Box Releases Elements Toolkit for Building a New UX

Another way to look at it is that enterprise developers can make their applications look, feel and act like Box, if they choose.

Box always seems to be thinking out of itself.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based cloud storage and collaboration tool maker introduced Box Elements, a new set of tools for enterprises designed to bring Box’s user experience—known by the currently hot acronym UX—into any application built with the company’s developer suite, Box Platform.

Another way to look at it is that enterprise developers can make their applications look, feel and act like Box, if they choose.

The first set of tools, UI Elements, became generally available July 13 and includes four pre-built, customizable components of Box's popular user interface, which today is used by more than 50 million people and 74,000 businesses—including 64 percent of the Fortune 500. 

Box UI Elements are available as both Javascript libraries and React components available through the standard node package manager (NPM). Applications such as Workplace by Facebook, Pressly, Maxwell and others are already using Box UI Elements to enable effective user interaction. 

Box said it plans to introduce additional types of Elements over time, including backend services and industry-specific app elements that will make it easier for businesses to create engaging applications and content experiences for whoever uses the app.

Box UI Elements are modularcustomizable and can be integrated into any application with just a few lines of code. Businesses can use each UI Element on its own or strung together with other UI Elements to create common user flows with content in their apps.

  • Box Content Uploader allows users to drag and drop files into an application, or select locally from their device, and upload them securely to Box.
  • Box Content Explorer provides a view to for users to navigate through a set of files or folders stored in Box from within an app. 
  • Box Content Preview displays interactive viewers for more than 120 different types of files, including documents, images, videos, 3D files, and more directly in an application. 
  • Box Content Picker enables users to select files or folders stored in Box from within an application.

Each UI Element is integrated with the Box Platform APIs to accelerate development and are fully customizable, so businesses can modify the components to fit their brand's look and feel.

Box UI Elements are designed with enterprise-grade security, using a new access token mechanism known as Token Exchange that builds on Box's existing permissions framework. The source code for Box Content Preview is available today on Github, and the company said it will release additional source code for all UI Elements in the future.

The company also said that it has reached the milestone of 100,000 developers who are building apps regularly with Box Platform.

Box UI Elements are available for any business building applications or integrations with Box Platform at no additional cost. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...