Dropbox is opening its enterprise business service to developers in a bid to capitalise on the number of applications integrating the cloud storage service for enterprise use.
The Dropbox for Business API will allow developers to embed the enhanced security features and business-oriented functionality of the service into apps.
Developers can choose to fully integrate Dropbox for Business into their apps rather than adding it as a plug-in service.
The API also means that the Dropbox branding can be stripped out and the software integrated into the core of apps such as those run by Salesforce and Microsoft Office.
George O'Brien, product manager of Dropbox for Business, told V3 that the API's release on 3 December will effectively expand the Dropbox developer platform.
"Dropbox already integrates pretty deeply with services that businesses need. Really what the new API does is extend the power of the [Dropbox developer platform] by making it possible for developers to build these new sorts of apps," he said.
"The API opens up new opportunities for Dropbox to integrate in a more first-class way, and a more structured way with other file storage systems, particularly with on-premise sytems like SharePoint."
O'Brien went on to explain how developers will get access to the extra functions of Dropbox for Business over the standard service.
These features have been designed to allow IT administrators to monitor activity in a company's Dropbox account and ensure that correct compliance and security is in place to prevent data loss, thereby making the service suitable for big business use.
Dropbox claims that over 300,000 apps already integrate with its service, and O'Brien said that the company is keen to tap into that talent with the new API.
"Given this enormous developer base, we really focus on extending the Dropbox developer platform and the core API, as opposed to building a totally parallel set of APIs," he explained.
"So it's pretty easy for the developers who have already built applications to extend those to add these tame concepts as opposed to having to start over."
Dropbox gave some major technology companies early access to the API, including Microsoft, Salesforce, Dell and Cisco, which will launch a range of enterprise applications with Dropbox for Business embedded.
Dropbox is clearly pushing into the enterprise space, but it has not ignored the needs of its individual professional users, having recently refreshed the Dropbox Pro service with enhanced security features.
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