Nuxeo just released a new Box API — something it hinted it would do at Nuxeo World in October. The new API is Nuxeo’s contribution to a growing ecosystem of pure cloud and hybrid developments. With it, enterprises can build and support applications that connect to both the Box and Nuxeo platforms.

The release comes, coincidentally, just hours after Box filed for a US initial public offering.

In a statement, Nuxeo CEO and Co-Founder Eric Barroca note Nuxeo decided to build the Box API because the cost of infrastructure is currently low enough for enterprises to develop applications that support their business goals. 

“Box is the leader in cloud-based content collaboration. We took this initiative to support Box developers and open up opportunities for them that were previously unavailable because of the cloud only deployment,” he said.

Hybrid Computing Rules

It was  a timely release, and not just because of the IPO. Over the past year, discussions with companies that have considerable cloud business have revealed a growing consensus that enterprises will depend more on hybrid than pure cloud environments for at least the next decade.

Alfresco’s Director of Cloud Services, David Gildeh, told CMSWire in an interview last year that, while many companies were willing to move to the cloud, many are still dragging their heels:

There is no doubt that companies want to move to the cloud and I have no doubt that in the future they will move completely to the cloud. But for really large enterprises — the kind of enterprise that we deal with — it’s just not viable right now… they need that strategic stepping stone that is hybrid computing into the cloud…” 

In discussions about the possibility of enterprise content management (ECM) moving to the cloud, Hyland’s Analyst Relations Manager, Ken Burns, also noted widespread reluctance to move to the cloud by pointing out that many enterprises just aren’t ready.

Process-oriented ECM solutions are also routinely integrated with other enterprise applications, he said. While this is often accomplished in the cloud, there are also instances when integration introduces more problems than organizations are willing to deal with. Burns said:

“Bold predictions garner more attention but, realistically, I’d say we’re looking at a hybrid world. Dedicated instances of process-driven ECM solutions will either be deployed on premises, in the cloud or as a combination of the two."

Why Box API?

But back to Nuxeo. Why an open source Box API? Nuxeo claims that this enables enterprises that require on premises solutions build Box applications that would be otherwise impossible to build.
It also provides a way for developers to test web and mobile apps for file sharing, as well as a way for developers to migrate content from on premises to the cloud and vice versa.

In a blog post about the release, Thierry Delprat, Chief Technical Officer with Nuxeo, explained the API is an open source implementation of the Box API that runs on top of the Nuxeo repository and enables users share and store files. 

“In their work with customer development teams, Nuxeo saw some building of small web apps or mobile apps using the Box API. While, overall, they were satisfied with that API, they did have issues with testability and some wanted to go further in terms of features,” Delprat said.

He also said that on top of the application testing challenges, there were also instances where the use of Box cloud infrastructure was made difficult by compliance or security issues. The recent release remedies this by offering developers their own local Box server using the Nuxeo platform, as well as providing a way to service customers that have on premises needs.

If feedback is good, Delprat says, and developers show an interest in moving the project forward, Nuxeo will continue to develop and implement a wider portion of the Box API.