Tuesday, September 1, 2015

IBM Connections Files and Aspera: A Possible Integration

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Earlier this week I was asked what could be possible between Aspera, an IBM file transfer solution, and IBM Connections Files, IBM's offering for organizations looking for enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) capabilities.

First, let's clarify the differences between file transfer and file sharing and sync. In talking with some people in the Aspera organization, they told me to think of Aspera kind of like UPS.  UPS will take a package from point A to point B and they do not keep the package. Similarly, Aspera is all about getting files from point A to point B in the fastest way possible. In one example, they say that a 24GB file which could take ~26 hours via a traditional TCP/IP download, would only take 30 seconds using Aspera.

With that in mind, I came up with two ideas that you could do today with the Aspera APIs and the available extension points in IBM Connections

Transfer Existing Files

This idea is to create a new extension for Files as documented here. To do this, log in as the organization administrator and go to AdminOrganization Extensions. In there create a new extension as shown below:

And voilá. Once you code up the integration with your Aspera server this should get you a path to integrate. End users will now see this option when navigating to a file:

Upload and Transfer

The other thought is to create a new extension so that we intercept the file upload process. In this case, you navigate to the same Admin - Organization Extensions menu. In there, instead of creating a "File Menu" extension, you now create a "New File Menu" extension as shown below:

In any case, I strongly suggest you reach out to your partner or IBM services rep for further discussion.

I'm interested in your thoughts too. Any other use cases that come to mind ?

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