Box Adds UI APIs And New Developer Console To App Creation Platform

Boxworks 2016: Box targets large enterprises with its developer platform by making it easier to create custom applications

Box is expanding its developer platform with new user interface APIs, a revamped developer console and compliance tools in a bid to get more companies building software on top of its product.

The Box Platform was detailed last year, making it easier for customers to build custom apps and eliminates the need for employees or customers to log in with a Box Account. All of the main APIs and features can be accessed, including security.

Speaking at the company’s BoxWorks 2016 event in San Francisco, chief strategy officer Jeetu Patel said he hoped the ongoing development of platform would attract bigger firms who want to move away from legacy systems but maintain their own brand.

Box Platform

BoxWorks 2016 1“Organisations are building custom applications and don’t want it to say ‘Box’ and instead represent their own brand,” he said. “We believe in an ecosystem of providers and open APIs.

“Last year I announced the availability of the Box Platform. I’m happy to announce we now have 80,000 developers on the platform. Developers are the life and blood of this business. We have 2,000 partner apps – independent software vendors – who have integrated with Box.

“Half of our API volume is being generated by partners not our own app, so 7 billion calls a month. What that tells you is people aren’t just using Box content from Box but from client apps.

“We want to continue this momentum.”

UI Kit

The Box Platform supports the added content types detailed earlier this week, such as HD video and VR files, and now supports a series of APIs for UI elements. These are modular elements called Content Preview, Content Picker, Content Navigator, File Upload and Activity Feed that replicate Box functions without the need for web code or plug-ins.

Content Preview is already in beta and all will be available before the end of the year. Patel confirmed part of the kit will be open sourced. Developers will also be able to add compliance to their apps with retention, legal hold, folder metadata and watermarking APIs, something Box says will make lives easier.

“The last thing a developer wants to be coding are compliance controls,” explained Ken Yagen, the head of product for the Box Platform. “There are no kudos for getting right and if you get it wrong, the consequences can be very serious.”

Developer Console

Box has also overhauled its developer console with a new user interface, walkthroughs for configuring apps, support documentation and the ability to track audit trails and see API calls. The beta is open today.

Patel was joined on stage by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels and the two spoke of the complementary roles of Box and AWS. The two companies are launching an incubator that will see participants receive free Box services, mentoring, AWS credits and branding opportunities.

“Any application can have a world class experience, not just one that Box is building,” said Patel.

Quiz: What do you know about the cloud in 2016?