March 28, 2014

Box View Converts Office Documents and PDFs to HTML5

Proving yet again that the company doesn’t plan to rest on its laurels, cloud file sharing and storage company Box (NewsAlert) has introduced Box View, which reportedly will convert PDF and Office documents into easily embeddable HTML5 documents.

What’s more, the documents don’t have to be stored with Box in order to be converted, said Chris Yeh, Box senior vice president for product and platform in an article for PCWorld. Although, obviously businesses looking for such a service would be likely to see the benefit of Box’s other products as well.

"The cloud hasn’t just changed how software is delivered; it’s also opened new opportunities for platform development across vendors,” said Mikkel Svane, founder and CEO of customer service platform Zendesk. “Box View is a great example of how you can take a feature from one cloud application and extend it to another with ease and elegance.”

Box bought the technology behind Box View from Crocodoc in May 2013. "Content sits at the center of every business, and nearly every business application," said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box, in a statement about the acquisition. "We're going to transform collaboration on Box and beyond, creating a seamless, beautiful experience for our customers and helping to reimagine the future of documents."

According to the company, Box View API converts PDFs and Office documents to embeddable HTML, CSS (NewsAlert) and SVG files that are entirely self-contained and require no client-side processing or JavaScript.

That offers huge productivity gains for web developers, simplifying the conversion process for both websites and mobile sites. It’s also good news for the company, as Box moves closer towards initial public offering, which could hit estimated $250 million, according to ComputerWorld.

After conversion, Box View delivers the document in either a standard Box-branded viewer or in raw HTML5, which users can put into customized views. “To create those views, they can use Viewer.js, which Box is providing as a free and open-source tool,” explained Stephen Lawson in an article for PCWorld. “Viewer.js offers tricks such as letting users flip through the pages of a document as if in a virtual book. Developers can create their own views and share those as open source.”

Box View has three pricing plans: Standard enables as many as 1,000 document conversions per month at no cost; Custom includes a custom viewer for as many as 2,500 document conversions per month for $250; and Enterprise allows more than 10,000 document conversions per month, enterprise SLAs and dedicated support. Pricing for Box View Enterprise plan is available on request.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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