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Integrating Apps with Dropbox

Just a quick note to say that we’re finding an ever increasing number of uses for Dropbox. This is mainly because the Dropbox API is a superbly efficient way to connect apps to Dropbox, which makes integrating apps with Dropbox a breeze. We find loads of our clients already use Dropbox for storing data. So they’re used to dropping off files and picking them up on their desktops and mobile devices.

Mobile apps very often export data to a database on a web server somewhere and/or retrieve data from one as well. That means that many app development projects involve the creation of that back-end database and server instance, and the client (or us) has to maintain and pay for it. But Dropbox now provides a simpler answer: using Dropbox storage space that many organisations and individuals already have.

We’ve recently updated the brewery delivery app we mentioned here so that breweries can just configure their app to work with a Dropbox they already own. At the beginning of the day their PC software loads the delivery list into the Dropbox (mounted on their PC). That data is then picked up by the delivery driver’s app using the Dropbox API, they do their deliveries (and collections of empty casks etc.) during the day, then the app posts the end-of-day data back to the Dropbox via the Dropbox API so it’s ready for the head-office users to pick up whenever they want. This way PC (or Mac) users at head-office can carry on using a “local” file system in the way they always have, and app users can make their data available to those head-office users without having to create a direct link/API with bespoke back-end systems/databases.

We’re also currently integrating our FormsOnMobile product with Dropbox so there’s no longer any need for a new server instance and database to store data. It can be stored cheaply and securely by the client on a Dropbox they control and which their own business systems can access to ingest the data.

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