Cloud-storage provider Dropbox announced today the introduction of Dropbox for Business, a team-oriented version of the service with a particularly IT-friendly feature: single sign-on (SSO).
Dropbox, of course, allows users to archive, share, and access files across multiple devices: desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and so on. Over the years it has grown synonymous with online file storage, arguably beating out every other service for mind-share, if not actual number of users.
The new Dropbox for Business is actually a rebranded Dropbox for Teams, which launched in 2011. Pricing continues to start at $795 annually for up to five users, though you now get “as much storage as you need” rather than a fixed amount.
Back in February, the company unveiled a new admin console and sharing controls for the service. But the marquee feature accompanying the new launch is SSO, which, as described by Dropbox’s Anand Subramani, “works behind the scenes to let users sign in just once to a central identity provider, like Active Directory, and securely access all their business apps, like Dropbox. With SSO, companies can put their existing trusted identity provider in charge of the authentication process.”
That also gives IT managers great control over user authentication and management. And for end users, SSO means one less password to deal with and one less step to get connected to their Dropbox accounts. (Once they’re logged into the company network, they’re logged into Dropbox.)
Dropbox has partnered with several sign-on identity providers, including Ping Identity, Okta, OneLogin, and Symplified. The SSO system employs industry-standard Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), and brings Dropbox in line with competing cloud services such as Box and Google Drive, both of which already offer SSO.
What’s more, the aforementioned admin console brings Dropbox closer to Box with features like user-specific activity monitors, though the latter still offers a few extra perks for the IT crowd and end users alike, including virtual workspaces and Google Apps integration.
According to Subramani, the new feature will roll out to Dropbox for Business customers next month.
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For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.