28 February 2024

Dropbox Opens Up to Business Software Developers

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As Dropbox pushes to become an online-storage provider for businesses, the startup is learning it has to play nice with the dozens of enterprise software products those organizations already use. The company today announced a new set of tools to help integrate Dropbox’s file storage and security features with other business software. The tools, part of an application programming interface, or API, include the ability to manage employee activity logs, authenticate teams of workers with single sign-on services and back up large amounts of data.

Dropbox, already a popular app with millions of consumers, hopes to bolster its credibility with the corporate-tech managers who buy software for large companies and want tools that work well with the applications they already run. The storage service is used in more than 4 million businesses and is increasingly deployed in bigger organizations, including Hyatt, Hearst, National Geographic and Under Armour. More than 100,000 companies now pay for Dropbox, up from 80,000 in July.

Woodside is leading a push into business software that could be critical to Dropbox’s future. Over the past year, larger rivals including Google and Microsoft have courted consumers — Dropbox’s core customers — by lowering the prices of their storage services for individual users. That’s put pressure on the startup to sell to higher-margin business customers.

Dropbox gives its basic service away for free, but charges $10 a month for extra storage and other features. Its business service costs $15 a month per user and includes additional security and administration features.

More than 20 business software makers already have taken advantage of Dropbox’s new business API. Splunk, a data-tracking service for businesses, now pulls into its dashboard information about employees logging into and out of Dropbox files. Guidance Software, which helps companies prepare for litigation and regulatory investigations, added support for files stored in Dropbox.

The business API extends the software development tools previously made available through Dropbox’s general API. More than 300,000 applications use the general API to incorporate Dropbox capabilities such as the ability to save and attach files from Dropbox in Yahoo Mail messages.

The new tools follow Dropbox’s partnership last month with Microsoft to let users easily save Microsoft Office files to Dropbox from their desktop or mobile phones.

Woodside said Dropbox is following in the tradition of large enterprise software companies like Salesforce, which have become more useful to a variety of businesses by opening up and partnering with outside developers.

Click here to access the full article on The Wall Street Journal.


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