Cloud storage platform Box has been aggressively targeting and engaging developers in building out an ecosystem around the company’s collaboration and file storage platform. Last fall, Box launched a platform for developers building off of the Box platform, called the Box Innovation Network (/bin). And earlier this year, we learned about Box OneCloud, a mobile cloud and API for the enterprise that allows businesses to access, edit, and share content from their mobile devices. Today, Box is debuting a new, more powerful API for its platform, and is announcing new partnerships with New York City startup incubators General Assembly and TechStars.
Box’s offering for the enterprise has evolved from a simple file storage platform to a collaborative application where businesses can actually communicate about document updates, sync files remotely, and even add features from Salesforce, Google Apps, NetSuite, Yammer and others. The company says 80 percent of the Fortune 500 are using Box; and now has over 10 million users with more than 200 million files accessed via Box each month.
The newest version of Box’s API give developers more granular view of how their application is being used on Box, as well as stronger connections to collaborator discussions. Additionally, Box has reduced the amount of documentation for developers to review when building integrations with the platform. The API is fully RESTful, and the company says it leverages common naming standards and output formats.
The API also includes a new feature called Instant Mode, which makes it easy for developers to connect their applications to Box’s content and collaboration services. Basically, Instant Mode removes the user sign-up process for third party applications connected to Box. And Box has added the its mobile API, OneCloud, to its App Framework. The framework provides developers with new documentation and user interface guidelines to simplify the application development process.
In addition to the 30-plus developers who launched apps on OneCloud in March, another 15 have integrated with the mobile platform, says Box, including CloudOn, Producteev and others.
In an effort to connect to newly formed startups in the enterprise works, Box is partnering with both General Assembly and TechStars in New York City. Box and General Assembly will co-develop an education initiative to foster the creation of successful enterprise software companies. With TechStars Box will dedicate resources to mentoring TechStars startups focused on enterprise software and sponsor the group’s HackStars program, which hires experienced developers and designers to work with the TechStars portfolio companies.
In other news, Box’s Aaron Levie was quick to respond yesterday to Google’s launch of its own file sharing and storage platform, Google Drive, explaining that Box offers a more full-fledged collaboration platform for businesses.
As Box looks to grow into a enterprise giant, part of this will involve creating a definitive ecosystem around its platform. Partnerships with startup incubators and new enhancements to APIs are some of the steps the company has to take to create a Facebook-like developer ecosystem within the enterprise.
After starting as a college business project in 2005, Box was officially launched in March of 2006 with the vision of connecting people, devices and networks. Box provides more than 8 million users with secure cloud content management and collaboration. They say their platform “allows personal and commercial content to be accessible, sharable, and storable in any format from anywhere”.