While Box is probably best known for its user-facing storage and content services, the company is also operating a separate platform for developers, and it received a handful of updates Thursday.
The platform, which lets developers integrate Box’s tools for managing content into the apps they’re building, now supports new content types, annotations, and watermarking. In addition, the company launched a new set of tools for building web user interfaces and a revamped developer console.
Continuing to upgrade the platform may make it more appealing to developers, at a time when Box is fighting to be one of the services that developers take to power their applications. The Box Platform gives developers the ability to build Box’s file storage and content services capabilities into an application, without having to build all of that themselves.
There are 80,000 developers working on the Box Platform, up from 75,000 in May, according to Box Chief Strategy Officer Jeetu Patel. It’s not clear how many organizations those developers work for.
When building applications that take advantage of those new capabilities, developers will also get access to a set of user interface kits that make it easier for them to integrate slickly designed elements into their web apps. The first UI Kit element that will be available is a content preview tool to make it easy for people to view files inside a web app without having to download them.
Box plans to make that tool generally available next month. Following that, it will also launch new content picker, content navigator, file upload, and activity feed UI elements in the coming months. All of those tools will also be coming to mobile apps later, and Box will open source elements of them in the future.
The company also redesigned the platform developer console to include a new user interface, guided walkthroughs for configuring applications on the platform, and easy access to platform support. The console also provides analytics for how people are using the app.
To foster the next generation of Box Platform users, the storage company is teaming up with Amazon Web Services to launch a startup incubator program, which will support nascent companies with free credits for both cloud platforms.