Dropbox for Business API Aims for the Enterprise


Dropbox, a leading storage and collaboration platform provider, has announced the launch of the Dropbox for Business API which is designed to power partner integrations and extend the Dropbox platform into an enterprise ecosystem. Introduced in April 2013, Dropbox for Business is a cloud-based storage, file sharing, and business collaboration platform that has grown to 100,000 customers in less than two years and is integrated with over 300,000 applications.

The Dropbox for Business API allows developers to create applications that can manage the user lifecycle for a Dropbox for Business account and perform Core API actions on all team member accounts using endpoints such as file operations, files and metadata, and accounts. The API can also be used to programmatically access admin functionality including the Dropbox for Business audit log and team usage statistics.


Screenshot is of a Splunk data dashboard application that uses Dropbox for Business accounts data. - Image Credit: Dropbox

We reached out to George O’Brien, head of product, Dropbox for Business, and Steve Marx, developer advocate for Dropbox, who explained to ProgrammableWeb that developers expressed a great deal of interest in a Dropbox for Business API that would make it possible to develop applications and integrations for use in complex IT environments and internal workloads. The company is working with over 20 partners including Microsoft Azure, IBM and Dell. These partnerships promise support for a wide range of IT processes including (but not limited to):

  • Sensitive Data - The API allows integrations with services such as CirroSecure, CloudLock, Elastica, and more enabling enterprise-class data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities as well as auditing and compliance functionality.
  • Legal Oversight - Companies can securely collect and preserve electronically stored information (ESI) as well as enable secure search. API integrations include Guidance and Nuix which makes it possible to respond to "litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations while keeping relevant ESI in check."
  • Custom Workflows - The API allows customers to build internal applications that integrate with Dropbox for Business to enhance internal workflows and improve business processes.
  • Regulatory Requirements - The API allows integrations with services such as Dell Data Protection, nCrypted Cloud, and Sookasa providing encryption, decryption, and Digital rights management (DRM) functionality for customers in regulated industries.
  • Streamlined Authentication - Companies can use the API to integrate with an external identity provider such as Active Directory as well as utilize single sign-on (SSO) functionality.

George O’Brien and Steve Marx explained to ProgrammableWeb that while Dropbox for Business is not in and of itself PCI or HIPAA compliant, developers can use the platform in a way that is compliant with each. They also said that there are twenty developers already using the Dropbox for Business API in a variety of ways, from solving compliance issues to integration of Dropbox for Business with on-premises storage systems. O’Brien told ProgrammableWeb that:

"The Dropbox for Business API is further extending the Developer Platform, expanding the capabilities of Dropbox for Business to better meet the growing, complex IT needs of our enterprise customers."

2014 has been a very busy and productive year for Dropbox. In May, the company announced the addition of webhooks functionality to the platform. In June, Dropbox introduced an Apps Metrics dashboard for developers. In July, Dropbox announced the availability of two new APIs: the Shared Folder API and the Document Preview API. In September, the company announced the addition of three new features to its Datastore API; shared datastores, local datastores, and datastore webhooks.

The availability of the Dropbox for Business API to developers is the latest in a series of new features and platform improvements made available just this year. It will be interesting to see how the Dropbox for Business platform develops in 2015.

For more information about the Dropbox for Business Platform and API, visit Dropbox.com.

Janet Wagner is a freelance technical writer and contributor to ProgrammableWeb covering breaking news, in-depth analysis, and product reviews. She specializes in creating well-researched, in-depth content about APIs, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, analytics, GIS/maps, and other advanced technologies.

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