IFTTT Adds Box And Plans New Channel Platform Intended To Connect Business Apps

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I am an unabashed fan of IFTTT. That’s “If This Then That” to the uninitiated. It provides ways to connect different services. For example, you can use IFTTT to simultaneously upload a photo to Facebook and then direct it to Dropbox for your own archival purposes. I use IFTTT to direct feeds to my SMS account and to Twitter.

Here’s a diagram for how IFTTT works:

Today, IFTTT is releasing a new channel for Box.com. It is the second channel that has the business customer in mind. IFTTT recently added Yammer as a channel as well.

Box on IFTTT is launching with three actions on par with its popular Dropbox Channel:

  • Upload a file
  • Create a text file
  • Append a text file.

It can be used to archive Twitter messages, photos, blog posts or even data from other services.

IFTTT’s John Sheehan said the company is building out a channel for people to add any service that has an API. It will be available in the next three to six months.  You can sign up here if interested in adding your own channel. With the new channel platform, application developers will add their apps, SaaS or enterprise applications so they can connect with others. All the developer needs is an API so it can  be connected with other services in the IFTTT ecosystem.

IFTTT now has 49 channels. All are pretty much consumer oriented. With the channel platform, users may add their own service. Sheehan expects the most uptake with business users. Why? There are thousands of services available for business customer but no simple means to connect them. Most of the time you need some sort of programming knowledge to configure yourself. With IFTTT, companies may add their services so users can take control themselves to create their own workflows. Potentially there may be a Salesforce.com channel or one for Google Docs.

There is a new wave of business process management (BPM) services that are having some interesting impacts on traditional enterprise and SaaS offerings. IFTTT is an example of how larger application environments are serving as a fertile ground for spawning thousands of micro apps that people create themselves. It’s pointing to a future of using different components to create loosely coupled systems that people can use for the way they live and work.