All posts tagged ‘google drive’

File Under: APIs, Backend, Web Services

Google Drive’s New ‘Site Publishing’ Takes on Amazon, Dropbox

Google’s demo site, served entirely by Google Drive. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

Google has unveiled a new feature dubbed “site publishing” for the company’s Drive cloud hosting service. Drive’s new site publishing is somewhere between a full-featured static file hosting service like Amazon S3 and Dropbox’s public folders, which can make hosted files available on the web.

Google has set up a simple demo site served entirely from Google Drive to give you an idea of what’s possible with the site publishing feature. Essentially site publishing gives your public folders a URL on the web — anything you drop in that folder can then be referenced relative to the root URL. It’s unclear from the announcement how these new features fit with Google’s existing answer to Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage.

The API behind site publishing works a lot like what you’ll find in Amazon’s S3 offering. If you use the Drive API’s files.insert method to upload a file to Drive, it will return a webViewLink attribute, something like https://googledrive.com/host/A1B2C3D4E5F6G7H8J. That ugly, but functional URL becomes the base URL for your content. So, if you uploaded a folder named images, with a file named kittens.jpg, you could access it on the web at https://googledrive.com/host/A1B2C3D4E5F6G7H8J/images/kittens.jpg

There’s one drawback though, Drive’s site publishing doesn’t appear to support custom domains, which means it works fine for assets like images, CSS or JavaScript, but unless you don’t mind serving your site from some funky URLs, it’s probably not the best choice for hosting an entire site.

There are already numerous static file hosting solutions on the web including Dropbox and Amazon’s S3, as well as whole publishing systems that use Dropbox and S3 to host files, but for those who would prefer a Google-based solution, now you have it.

For more details on the new API see the Google Apps Developer Blog and be sure to read through the Drive SDK docs. If you need help, Google is answering questions over on Stack Overflow.

File Under: Social, Web Services

New Sharing Tools Show Off Google Drive’s Ubiquitous Future

Image: Google

Google has added a new sharing feature to Google Drive — the company’s cloud storage service — that makes it easy to share your files with friends on Google+.

Now you can quickly share a file from Google Drive to Google+ and people in your Google+ circles will be able to open documents, play videos and view presentations right from your Google+ stream.

Google Drive is a key part of fulfilling the company’s vision for a cloud-centric computing future, but so far Drive remains on the periphery of most Google services. While the new Google+ sharing features may be a small change, it shows where Drive is headed — into all your Google services.

The new sharing features for Drive files are easy to use. When you click the “share” button next to a file in Google Drive (or right-click a file and select “share”) you’ll see a new Google+ icon alongside the familiar Twitter and Facebook options. Note that sharing a Drive file through Google+ will not change the sharing settings of that file. Your friends on Google+ will only be able to view or edit it if you’ve given them permission to do so in Google Drive. If you’d like anyone to be able to access the document, select the “public on the web” visibility option. The Google Drive documentation has full details on sharing.

Once your document is added to Google+ anyone with permission to do so will see thumbnails for your shared documents or music files, and there’s an inline player for videos and presentations.

The sharing features work the other way was well — you can paste a Google Drive URL into a Google+ post and anyone looking at the feed will see the same thumbnails and players.