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.
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…
Another great new feature: if you upload a file on any card, canvas or board with the same name as a file that’s already attached to that particular card, canvas or board, Kerika will automatically keep track of these as being different versions of the same file. This makes it even easier to organize all your Kerika project files.
There’s no limit to the number of files you add, nor any limit on the size of these files.
When you add a file, to a card, board or canvas, Kerika automatically uploads that file and shares that with everyone who is part of your board’s team. You don’t have to do anything: Kerika makes sure that all the Team Members have read+write permission, and all the Visitors have read-only permission.
That’s how Kerika has always worked; what we have added is an automatic versioning feature that checks when you add a new file to see if has the same name, and type, as a file that’s already attached to that particular card, canvas or board.
If the file name and file type match something that you have already added, Kerika automatically treats that new file as a new version of the old file, rather than as a completely different file. This makes it really easy to manage your Kerika project files.
Here’s an example: this card has a file attached to it called “Foo.docx”.
If a Team Member adds another file to this same card, also called “Foo.docx”, Kerika will treat that new file as a different version of the same Foo.docx, rather than as a completely different file:
Accessing these older versions is easy: if your Kerika files are in being stored in your Google Drive, you can get the older versions using the Google Docs File menu:
If your files are being stored in your Box account, you can access the older versions from the menu on the right side of Box’s preview window:
If you signed up directly with Kerika, you can access the older versions from within Kerika’s file preview:
Clicking on the Older versions of this file link on the top right of this preview will give you a list of all the old versions of this file that Kerika has:
So, that’s it: simple, easy, automatic tracking of multiple versions of your project files! Brought to you by Kerika, of course.
For folks who sign up directly with Kerika, we store the user password (in an encrypted form, of course), which means that these users can change their passwords directly from within the Kerika application by going to their My Account page at https://kerika.com/my-account:
For people who sign up using their Google or Box IDs, we rely upon Google/Box to manage their passwords: in fact, we never even see anyone’s Google or Box password, even for a second!
So, their My Account page looks a little different, like in this example of a Kerika+Google user:
We now allow users to sign up for Kerika directly, by using any email address. This version is powered by the Box Platform, which allows us to make good use of Box’s cloud storage technology while presenting a simple user interface for our own users.
Another cool feature from Box that we had integrated, as part of this new service, was to use their browser-based preview functionality — which came to Box as a result of their 2014 purchase of Crocodoc.
We use this preview feature with a simple IFRAME integration, which means we don’t add anything to it ourselves, but one downside of this approach is that if Box removes something from their preview capability, it can disappear from Kerika also.
This happened recently when they took away a button that allowed for a quick download of a file that was being previewed.
We have fixed this by adding our own “Download file” link within the Box Preview:
This gave our users more choices in terms of how they signed up for Kerika, and which cloud service they used to store their project files, but we continued to resist offering a direct sign up mechanism:
We remained convinced that third-party signup and login, using OAuth, would dominate user preferences — under the theory that no one really wanted to remember yet another password for yet another web service.
Our technical architecture also restricted us from offering a direct sign up choice because we had tied together the issues of authentication and file storage: it was how our original integration with Google had been done, and we had simply duplicated that model when we added Kerika+Box.
This changed in 2015, when Box announced the Box Platform as a new service — although originally it was called the “Box Developer Edition” when it was unveiled at the BoxDev conference in April 2015.
Kerika was probably the first task management app to sign up to use the Box Platform; in fact, we were in the very first batch of beta users for the service.
This new integration with Box allowed us to finally offer a direct sign up mechanism for new users:
Now, you can sign up with any email address: it could be a company email, a Yahoo email, a Microsoft Live email… even a Gmail address.
When you sign up directly with Kerika, we use the Box Platform to securely store your project files:
We create an account at Box that’s dedicated to storing your Kerika files.
We do this automatically and behind the scenes: you might never know that your files are actually being stored at Box, rather than on a Kerika-operated server.
While this seamless integration is great from a user experience perspective, it doesn’t mean that we want to hide our Box links: in fact, we would actually like to boast about our use of the Box platform because Box is so well regarded for the robustness, security and privacy of their cloud storage service.
So, now you know where your files are stored when you sign up directly as a Kerika user: inside the Box Platform!
If you use the “file picker” that’s built into Kerika to add an existing Google Drive or Box file to a card, canvas or board — for a Task Board, Scrum Board or Whiteboard — you will see a message that says the file is being copied.
This is the file picker:
Clicking on the File Picker button brings up the File Picker dialog:
And this is the “copying…” message that’s shown.
So, what’s happening?
Well, Kerika stores all your Kerika-related files in a set of special folders within your Google Drive or Box account, if you are using Kerika+Google or Kerika+Box, and these are organized neatly into folders corresponding to each of your boards.
It’s a similar structure if you are using Kerika with Google:
Keeping all the Kerika files together in a set of related folders makes things cleaner for you: when you look at your Google Drive or Box Account, you know exactly what’s being used by Kerika, and what’s other stuff.
And this is why we make a copy of your existing Google Drive or Box file when you use the File Picker: it enables us to put a copy into your Kerika-specific folders, where it is easier to share with the rest of your project team.
We are pleased to announce that our technical collaboration with Box continues, and Kerika has now been named a “Box Pro Partner” reflecting the strong ties we have built between the two companies as we continue to integrate with Box’s cloud services 🙂