Smart and forward-thinking companies have implemented Dropbox alongside Office 365 (SharePoint Online), so they can utilize the best-of-class features of both. Yet a solution facilitating deeper integration between them to improve business workflows was missing. Until now.
SharePoint & Dropbox integration: the basics
Dropbox is a secure file sharing and storage solution, used globally by over 500 million people. Together with SharePoint Online, it provides an exceptional document storage and collaboration platform, made even better by our Dropbox Connector that conveniently synchronizes these two services.
We use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to handle customer information, SharePoint Online for storage and collaboration, and Dropbox to manage our partners’ files. Therefore we needed a solution that would ensure a change made in one place would be synced to all locations.
We decided to use our tried and tested software integration platform, Connect Bridge, to create an effective solution for sharing documents with our partners.
I will briefly explain our integration solution for CRM and SharePoint, SharePoint with Dropbox, to show you how quickly and easily you can connect multiple systems with Connect Bridge and our wide range of connectors.
In Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, we need data to be current and changes made to documents to be reflected right away.
At the same time, we store dozens of gigs of partners’ documents, presentations and other files in Dropbox.
How can we therefore ensure that our partners have the up-to-date documentation they need in Dropbox? And, at the same time, how can we enable automatic, bi-directional synchronization of files in SharePoint and Dropbox?
Giving access to SharePoint or creating a portal specifically for our partners in order to get them the documents they need seemed unnecessary.
it was clear that integrating SharePoint and Dropbox was the smart way forward.
The Dropbox integration solution
The process begins in CRM. When a customer account becomes a partner account (just check a box in CRM), a folder is automatically created in both SharePoint and in Dropbox.
At first, this folder contains a general or master file folder and, importantly, the files in this folder cannot be changed or deleted. So even if a partner modifies or deletes one of the general files in their Dropbox folder, their changes can’t override the master file in SharePoint.
When partners upload files to their Dropbox folder, these changes automatically sync to SharePoint.
When you want to update a document for a partner, you simply edit a single file in SharePoint which will then be automatically synchronized to Dropbox.
The synchronization is live and bi-directional.
At the end of the day, the number of files in SharePoint equals the number of files Dropbox and an important business process is automated and synchronized.
Dropbox Connector applications
Our Dropbox Connector is useful in many scenarios. Here are just two of them:
Synchronization with SharePoint document libraries:
Teams in various locations, on different devices and diverse systems can easily collaborate and use their favorite SharePoint and Dropbox applications. With agile system and business application integration, we are driving the on-demand workflow needs of today’s professionals.
Integrate Dropbox client into your ERP system:
You can integrate Dropbox with your customizable ERP system, so you can access features of Dropbox directly from your ERP system’s user interface. No need to login to Dropbox.
Connect in minutes to any major business applications, written in any programming language, with our 30+ ready-to-use connectors.
Four more considerations
1. Security – Making SharePoint available to external users often poses a security risk, as all the business-critical documents are in jeopardy of falling into unauthorized hands. Thus it is a best practice to deploy the SharePoint server behind the company firewall and therlimit access only to internal users accessing through the organization’s intranet.
With DropBox, however, all the data is stored in the cloud, making the documents available to decision makers round-the-clock. Also, it allows granular item-level permissions and access control, as well as advanced security features.
2. Offline availability – SharePoint enables synchronization of documents to OneDrive for Business to enable offline access. Yet this feature implies significantly higher costs due to costly OneDrive storage. However, DropBox can sync documents from the cloud to the local client for offline availability, thus lowering connectivity charges without compromising security.
3. Non-Microsoft infrastructure – The mainstream has grown accustomed to the Microsoft ecosystem built around Office 365 and SharePoint Online. However, the new trend is to deploy an open infrastructure that can accommodate both new and legacy software, as well as SaaS offerings and services. In these cases, there’s no need for users to work with SharePoint, as partner collaboration can be accomplished directly through DropBox.
4. Lower costs – This solution enables you to use the free Basic edition of DropBox to share content with partners, external users and vendors, and achieve significant savings on Microsoft license fees.
Why integrate with Connect Bridge?
Connect Bridge enables easy, seamless access from your software to any major business application. This simple and straightforward integration can be set up in a matter of hours.
The platform is highly modular and offers essentially limitless integration possibilities through a wide range of pre-made connectors and real-time support. It is easy to get up and running and boasts unparalleled stability.
With its ground-breaking architecture and design, it empowers developers to design data integrations in a matter of hours.
Check out the video below to learn more, or request your free trial and demo today!
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