Developer stories: Streamlining workflows with Dropbox APIs

The DBX Platform helps bridge the silos between people and content by connecting the tools they use at work. We are excited to share the story of four developers who integrated with Dropbox to streamline workflows for their users

This year we hosted Dropbox Developer Meetups in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York to connect with and inspire our local communities of developers. At each of these events, we conducted a panel discussion with developers to learn about their integrations with Dropbox, the use cases they solve, and their experience building with the Dropbox APIs. At our New York City event, we were joined by engineers from Dow Jones and Fictive Kin, which you can read more about in an earlier blog post covering the event.

Smartsheet and Azuqua spoke together at our Seattle meetup in May, and HelloSign and Workato joined us in San Francisco. Below we share more about their integrations and experiences building on the DBX Platform.

Up and running in minutes

Smartsheet

Smartsheet, a work execution platform, first integrated with Dropbox back in 2013, using our Chooser component. The Chooser is a small JavaScript component that enables your app to get files from Dropbox without having to worry about the complexities of implementing a file browser, authentication, or managing uploads and storage. Smartsheet used Chooser to allow their users to easily attach files from Dropbox, including documents, PDFs, presentations, graphic files, and videos seamlessly from the Smartsheet UI.

Smartsheet Engineer, Brian Harper, highlighted the ease of integration and scale the DBX Platform provided. He described the DBX Platform as one of the easiest platforms to integrate with due to the Chooser component. “Within a matter of minutes, we had Dropbox Chooser up and running in our application.” Brian stated, “And, over the last five years, it has required no engineering time to keep it maintained on our product.”

HelloSign

HelloSign, a leading eSignature provider, also integrates with the DBX Platform using the Chooser component to enable users to easily select files from Dropbox to send securely for electronic signature. After the document is signed and completed, HelloSign then uses Dropbox’s /files/upload endpoint along with the user’s OAuth token to asynchronously send the final document back to Dropbox, completing the workflow. 

Dropbox was not only simple to implement into the HelloSign homepage, it also delivered immediate value to HelloSign customers by creating a more seamless electronic signature workflow. Aron Solberg, Product Manager at HelloSign, explained that, “Integrating with Dropbox as a content source was important to our customers who were looking to streamline their day-to-day workflows. We knew we were on the right track to delivering value in key areas when we saw a strong positive correlation between HelloSign users who activated and used the Dropbox integration and a higher-than-average customer contract amount.”

Screenshot of the Dropbox Chooser on HelloSign.

Similar to the Chooser component used by Smartsheet and HelloSign to select files from Dropbox, Dropbox also offers a Saver component which allows users to easily save files back to Dropbox directly from the application. Both of these components can be implemented in a matter of minutes with our copy-paste code.

Learn more at the Chooser and Saver documentation pages.

Automating common workflows

Azuqua

Azuqua, an integration and digital process automation platform, has connected with Dropbox since 2016. Their product helps business users integrate their applications and automate their business critical processes without code or specialized skills. Dropbox was a critical application for them to offer to their customers early on. The Azuqua team mapped over twenty Dropbox API endpoints to actions that their users can drag and drop into automated workflows. These include everything from simply creating and editing/updating a file with the /upload endpoint, to more complex user and access permissions with the /share_folder and /create_shared_link_with_settings endpoints.

While on the panel at the Dropbox Developer Meetup the Azuqua team stressed the ease of use of the Dropbox APIs. Allison Amaral, Product Manager, stated, “Dropbox was one of the easier platforms we have integrated with. The documentation was clear and straightforward.”

Workato 

Workato, an integration and automation platform, built their integration with Dropbox in 2016. Workato allows their users to build “recipes” to incorporate many different business systems like Dropbox into automated workflows via their cloud-based platform. Their connector works with numerous Dropbox API endpoints, taking advantage of webhooks, polling, and Dropbox’s core API. 

Example of a community recipe any Workato user can copy and use to automate their CX. Workato has over 225,000 automations publicly available.

At our meetup in San Francisco, Markus Zirn, VP of Business Development at Workato, demoed a recipe which uploads attachments from Zendesk into Dropbox when a ticket is marked as closed. By leveraging Workato’s out-of-the-box Connectors to the Dropbox APIs and the Zendesk APIs, he demonstrated how to create an automated workflow for CX employees in a matter of hours.

Solving a joint customer need

Smartsheet, Azuqua, plus Dropbox

Azuqua and Smartsheet not only integrate with Dropbox, they also integrate with each other, allowing customers to seamlessly connect the three tools. We teamed up with Azuqua to develop a webinar highlighting how Aramark Corporation, a leader in food services, facilities management, and uniforms, streamlined their RFP process by connecting Dropbox, Smartsheet, Salesforce, and Azuqua. When changes are made to a RFP in Salesforce, the changes are automatically updated by Azuqua in Smartsheet. Then, when a user marks a task as complete in Smartsheet, the file is automatically saved in Dropbox and all details are logged in Salesforce. Aramark saw immediate and positive impact from automating their RFP process, resulting in three hours saved per RFP, and over 40 hours saved per week.

Example of how a customer uses Azuqua to connect Dropbox, SFDC, and Smartsheet to complete an RFP process workflow.

Developer community 

These panel discussions highlighting example solutions were one of many discussions at the San Francisco and Seattle Dropbox Developer Meetups. We also shared our vision for the DBX Platform, focus areas for the Dropbox team, and the latest updates to the APIs, including a deep dive into the new team events APIsIf you aren’t familiar with the Dropbox APIs, you can learn more on our developer website or by attending future events.

Future events

Our next developer event is in Tel Aviv on August 27. The event will consist of a workshop to build your first app, an overview of what’s new with the DBX Platform, and a panel discussion with local partners. Learn more about the Tel Aviv DBX Dev Day on the event page. Future event dates in new locations will be announced soon. Subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter to get the latest DBX Platform news and updates. 

Tell us your story

Are you solving a unique problem for your users with the Dropbox APIs? We love hearing stories from our developers, so let us know. Who knows? Your app could even be our next featured story on the blog. 

Build with Dropbox today at   www.dropbox.com/developers