Silicon Connector for Box 2.0
Silicon Connector for Box 2.0 is finally available! When Silicon Connector for Box first came out in 2013, it was designed to let InDesign users access assets in the Box cloud directly. Since then, the Connector product has become so popular that we’ve added Connectors for 10 other DAMs/storage platforms. We have gotten continually better at extending Adobe Creative Cloud technologies, and we have now applied that experience to bring integration between Adobe CC and Box to an entirely new level.
We have released Silicon Connector for Box version 2.0, and we’re really happy with the features and performance this version brings to Box users all over the world. This release of Connector for Box requires CC2015 or later, and it runs on both Windows and Mac. For those traditionalists still out there, we also have the original CS6 Connector available.
What’s New with Silicon Connector for Box 2.0?
Here are some of the main new features with the new release:
- Search: In earlier versions we only enabled folder navigation, now you can search Box from right within the Adobe CC applications.
- Large preview images: double-clicking an image in the asset navigator previews it at a larger size (this preview was not available from the Box API when we first built Connector).
- Drag and Drop: at the time we built the first Silicon Connector for Box, the CC Extension technology was brand new. Later versions enabled things like drag and drop, so you no longer need to double-click to bring assets into your application.
- Photoshop and Illustrator support: while the first Connector was InDesign-only, now you can navigate single assets within Photoshop and Illustrator, open from Box, and save back to Box
- Basic After Effects and Premiere support: We even added initial, basic support for After Effects and Premiere, letting you pull Box assets into those applications.
- Online purchase: you no longer need to contact us to purchase Silicon Connector for Box, but can directly by licenses for any quantity at our online store.
What’s Still There
The main feature of Silicon Connector for Box remains the same: direct, URL-based linking to Box from Adobe InDesign. This is certainly the primary benefit of the connector. Because we have low-level plugins in InDesign that enable direct connection to Box URLs, you don’t need to work with Box Sync or move files out of Box to use them as graphic assets in your InDesign documents. This technology has been very well proven across a range of DAMs and storage platforms, and it is faster than other alternatives such as WebDAV.
It is also a far better workflow than using Box Sync, which has two problems. First, sync is not necessarily a best practice, generally: local storage is required and somewhat defeats the purpose of the Box platform. Second, sync works with folders, and while InDesign likes to have all of its associated assets in a single folder when they are managed locally, it is unlikely in the real world that all of the images in a given InDesign document would originate from the same folder, thus it is most common in sync workflows to make redundant of copies of assets. Connector, on the other hand, can leave assets wherever they exist in box. Single source asset management can not be beat.
What’s still missing?
While creative workflows are certainly far more powerful with Connector, Box is still not a true DAM system. Almost every other Silicon Connector has a feature that could certainly be of huge benefit to Box users: high-res/low-res workflow. The Box image rendition APIs and the general level of DAM functionality in Box remain less than ideal, so there is not a robust concept of image renditions. The thumbnail API has gotten better, and now we have nice big preview images, so perhaps Box will get there, but it has been like watching paint dry to see the sluggish addition of DAM features to Box, with rendition features perhaps the last significant gap. As their COO explained to me once, Box has many goals and irons in the fire, certainly challenges like HIPAA compliance, integration with enterprise platforms, and dealing with hosting in specific countries, can distract attention away from creative workflows. At this point it is already quite usable, yet we want to see it robust some day.
We are really happy with Silicon Connector for Box 2.0 and look forward to feedback and further enhancements.