Salesforce releases universal file sharing service Files Connect

The service has out-of-the-box integration with Microsoft SharePoint; support for Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Google Drive is slated to arrive in the coming months.

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CRM provider Salesforce on Wednesday announced the general release of its enterprise grade file sharing service Files Connect.

First teased more than a year ago, Files Connect provides a single access point to file repositories, allowing users to access files directly from Salesforce without moving them from their original location.

By providing a so-called universal file system, Salesforce says it's trying make it easier for users of its CRM software to deal with the multiple document repositories used throughout their organization.

"With Salesforce Files Connect, we're redefining file sharing to provide a simple, single point of access to multiple file repositories," said Nasi Jazayeri, EVP of Community Cloud for Salesforce. "Salesforce is the first to offer universal file access that enables users to embed any file directly into business processes -- no matter where that file resides."

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At launch, the service has integration with Microsoft SharePoint, with support for Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Google Drive slated to arrive in the coming months.

As for the Salesforce/Microsoft relationship, Files Connect users will be able to open, edit and save documents accessed through Salesforce.com via a browser or from the Salesforce1 mobile app. In other words, today's news is Salesforce doing what it said it would when it outlined its collaboration with Microsoft back in May.

For now it looks like the service is free, except for those still using on-premise storage with SharePoint 2010 and 2013, as the service will cost $7 per user per month. Even though the fee is nominal, the move can be seen an incentive meant to drive cloud adoption.

No words yet on when and if Files Connect will eventually work with fellow file storage services such as Box and Dropbox.

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