Dropbox dangles quick collaboration carrot before ISVs

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Dropbox dangles quick collaboration carrot before ISVs

Dropbox has revealed a new feature called “Extensions” that integrates popular third-party applications, and may consider expanding its use to smaller ISVs.

The problem Dropbox wants to solve with Extensions is that of having to open multiple applications to work on documents it stores. An example of a stuttering workflow offered to CRN was securing a signature on a document in a Dropbox. Today users would have to upload the document to a signature-as-a-service offering like DocuSign and then have signees download it, save their own version and somehow make sure it all ends up in the right Dropbox .

Extensions make sending the document for signature a right-click affair. Doing so sends the document to the desired cloud service, informs the signee of their desired response, then once they sign returns the signed document to the sender’s Dropbox. This all happens without the need for anyone to download or install anything

It’s not entirely seamless: users who don’t have a Dropbox or subscribe to the supported apps will still find themselves needing to obtain software.

Dropbox’s first Extensions work with Adobe Sign, DocuSign, HelloSign, Nitro, airSlate, Smallpdf, Autodesk, Vimeo, Pixlr and HelloFax.

Those vendors, said Dropbox head of solution architecture Daniel Iversen, already represent the six categories in which the company’s users already use integrations to third party apps.

Dropbox already integrates with myriad apps and Iversen said the company plans more Extensions with other prominent ISVs in the near future, and may one day make them a service that all ISVs can tap.

“Over time, the service may also be opened up to other ISVs,” he said. “We expect it is something we might do.”

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