How great is Kerika’s integration with the Box Platform (that powers our direct signups?)
People usually don’t pay attention to the question of who owns a particular board, but it is an important question to consider when you create a new board: the Account Owner owns not just the board, but also all the files attached to cards and canvases on that board.
This is not always important (and often not important in day-to-day use of Kerika): our deep integration with Google and Box ensures that everyone who is part of the board team has automatic access to all the files needed for that board, with access permissions managed according to each individual’s role on the board: Board Admins and Team Members get read+write access; Visitors get read-only access.
(And, as people join or leave board teams, or their roles on a particular board’s team changes, Kerika automatically manages their access to the underlying project files, regardless of whether these are being stored in Google or Box.)
But when someone is planning to leave an organization, the question of ownership can suddenly become important: you don’t want an ex-employee to continue to own critical project files.
Changing ownership of boards was not something that was easily done in the past — there were workarounds, but they were fairly cumbersome and obscure — and we mostly handled these as special requests, on a case-by-case basis.
With our newest update to Kerika, this is no longer the case: changing the ownership of a board is a simple process that can be initiated at any time by the current owner of a board:
You can ask any other Kerika user, who has signed up the same way as you did (i.e. either as Kerika+Google, Kerika+Box, or by directly signing up) to take ownership of a board. Because this is a consequential action, not something you should rush into, you are asked to confirm your intention by typing the word “YES”:
Once your request is sent off to the other user, the board is in a frozen state: existing members of the board team can continue to view the board, but no one can make any changes:
If you change your mind, you can cancel the request before it has been accepted. This can be done by selecting the board from your Home Page:
You can also find your pending request in your Sentbox, and cancel it from there:
Note: once a board’s transfer is complete, it can’t be undone by you. If you really need to get ownership back of a board, you will need to ask the new owner to transfer the board to you.
An important caveat for Kerika+Google users
We try to ensure that files attached to a Kerika+Google board have their ownership changed at the same time as the board itself is transferred, but there are some limits to how Google will allow for a change in ownership:
All Kerika-related files are stored in a set of folders in a user’s Google Drive, organized by account and board.
Google let’s us change the owner of a folder, so we can make sure that when a board is transferred the ownership of the associated Google Drive folder is also changed.
However, for the individual files contained within the folder, Google only allows for a change of ownership of files that are part of Google Docs: documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, etc.
Files like images (.jpg, .png, .gif), zip files, and PDFs, for example, retain their old ownership between the Google API doesn’t let Kerika change the ownership of these “non-Google-formatted” file types.
We have updated the My Profile page (you can access yours at https://kerika.com/my-profile) to be consistent with our new look-and-feel:
Updating your photo is easy: you can either upload something from your laptop, or get something that’s already online, e.g. your LinkedIn profile photo:
If you are a Kerika+Google or Kerika+Box user, it will look a little different, since we never see your Google or Box password (and hence are in no position to help you change it), and we also rely upon Google/Box to give us your name and photo:
If you have signed up directly with Kerika, we use the Box Platform to store your files for you — Box is a secure, reliable cloud service and we have been a partner with them for several years.
But we do all this for you: efficiently, quietly and behind the scenes.
Which means you may never notice (and, really, you shouldn’t have to…)
However, we found that some users automatically block third-party cookies (this is a browser setting available in all types of browsers).
This was causing problems for the preview function for these users: when a user clicks on a file attached to a card or canvas, that’s getting stored in Box by Kerika for that user, we use Box’s Preview function in the form of an IFRAME.
Using an IFRAME enables us to add some Kerika-specific features, like automatic version tracking, to the standard Box Preview function.
This, however, requires users to allow Box.com to set a cookie, and this can fail if the user has never permitted Box.com to set cookies, or is automatically blocking all third-party cookies in their browser: when you are using Kerika.com, Box.com is effectively a third-party to the connection.
We want to make sure people understand this can be a problem, so we have added some smarts to Kerika to detect when people who have signed up directly are blocking Box.com.
If this is the case, a pop-up dialog box will appear explaining why the Preview function won’t work correctly without allowing Box.com’s cookies to be stored in the browser.
Kerika’s integration with the Box Platform: a customer’s perspective on how sweet it is…
Kerika helps you (and your team) manage multiple versions of a document, and it does this so smoothly that you might not even have noticed…
Here’s how it works: when you add a file to a Kerika card or canvas, it shows up in the list of attachments, like this:
If you then attach another file to the same card or canvas that has the same name and file type, Kerika automatically treats it as a new version of the same file, rather than a completely different file:
In the example above, when a Team Member adds another document called Foo.docx to a card that already has a file attached to it with the same name and file type, Kerika treats the new document as a new version of the old Foo.docx rather than as two documents called Foo.docx.
