Box unveils UI kits for white-labelled feature integration

Devs can use kits to build Box functions into custom apps

Box today announced the launch of a series of pre-built UI kits, allowing customers to use elements of Box's content management stack when building custom applications.

Box has packaged five of its core processes into standalone kits, including its content preview, content picker, content navigator, file upload and activity feed tools. This allows developers to integrate white-labelled Box functionalities, taking advantage of tools like its embedded file viewer without having to develop the technology themselves.

"That'll tremendously reduce the time it takes to build an application," senior vice president of platform and chief strategy officer Jeetu Patel told Virtual Clouds, "because we've already thought deeply about how engagement happens, and we'll provide tooling for doing that in a faster way."

The release of the UI kits will be staggered. The content preview kit is currently available in beta, and will be moving to general availability next month, while the other four will be spread out over the rest of 2016. Box will also be open sourcing parts of the UI kits, allowing developers to adapt and customise them even further.

Alongside this, Box announced mammoth gains for its platform ecosystem over the past year, including increases in APIs, platform developers and ISV integrations. Speaking at the company's BoxWorks convention, Patel revealed that over the last year, the number of independent software vendors integrating their products has risen by around 25%, to a total of over 2,000.

The company has also drastically overhauled its developer console. It now includes support tools and help documentation embedded directly into the console, as well as integrated tools for app analysis and diagnostics. There are even guided walkthroughs for setting up specific types of apps, with guidance on how to correctly configure the Box integrations.

Service accounts have been introduced too, which are used for mass content distribution and bulk ingestion. Programmatic authentication has been added, and service accounts also have enhanced permissions models, meaning that service accounts can act across the entire span of customers' enterprise content with all the permissions one would expect. Service accounts are available today, as is a beta version of the new developer console.

This is sure to please the IT professionals using Box's developer tools, the number of which has shot up by 30,000 over the past year. The platform now has 80,000 developers working on it, developing applications using Box's technology stack.

The company has also unveiled four all-new APIs, centred around governance, compliance and legal requirements. A retention API has been announced, as well as a legal hold API, folder metadata API and watermarking API. They are all available now, aside from the watermarking API which will be available in early Q4 2016. Customers will also be able to take advantage of the Box Zones data residency feature within their own apps.

Box's APIs have proved to be very popular within the enterprise, and the company revealed that half of all calls made on Box APIs - seven billion, to be specific - are now being made by third-party firms.

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