New Storage Made Easy Google Chrome Cloud Unifier File Manager Extension

We’ve added a new Storage Made Easy Chrome extension to the Chrome Web Store. The sole function of this extension is to enable auto-login and launch of the SME Web File Manager for quick access.

The SME Web File Manager is a hierarchical file manager which makes it ideal to deal with large data set and also data from different on-premise or public cloud storage, which are unified in the file tree. A Storage Made Easy Account is needed but a free account can be signed up directly from the extension.

The reason for this extension was to make it a lot easier for users to be able to gain access to the Web Cloud File Manager for one of our business customers who had equipped their salesforce with Chromebook Pixel’s.

The Web File Manager enabled them to have a workflow which included editing and commenting of documents directly from the Chromebook on various clouds that they used which includes BaseCamp and Amazon S3.

The extension can also be used for securely sharing files which include setting passwords on files and/or time expiry.

The web file manager, from a single user perspective provides a very nice way to work with data between cloud providers and even collaborate with other people using Business Group WorkSpaces. For business users it provides a complete collaboration environment between user which includes files editing, file commenting, file versioning and file locking.

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Cloud Computing Use Case: Automatic notifications of new or changed iWork Numbers documents stored on Google Drive

We had an interesting Use Case recently in which the requirements were as follows:

The Company in question had a Google Apps Account and therefore used Google Drive for their Storage. They had a number of iWork Numbers documents that were modified by their team members whilst on the move using iWork and iPad’s. Currently their process was editing the files, and then trying to send the resultant file via email to other team members. Due to file size some files were not received and in general the email server was quickly eating up storage. What they cam to SME for was to figure out how they could refine this process.

With Storage Made Easy the process became much simpler. Firstly the company subscribed to a Cloud File Server SaaS Account. The SME Cloud Admin then added the companies Google Drive account to be accessible via SME and invited other team members to be part of the Cloud File Server. On the Folder(s) in question the Cloud Admin simply set permissions so that relevant team members had access and added a notification rule specific to keynote file to ensure that all subscribers to the shared folder received an email notification on new files or updates to existing files. As per our prior article on Twitter and SMS Gateways on these changes to file events SME can easily generate instant SMS notifications.

As Storage Made Easy enables WebDav above any Cloud added to it then Google Drive becomes instantly accessible via WebDav. For the Company this means that they can simply open and create new keynote files directly in Keynote from their shared Google Drive folder and then on completion simply save them back. The very act of doing this generates a file event on completion which send an email and/or SMS to users subscribed to the shared folder vastly simplifying the process.




Another added benefit to the company is the complete end-to-end joined up audit tracking they get on all Google Drive documents:

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Adding a WebDav Drive for access to almost any Cloud Storage on Windows 8 RT Surface Tablet

Windows RT Surface is a great tablet but the non-pro edition is pretty locked down and getting access to files from the integrated Apps can be an issue. Enter SME Personal Cloud.

Amongst other desktop tools the SME Personal Cloud comes with what we refer to as CloudDav and provides WebDav access to any of the Cloud Storage Accounts that you have mapped to your Account.

Enabling WebDav on the Windows Surface Tablet can be done simply with a batch file in the following format:

NET USE * \\webdav.storagemadeeasy.com@SSL\DavWWWRoot
pause

(or NET USE * \\webdaveu.storagemadeeasy.com@SSL\DavWWWRoot for the SME EU Server)

Once this is done you have a fully functional cloud drive on your Surface Tablet to get to all your public / private cloud files !

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SME Windows 8 optimised RT Cloud FIle Explorer Surface App

Our Windows 8 optimised Surface RT App has been out for a while now but we thought we should formally introduce it on the blog!

The App is optimised for touch and Windows 8 tablets, although it can be used by an Windows 8 OS.

It works with any free, Personal Cloud,  or Business Cloud File Server Account, and it is free from the Windows App Store (and to remind those who don’t know the SME Windows Phone App is also available for free from the Windows Phone App Store).

You can see a brief video overview of the App below:

Remember that the full version of our tools is also Windows 8 ready and it includes a native desktop drive, Sync, Microsoft Office Plug In’s and also Microsoft Outlooks secure link sharing. It is available for Personal Cloud and Business Cloud Users.

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Web File Manager Updates: Shared file link management improved

We have today updated the way in which shared links are managed for all Cloud Files mapped to an account from the web Cloud File Manager. It is now possible to have multiple links for a single file and to easily manage them. These file share links can be either a direct private share, a time expired share or a secure share. Please see the below video for a detailed overview.

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Android Cloud File Manager updated

We have updated our Android Cloud File Manager application today in Google Play and on our site. The new version adds supports for:

– iCloud
– Google Drive
– BaseCamp
– Office365

It also features a dedicated settings section where the various App settings are now consolidated. The App also now supports copy and paste between Clouds, an often requested feature.

For a brief overview please check out the video below:


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How to password protect public cloud files for almost any public Cloud Storage

For over 2 years now we have had the Public Files page. When users sets a file public from any of the 35+ information Clouds they have mapped to their account then it is displayed on this public files page.  Users have always been able to make such files password protected by encrypting the files on upload through our platform, but we have had feedback that what users really wanted was the ability to have any files on this page password protected, whether they were uploaded as encrypted files or not.

We’ve now added this change to the service. To take advantage of it all that needs to be done is to assign a password to the public files page from your Cloud DashBoard after login to the web. This can be set under the “extended options” section (at the bottom of the DashBoard).