How you access all these old versions depends upon how you set up your Kerika account:
If you are using Kerika+Google, these files are being stored in your Google Drive, and Google will manage the versions for you: you can find this under the File menu in Google Docs
And pretty much the same thing is true if you are using Kerika+Box: Box will take care of the older versions automatically, although their user interface is slightly different
And what if you signed up directly with Kerika, without using a Google or Box ID?
We provide an easy way to get to older versions of a file for users who signed up directly: when you are previewing a file, click on the Older versions of this file link on the top-right.
Kerika will show you a list of all the old versions that are available for that file, along with details on who uploaded those versions, and when:
Did you know that we have made it really easy to download files that you attach to a Kerika card, canvas or board?
Just hover your mouse over an attachment, and you will see these buttons appear on the right:
These buttons let you:
- Download a file
- Rename a file
- Delete a file attachment
Couple of other points to note:
Rename a file shows off our integration with Google Drive (for our Kerika+Google users) and with Box’s service (for our Kerika+Box users): renaming the file from inside Kerika will automatically rename it in your Google Drive or Box folder as well.
Deleting a file attachment doesn’t actually delete the file from your Google Drive or Box account: it just means that file is no longer attached to that particular Kerika card, canvas or board.
This helps ensure that you are going to be able to easily collaborate with other people from your company, who may have signed up already using their Google or Box IDs.
Here’s an example: email@example.com tries to sign up directly, and we suggest automatically that he sign up as a Kerika+Box user since so many of his colleagues already have Kerika+Box accounts:
If you are using Kerika+Box, we store your Kerika files in your Box account: you can always go to Box.com, login using your Box ID, and see for yourself.
(But, please, don’t move them around!)
What you might notice is that the filenames in Box have some random characters appended to them. For example, a file that you might see listed inside Kerika as “Alternative Home Page” actually shows up with some random characters appended, like this:
The reason we do this with files we store in Box — and not for files we store in Google Drive, for our Kerika+Google users, is that Box doesn’t allow for several files within a single folder to have the same name.
(Google does, which is why we don’t need to append any random characters to the files we store in Google Drive.)
It’s very common for our users to have several files within the same board that have the same name: for example, our developers always attach an analysis document to each card that describes exactly what they are doing. (Yes, we are fairly fanatical about documenting our software!)
These documents are often the same for many cards: Analysis.docx or Results.xlsx or Mockup.png might show up hundreds of times within a single board.
Since all the files related to a single Kerika board are stored in the same folder in your Box account, this presents a problem: Box won’t allow for more than one file called Analysis.docx within a folder.
We get around this limitation by appending these random characters, so that effectively every Analysis.docx file has a unique name.
But, we also try to avoid confusing our users, so when we show a list of files attached to a card, we strip out the random characters:
And the same goes for downloading files: we strip out the random characters and give you a clean-looking file.
We offer three ways for you to sign up as a Kerika user:
- Using a Google ID, e.g. a Gmail address if you have one.
- Using a Box ID, if you are a Box user.
- Signing up directly.
Using a Google ID means you are getting Kerika+Google: the version of Kerika that offers amazingly smooth integration with your Google Drive and Google Docs.
Using a Box ID means that you are getting Kerika+Box: the version that offers amazingly smooth integration with the Box platform.
And signing up directly means that you can use any email address you like, and leave it to Kerika to store your files for you.
Originally, we had just Kerika+Google, and then we built Kerika+Box to address the market for enterprises that preferred using Box to Google.
And, finally, we built the direct login method for people who didn’t care about how their Kerika files were stored, and were happy to just leave that whole job for us to take care of.
We are now trying to streamline that process even further.
If you already have a Gmail address, it is very likely that you are already comfortable with using Google’s services, which means you should really be getting a Kerika+Google account so that you can benefit from all the great, smooth integration we have already done.
In the same vein, if the majority of people from your company have already signed up for a particular service, e.g. Kerika+Box or Kerika+Google, then it makes sense for you to sign up in the same way so that you can share boards with your coworkers.
This process is now more automated, and, we hope, simpler: when you sign up, we look at the email address you are using to set up your Kerika account and try to set you up with the version of Kerika that will make most sense:
- If you are signing up with a Gmail address, we are going to set you up with Kerika+Google.
- If most people from your company have already signed up for Kerika+Box, or Kerika+Google, we will set you up the same way as well.
This should make for less confusion about which flavor of Kerika is going to be tastiest for you…