Cloud Storage APIs for the next generation Enterprise

Ajay Ohri
Sep. 26 2012, 10:43AM EDT

As the world shifts to computing on the cloud , or what my non tech friends call, lots of servers connected to the internet, APIs become increasingly the lingua franca or working language to communicate to and fro from these clouds. Storage in the cloud has been of the earliest use cases and one which has increasingly made sense to create secure backups at a much cheaper rate. So here is a collection of Cloud Storage APIs, as far as possible they are RESTful . Please note I am referring only to some of the biggest players in the cloud storage API space- and you may find others. But since the article is aimed at enterprise readers willing to park confidential content on the cloud, this is a list of the biggest cloud storage providers which offer API access.

LiveConnect1) Microsoft

  • Microsoft Skydrive- To use the Live Connect APIs to get info about a user's top-level folder in the Microsoft SkyDrive directory, you make a request to me/skydrive or USER_ID/skydrive.

or  GET https://apis.live.net/v5.0/me/skydrive?access_token=ACCESS_TOKEN

The Skydrive API Documentation is quite comprehensive .The Interactive Live SDK is available for Sky Drive. It is quite easy to use for crafting GET requests.

  • Windows Azure Storage
  1. Documentation http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dd179355.aspx
  2. Console https://manage.windowsazure.com/

Dropbox2) Dropbox

  • Dropbox API- Dropbbox API was the original and one of the pioneers in the file storage on the cloud space, but they have lost some recent sheen due to newer entrants. They have also exposed one fundamental fact of the cloud , it is tougher to switch storage providers than it seems initially. If Dropbox is what you want, be assured there are cheaper alternatives to it.  However for existing enterprise users, it continues to be a okay reliable service provider. You can read more on Dropbox API at
  1. Documentation https://www.dropbox.com/developers/reference/api
  2. SDKs Python,java,ruby etc https://www.dropbox.com/developers/reference/sdk

Google Drive3) Google

  • Google Drive API- Google Drive has been the entry of Google in this space, and adds to its already formidable lineup. There seems to be some overlap with the Google Storage API, but GS is more for data storage while Drive seems the file storage option.

Documentation https://developers.google.com/storage/docs/developer-guide

  • You can read more on the Google Drive API at the links
  1. Documentation https://developers.google.com/drive/v2/reference/
  2. Drive SDKs https://developers.google.com/drive/downloads

Amazon S34) Amazon

Amazon remains the overwhelming leader in cloud services for the enterprise even though it is not the cheapest, but they offer a very useful complement to their whole cloud suite.

  1. Documentation http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonS3/latest/API/APIRest.html
  2. SDKs https://aws.amazon.com/code/Amazon-S3?browse=1

Which one is the cheapest of these storage? Well it depends on various price and data storage points- but we will try and create a pricing comparison for a table in the concluding part of this article

In addition to these there are also the  IBM SmartCloud Enterprise APIs which we will cover in the next few articles on APIs for enterprises.

Ajay Ohri is the author of R for Business Analytics and likes to write on Enterprise ,Cloud and Statistical APIs with an emphasis on interviews. Follow Ajay on Google+ and connect on LinkedIn

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