Password protect public files

Setting files to be public is easy, just right click on the file from the web and choose to make the file public:

Other desktop and mobile clients also enable files to be set as public, as in the Android example below:

Once files are set public they appear on the public files page that each user account has:

These files are also available as an RSS feed that can added to the foot of an email for example, or as a an iPhone App:

Once a file is then accessed when public file sharing is turned on then the user is redirected to a password page  when they try to access any file from the public files page:

This feature works across files from any Cloud and indeed Cloud Files from different clouds can be shared and protected from the same page in this way.

Business Cloud File Server users can take advantage of this or turn off file sharing completely for their users.

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SME Web Cloud File Manager updated: Unify your Clouds

We have done a major update of our Web File Manager today. You may have used our File Manager beta over the last few months. This File Manager has gone live and there are shot of new features that business and individual users can take advantage of. The include:

1. Simplified Layout: The whole File Manager has been simplified. Now the two panes of how files are shown works just as it does not the desktop with files being shown in both panes. Also the menu bar has been vastly simplified to concentrate on the options that are used the most, such as sharing, folder creation, and upload.





Also all file and folders function has been consolidated on a right click. Right clicking on a file brings up the options for the file, the same with folders:





2. Improvements in Links sharing and link expiry: We always supported password protecting files on upload via file encryption and link expiry on email generation for file sharing but we have extended this for password protecting any shared link generated with link expiration:


3. Improvements in how to copy and move files between different services: This is as easy as shift and click and then dragging and dropping. Refer to the below video for more details.

This works with folders too, you can drag and drop folders between services easily.

4. Improvements when using a tablet: When using a tablet, the File Manager reacts differently and is optimised for touch screens. Selecting multiple files is just a matter of clicking to the left of the file, and a tick will appear to let you know the file is selected. File options can be done by doing a long touch or press on the file as right click is not applicable on tablets.

We hope you like the new look File Manager. We continue to work on it and have some even further optimisations to come soon !

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Cloud File Manager for Windows Phone updated: Unify access to your Cloud Files

We recently updated The Windows Phone Cloud File Manager. Features include:

– Instant access to unified Cloud files anytime, anywhere direct from a WP7 device.

– Assign lengthy tasks and operations to the SME Platform Tasks Engine (PTE). Use your phone while tasks are completed in background. Check progress at anytime in cloud tasks.

– Manage multiple Clouds in a single view. Easily move files between different clouds, done in background.

– Advanced Cloud Search feature that can search for files across multiple clouds.

– Unique Cloud Clipboard feature enables file management from different clouds in batches, without downloading & then uploading.

– Unique Direct Upload uploads files from web directly, no need to download and then upload, just enter file address and our servers will upload it in background.

– Open files in the phone in Microsoft Office, MediaPlayer etc.

– Share and collaborate – share files to social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Windows Live, etc.), over email or with users groups.

– Record audio (even with screen locked), take notes and 2-way sync with chosen Cloud(s). No need for another recording App.

– 2-way sync pictures with different Clouds. Integrated with Pictures hub. Pictures can be uploaded (shared) directly from the hub.

We have seen a recent surge in business customers wanting to use the Windows Phone with our Cloud File Server SaaS and hosted hybrid appliance and expect this to continue with the recently announced windows phone business features.

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Linux Cloud Tools updated to 3.0.12

We’ve updated our Linux Cloud Tools to 3.0.12. The changes include:

1. Supports deleting of files during sync

If a user deletes files locally and syncs then the files will be deleted on the server. If a user  deletes files on the server and then syncs then files will be deleted locally. These 2 options are ‘Off’ by default. and can be turned on in settings of the sync center.

2. In Ubuntu 11.10+ “Hide in tray” works correctly.

3. Fixed Menu duplication

4. Fix for large fonts bug.

5. In Explorer new option to upload folder (previously only individual files were possible to upload).

6. Fixed bug with trash in explorer (not all files from trash were displayed)

7. Sync center works as per other OS sync tooling.  The “My syncs” folder concept is not used any more and desktop to different cloud folders can be mapped. ie. any folder can now be nominated for sync.  The free version has a restriction of 3 folders that can be sync’d

8. Encryption now supported (only for Personal Cloud or Business Cloud users.). In the Properties window it is possible to set a password for encryption of files during sync.

9. Small fix for Properties window for small screens. Scrolling works correctly now.

The Linux Cloud Tools can be used with the following Clouds:

Google Docs, Google Storage, Google Sites,
Amazon S3, MobileMe, Microsoft Live Mesh (read only),
Microsoft SkyDrive, DropBox, Azure Blob Storage,
Box.net, RackSpace Cloud Files, OpenStack Swift,
Gmail-as-a-Cloud, Email-as-a-Cloud, Mezeo,
HP Object Cloud Storage, S3 compliant Clouds such as (Eucalyptus Walrus),
Ubuntu One Cloud, iKeepinCloud, PogoPlug,
BaseCamp SaaS Service, IBM Connections Files,
EMC Atmos, Office365, SharePoint, CloudMe,
HostingSolutions.it, Scality, Alfresco (on-premise),
Zimbra Briefcase, SafeSync(WebDav enabled),
FilesAnywhere (WebDav enabled), and any WebDav enabled Cloud.

The tools can be downloaded from the Linux Cloud Tools Page.

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