

We are please to announce support for MobileME, iDisk and any WebDav compliant storage cloud from today. WebDAV is the Distributed Authoring and Versioning extension to the standard HTTP/HTTPS web protocol. It allows a client to browse a remote filesystem, usually with a graphical browser that makes it appear that your files are on your desktop. 

This means that anyone who uses these storage clouds with SMEStorage (and remember this does not stop you using them with your normal clients) will get access to our clients:


Web: Rich File Manager,  features integration with best of breed web 2.0 vendors and collaboration features


Windows: Virtual Drive, Shell Integration, Sync Features, Dedicated Explorer, Integration with MS Office & Open Office


iPhone: Web based iPhone client in which files can be viewed, shared, collaborated on, and also viewed offline


Facebook: Share your files on Facebook with your friends


iGoogle: Access your files directly from your iGoogle Portal Page.

Amongst ther storage vendors apart from Apple that support WebDav are Bingo Disk, FilesAnywhere, iDrive.


You can also create WebDav compliant folders in Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems and webdav can also be used to access email systems like Microsoft Exchange and also intranet systems such as Sharepoint.

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What happens to the data when an online storage site closes?

There was an interesting post on PC World recently that asks the question “What happens to the data when an online storage site closes?”. After all two of the main reasons for offline storage are for backup and for access.
What we are starting to see happen in the world of online storage is consolidation and of course the non sustainability of ‘free’ business models. As the article states, “Online storage services that have announced closings in the past ten months include big names in tech: AOL (Xdrive and AOL Pictures), Hewlett-Packard (Upline), Sony (Image Station), and Yahoo (Briefcase). Plenty of lesser-known online storage firms also have kicked the bucket, including Digital Railroad and Streamload MediaMax, which turned into The Linkup.”

One of the reasons we never used proprietary storage services for SMEStorage is that, ultimately, it is very difficult to keep up with the big guys in terms of price. Just look at Amazon. They are the 1oo pound gorilla of being able to sell at a high volume for low margin.

At SMEStorage we have concentrated on providing interoperability with best-of-breed Storage providers and building value services over and above this. For example things such as clients for different platforms, integrations with the best-of-breed Web 2.0, Desktop and social media tools. Innovations such as Email-backup-to-storage, and the ability to move data about from one storage provider to another. Or even have a real-time Cloud Data Backup which, if the primary provider disappears, will have kept the data in sync and available with a secondary provider. Key to this is that you own your data, not us.

If you are using our free Amazon S3 service we give you 250MB, but even using these you are free at any time to export it to any other provider you want at any time, including our other free services such as email-as-a-cloud or gmail-as-a-cloud, but of course you still own the account and therefore the data.

We believe that the most valuable thing is your data and we will keep doing all we can to help you keep it safe, accessible, and available.

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Host your own public cloud using FTP !

We are happy to announce today that we now support FTP a a provider in our “Private Cloud package”. This means that if you have access to an FTP director or have your own FTP server you can use this as your Cloud Provider within SMEStorage. Once you have done this you can use our website to upload/download files, and also get access to all our integrations such as Zoho Office, iPaper inline PDF viewing, filters, file sharing, business groups / collaboration etc.


You can also use any of our tooling on top of this such as the iPhone web application, Firefox plug-in, iGoogle widget, Facebook widget, and also our windows tooling with virtual drive, and Microsoft and Open Office integration.


It is easy enough to host your own FTP Server and use cheap commodity storage. Also many users have access to FTP sites they do not use through web site or email subscriptions. Now you can turn them into your own premium cloud storage service !


To get started, first sign up for the Private Cloud package, and then enter your FTP details as below:


SMEStorage FTP


Once this has complete you will be asked whether you want to save your information (which is stored encrypted in our Database)


FTPInfo


If you want to use your home FTP Server you will probably need to open the ports on your router. A good site to step you through that is here.

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