We are making a significant change to how we store and manage project files for users who sign up directly (using an email), and we are getting close to finishing our internal testing. Here’s what’s coming, and why.
Previously, when someone signed up directly (with an email address) Kerika would automatically create a new Box account linked to that user, and use this account to store the user’s project files.
This was done by Kerika’s servers: our end-users didn’t have to do anything and, in fact, had no direct access to these Box accounts.
The trouble with this approach is that we ended up with three islands of users: people who had signed up with their Box IDs (Kerika+Box); people who had signed up with their Google IDs (Kerika+Google); and people who had signed up directly.
These islands were isolated: you could collaborate only with users who had signed up the same way as you had. In other words, someone who had signed up using a Google ID could not collaborate with someone who had signed up using their email, because the first user’s project files were getting stored in her Google Drive, while the second user’s files were getting stored in a Box account.
(And over time the ratio of people who preferred Google over Box became increasingly lopsided.)
We are now implementing a new storage model that will deliver four important benefits:
- You will be able to collaborate with any other Kerika user, regardless of how the other person signed up. You can invite anyone using their email, and not worry about whether the other person has a Google or Box ID. If you accept an invitation to join a team, it won’t matter how you sign up. No more isolated islands.
- Previously we would ask for access to your entire Google Drive if you signed up using a Google ID; now, we can limit our access to only those folders that Kerika itself creates and manages.
- Folks coming via the Google Apps Marketplace can try Kerika without first having to get authorization from your Google Apps Admin. Authorization is actually needed only when you want to upload files to your Kerika boards.
- Our direct signup users can benefit from Google Apps (Sheets, Slides, Forms, etc.) even if they had previously not used these apps. Direct signup users will be able to create new Google Docs; something that previously was limited to people using Kerika+Google.
How this will work:
Kerika will have a master Google Drive account, and inside this we will create separate, access-controlled folders for each (direct sign up) user. This will bring all the Google Docs functionality to our direct sign up users.
From a security perspective, we believe this will be good: each user’s project files are stored in a separate folder within Kerika’s Google Drive, and each user has access only to their own folders.
We believe this is good in terms of privacy, too: because Kerika has an enterprise Google Drive account, we get the additional privacy protection afforded to paid/business users of Google Apps. (Your files won’t get scanned by Google for any advertising purpose.)
We will do all the work needed to move our direct signup users from Box to Google Drive; no one should be inconvenienced!