July 08, 2013, 12:01 PM — Salesforce.com customers now have access on the company's AppExchange marketplace to an application that delivers the full functionality of the Box cloud storage and file sharing service within Salesforce.com's CRM suite.
The Box application was built using the Box Embed HTML5 framework and provides Box collaboration features like editing, commenting and task management within a Salesforce record, according to Aaron Levie, Box's CEO and co-founder.
The application also lets users preview files from within user records, as well as access an entire Box "folder tree." Users can also create new documents, search Box content and share files.
"We wanted to make sure we had a deeply contextual integration, so that when you look at a single customer record within Salesforce.com that it was connected to the content you're viewing in Box," Levie said.
Previously, Box had a Salesforce.com application that tapped common APIs (application programming interfaces) and gave users basic functionality, like saving and accessing files. This new application replaces that one.
Box offers integration via Embed and other methods, like APIs and custom links, with more than 150 partners, and the company views its integration efforts as key to its success. The integration done via Embed, which was introduced in October of last year, are the deepest.
Companies that use cloud applications increasingly want to and need to integrate them, so Box, Salesforce.com and other cloud vendors need to make this easy and convenient for their customers, according to Levie.
"Today, because of the openness of the cloud [software and services], you can integrate best-of-breed solutions, so customers can mix and match from various vendors," he said.
The onus thus falls on providers of cloud software and services to make their offerings better, less expensive and more open to third-party integrations, Levie said.
Box sees its primary role within the ecosystem of third-party enterprise cloud software and services as the underlying storage and file sharing and management component. According to company officials, Box can provide a common content repository for companies that have a growing set of disparate cloud apps, each with its own file storage component.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.