Box, the IPO-bound company pushing a business-friendly cloud-based file sync product, is fully aboard the developer recruitment bandwagon. Last week it announced Box View, a developer tool to convert documents in popular PDF or Microsoft Office formats into an HTML5 form that can shared anywhere.
The technology, based on Crocodoc technology Box acquired last year, gives developers a new rendering service for content that can be used in any application that displays documents, according to a blog post by Box VP of Platform Chris Yeh.
CEO Aaron Levie told attendees of the company’s first developers conference, “Box Dev,” that this is “the first time you can take a Box API and extend it to your app even if you’re not storing that data in Box.”
Developers can also now attach custom tags to non-structured data in Box to put that content into workflows as needed, according to Box. That means, for example, a doctor could append X-rays or other images with metadata such as patient name or date of service to make the files both easier to find and incorporate into workflows for billing or follow-up procedures.
But, Box faces oodles of competition in this burgeoning file-share-and-sync arena.
Dropbox, the consumer favorite, is making a push into the enterprise market. And Microsoft may be a sort-of-partner with Box, but it is also increasingly a rival after its announcement on Thursday that it plans to bring Office to non-Windows devices. The iPad version is already available with Android versions to come. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was clear as to his goal: Putting Office 365 on every smartphone, tablet or other device. During that announcement — which came a day after Box Dev — Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) was positioned as the user’s content repository. It was unclear how easy it would be for those users to save to things like, say, Box or Dropbox.