Dropbox unveils extensions for boosting employee collaboration

The Dropbox logo seen via a magnifying glass

Dropbox has unleashed a range of third-party extensions to help teams get more out of its collaboration and productivity platform so employees can complete tasks from within Dropbox rather than having to switch environments.

Think of them as plugins, allowing Dropbox customers to effortlessly launch workflows without having to launch a browser or open up a separate application.

Some of the partners the cloud firm has teamed up with include Adobe, Autodesk, DocuSign, Vimeo, airSlate, HelloSign, Nitro, Pixlr, and Smallpdf, covering applications including document editing, digitally signing documents and viewing and annotating videos without moving from application to application.

To launch the "micro application", users can simply choose what to use to open up the file from a drop-down menu in their Dropbox account. When these files are saved, the changes are synced to the cloud, so anyone with access will see the changes in real time.

"We want to empower people to choose the best tools for their work by removing the friction between them," said Quentin Clark, SVP of Engineering, Product, and Design at Dropbox.

"So we're making it seamless for users to connect with partners that offer the right tools for the task at hand."

This is the first series of Dropbox Extensions the company wants to introduce to business users. They will arrive for use by Dropbox Business users at the end of November, with more planned in the future, the cloud storage firm said.

This is a firm step away from the company developing its own internal applications for editing documents on the move and instead embracing the expertise of third parties. Microsoft and Google apps can already be used with Dropbox, but the launch of Extensions will open this up to a much wider collection of third-party app and software developers.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.